Home » Reuse Ideas » What To Do with Old Doors – Upcycle Guide

What To Do with Old Doors – Upcycle Guide

Once in a while, you’ll want to redecorate your home or renovate a room.

In the process, you’ll find yourself with an old door that’s in poor shape, but still usable.

A lot of people don’t know what to do with their old doors, so we’re going to give you some tips for repurposing them and using them as a part of your home! First off, if the door is structurally sound and in good enough condition to keep its integrity, it can be turned into something new or used in a unique way.

If the door is old and damaged, then it’s not worth keeping just for the look of it.

That doesn’t mean you can’t find some use for it though! There are tons of creative ways to repurpose an old door, and many of them are very cost-effective!

Instead of throwing away your old doors, you can either repaint them or look through our list of projects to do with them! We’ve found ways to spruce up old doors, from creating a picture frame out of an old door and painting it, to cutting the door into a tabletop and attaching it to legs.

What to do with old doors

It’s easy to simply get rid of that unwanted old door, but you can still create something inexpensive with it.

Don’t leave it in the garage to collect dust, do something with it and even make a little bit of money to help pay for any home upgrades you’re doing.

Check out the 12 projects below and get inspired to repurpose your old doors!

Rustic picnic table

Is your patio missing something?

A new picnic table might be just what you’re looking for.

With so many people spending the majority of their time indoors in offices and cubicles, it’s easy to have a nice outdoor area that feels like a yard.

Wooden picnic tables can be expensive and hard to find, but if you’re handy with woodworking and have an old door that’s in decent condition, then it should only take you about 2-3 hours to build! Once the table is built, you can paint it any color or theme of your choice so that guests will appreciate sitting around it.

Paint it something basic and solid to match your outdoor décor, and give it some personality.

And now you can relish delicious meals with your loved ones!

Makeshift bar

Nothing is better than a homemade drink with friends, and it doesn’t require the use of any tools! All you have to do is pour some drinks, light up some candles and invite your friends over for some music.

If you have an old door that’s in great condition and can be used as a bar, then why not get creative and create a makeshift bar?

The only tools you’ll need are woodworking tools for attaching shelves.

Use the old door to create the bar. It doesn’t have to be an expensive piece either! Simply paint it a dark color, add woodworking accents and you’ll have the perfect place for drinks with friends.


Customized headboards are a fun way to bring a new element of personalization to your bedroom.

With an old door, you can create your own unique design and style to match the rest of your décor.

You’ll have lots of options when it comes to colors and patterns, everything from your favorite football team’s colors to a geometric pattern.

No need to spend cold cash on a brand-new headboard when you can make a quality headboard for a fraction of the cost.

It’s a creative way to add color and style to your bedroom! Enjoy the peace and quiet!

DIY Shoe rack

Do you have a lot of shoes that you need to organize?

They’re either scattered all over the house, or they are in a closet that doesn’t look appealing.

Get that door that’s been lying around in the shed and use it to make a gorgeous shoe rack.

It’s an easy DIY project that requires no power tools, only a hammer.

All it takes is a little bit of drilling and organizing your shoes.

You can paint or stain the door or leave it bare, either way, you’ll have a shoe rack that doesn’t look tacky and is practical for any room in the house.

It’ll give you extra storage space, and look great in the process.

Make a coat rack

Some households have a designated coat area in the home close to the door, and others don’t.

If you have an old door, then you can make your own coat rack to organize all of your family’s coats, hats, and other items.

You’ll need to drill several holes in the door, and then screw hooks into the holes.

Make sure that they’re drilled at the appropriate level! You don’t want to have to duck down to hang a jacket or hat.

A coat rack is a great design element that can be used in closets, halls, or the entryway of a room.

Ensure the door is painted in a color that coincides with the rest of your décor.

A coat rack will look great in any room and you’ll know where to put all of your coats!

Repurpose into a mirror

Is your bathroom looking a little dreary?

Make it more inviting with an old door repurposed into a mirror! You can use the door to make this project, or choose from other options, like painting it in the same color as your bathroom.

But first, you’ll need to purchase a decent mirror that will fit into your bathroom.

Some old doors can be pretty small, so you’ll need to make sure that your design will work with the size of the door.

Also, you can choose from an antique or distressed-looking mirror for a more rustic look.

