Crazy Old Door

We bought a door, a really, really old door, from an architectural salvage booth at a thrift market, here in Little Rock. The door reminds me of my old, historic house that we sold. In that house, I loved adding really modern elements into the turn of the century home, because I loved the contrast. I still love contrast, so now I find myself adding historic pieces to our much newer (built in ’04-’05) modern house decor in order to achieve the contrast. This crazy old door is my newest addition to help provide the contrast that I love so much.

Did you notice that I threw the word “crazy” into the description of the old door? Well, it is a wood door, full of brittle, hand blown glass panes, with four, yes FOUR, locks on it. Crazy, right?! I’m thinking that if a person needs four locks on a door, perhaps they ought not have a glass exterior door in the first place. Alas, perhaps they finally realized this, too, which is why I was able to purchase it from amidst architectural salvage! πŸ˜‰

So, with no further adieu, here is the “before” picture of the door as it was:
(click on photos to see enlarged views in a new window/tab)


You may notice that it is covered in glossy black enamel paint, over layers of white glossy enamel, over black, over black, etc. The paint, in general, is really well adhered, so I gave it a good old-fashioned scrubbing with a sponge and soapy water. I considered scraping the black-paint-gone-wild drips, runs, and roller marks from the glass panes, but ultimately decided that I like the character it adds to this old door. Furthermore, I decided not to replace the one missing pane of glass. Inexpensive, modern glass just wouldn’t look right beside the wavy panes with all of their wonderful ripples that show the age of the glass in the other panes.

We are not using it as a functional door; we decided to hang it on the wall as a decorative art piece in our master bedroom. In order to have it “fit” the room and be a little bit more than just a door hanging on a wall, we made a few changes. First, we trimmed it top and bottom on the table saw in order to make it fit its intended space. By the way, when trimming it, we discovered that it is a cedar door! Score!! Then, we decoupaged it with scrapbook paper and ModPodge. When I say “we decoupaged” it, what I actually mean to say is that my middle daughter, age 7, did all the work! She loves crafts and was more than eager to volunteer for the project! She did the work by our back door in the kitchen, and I just supervised while I was cooking dinner.

Here is a photo of the papers we used, followed by a photo of her working:



Okay, here is the part where the door is no longer “crazy,” and I become the “crazy” one. Do you notice how much wood is at the base of the door compared to the top? Here comes my crazy: Just as much as I love contrast, I also have this strong gravitation/desire for symmetry. This door is going to hang sideways. It can’t look too busy at one end and as if it is lacking something at the other end. I NEED for it to feel balanced. So, since the ModPodge is gloss, I decided to “fake” three panes at the bottom of the door!! Look at the photo above this paragraph; see the three “panes” with wet whitish-looking glue on the papers. Yep, we inked the edged of the paper with an ink pad intended for stamping, measured proper gaps, and ModPodge’d those papers right onto the wood in order to give the illusion of three more panes!! Fortunately, ModPodge dries really clear and glossy! The desire for symmetry was important enough to me that I did actually create FAKE panes in order to have visual balance. See, told you, “crazy”, right? Regardless, I love the way it turned out! It’s just another layer of interest on this art piece, I hope!

Here is a close-up photo of the four locks on the crazy old door, followed by a photo of it hanging above our headboard in our master bedroom:



We love it! We think it adds just the right amount of character, sense of history, and coordination with other pieces in our room. What do you think?

Want to see a few more neat projects using repurposed/upcycled doors & windows? Easy, click over to Dishfunctional Design’s project round-up posts here and here. Each of the photos she shows has a text link below the photo for even more info, some of which may be story/tutorial style similar to this post!

Your Friend,
~Amber Hamilton Henson

My next post will show our master bedroom in it’s entirety. I already took the pictures! I think we have accumulated and created some neat pieces in our room. Stay tuned to see the rest of the room!

“Later ‘gators!” and “Afterwhile Crocodiles!” πŸ˜‰

Enjoy my projects or links? Please, pin it, tweet it, like it, whatever… just be social and feel free to share as long it links back to here! Also, if you do feature this room in some way on your blog/site/’zine, please let me know, and I’ll add your link into this post!

This article appears in Hat Trick Magazine, beginning on page 40! Read an online copy by clicking on the Hat Trick Magazine cover:


This door was a “linky party feature, too!”
Neat! The links to see the features:

New House

This door will be hanging out in some great parties! Check my shares page for details! The daily links:
Home and Garden Thursdays @ Blissful Rhythm
Thursdays are Your Days @ 52Mantels
Tutorials, Tips, & Tidbits @ StoneGableBlog
Transformation Thursdays @ TheShabbyCreekCottage
Time Travel Thursday @ TheBrambleberryCottage
POWW Furniture Link Party @ PrimitiveAndProper
Treasure Hunt Thursday @ FromMyFrontPorchToYours
Hookin’ Up With HOH @ House of Hepworths
Happy Hour Friday @ HappyHourProjects
Inspiration Friday @ AtThePicketFence
Vintage Inspiration @ CommonGround
Potpourri Party @ 2805
Link Party & Mes Preferes @ ReDouxInteriors
Catch As Catch Can @ MyRepurposedLife
Frugal Friday @ ShabbyNest
Furniture Feature Friday @ MissMustardSeed
DIY projects @ The36thAvenue
Get Schooled Saturday @ TooMuchTime
Weekend WrapUp @ TatorTotsAndJello
Saturday Nite @ FunkyJunkInteriors
Sunday’s Best @ My1929Charmer
Mop It Up Mondays @ IShouldBeMoppingTheFloor
Be Inspired @ ElizabethAndCo
Wow Us Wednesdays @ SavvySouthernStyle
All Star Block Party @ SimplyDoneWright

Posted on September 12, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. In the photos I can’t even tell the bottom three panes are faked. Nice job Little 7 year old, you should rent her out.


  2. it looks amazing! i love the black distressed finish!

  3. What a beautiful piece of new old artwork for your