You’ll want a mirror that doesn’t stick out too far from the wall, but also isn’t too close to keep its line with the existing wall’s finish.

This can be completed in less than an hour, so you’ll end up with a mirror that will give your bathroom a cozy and inviting feeling!

Shelves for storage

If you like to organize your home and keep clutter at bay, then you’ll want to create some vertical storage.

There are tons of hidden storage options out there, but a door with its own shelves is an inexpensive and easy way to add some extra surface space in a multitude of ways.

You can use the door to create a wall shelf, or perhaps use it as a divider for your bookshelf.

When you add in that old door, it will give your room a consistent theme and a look that’s all it’s own.

If you’re going for something rustic and vintage, then go with an old barn-door-style design.

You can also paint it any color of your choice and have multiple spots to organize items like books and magazines.

Whatever you decide, you’ll end up with a functional and decorative accessory that will serve both as storage and display space in your home.

Picture frame

We all love to display our memories and photos.

It’s a great way to capture the memories of your life, and with the help of an old door, you can create a picture frame to display all of your favorite pictures.

You’ll want to paint or stain the door or leave it bare, but it doesn’t matter because once you see them hanging on your wall, no one will be able to take that memory away.

Use it as a picture frame for several of your favorite pictures, or have a theme and display all of your best memories in the new customized picture frame.

This is a great project for a beginner that doesn’t require power tools and can be accomplished within a few hours! Everyone will love it!

Storage for books

Do you have a lot of books?

You know, in case you suddenly get inspired and have to read one.

It’s a great storage space to have, especially for those heavy hardcover novels.

If your bookshelf isn’t very well organized, it can look cluttered and confusing.

An old door is a great way to organize and display your books! The door is height adjustable, so you can fit them on there much more neatly than using a bookcase-style shelf.

With one door, you can have a ton of room to display your books and still have the look of a minimalistic bookcase.

This is really easy to make and is great as a gift idea for a friend or family member!

Make a porch swing

Spending quality time outside is not only refreshing but also good for your health.

It’s a nice change of pace to sit on your porch and read, or perhaps do a little bird-watching.

It’s a great place to escape! Add an old door to the mix and you’ll have the perfect backrest for your swing.

Plan a cozy afternoon on your porch swing and enjoy the lovely breeze as you sip your favorite beverage.

A swing is not only for romantic evenings but also for children to play on, or adults to relax and read a book.

Create a beautiful swing from that old door you have lying around, complete with cushions! This could be an awesome DIY project for a family or group of friends to work on together, and it can be as simple as painting, staining, or sanding the door.

Corner shelf

Is there a corner in your house that is just not being used?

Perhaps it’s underutilized as a space.

If so, then you could repurpose an old door and make it into a corner shelf.

This is a great idea, especially if you have some extra wall space.

You could put something on there like decorative items or books, and create an instant conversation piece in your home.

Or, you could add a few trinkets and it will be a great spot for kids to display their favorite toys or books.

With an old door, you can make your own corner shelf that is the perfect fit for whatever space you’re trying to fill!

DIY Ottoman storage

This is a great piece of furniture that can be used to store both decorative and functional items.

In fact, it can double as a bench if you want to use it that way.

You need to decide what size ottoman you’re going to make and make sure it’s something that fits into the area where you want it installed.

Once that’s decided, you can find materials out there for a basic ottoman such as molding or wood pieces for the top.

That unwanted door will be a great source of headboards and footboards that can be used to create the ottoman you’ve always wanted.


Recycling old doors is a cool way to help the planet and decorate your home at the same time! An old door can become a new table for picnics or a swing for your porch. If you love books, turn a door into a unique bookshelf.

Or, for those who like artsy stuff, a door can be a giant picture frame to show off your best memories. There’s no need to toss out an old door when it can become something awesome. Get creative, save money, and enjoy making something totally one-of-a-kind. Remember, just because it’s old doesn’t mean it can’t be new to you!


Can a door be reused?

Yes, doors can absolutely be reused to create your own personalized projects.

The fact that they are an extremely affordable way to get some great materials and the fact that they can be transformed into something new makes this an excellent DIY project idea.

How do you dispose of old wooden doors?

It is important that you don’t throw away your old wooden doors.

Even if they are rotten, you can still salvage them for other projects.

You can also make any changes you want to the door and resell it by putting a new coat of paint or stain on the wood.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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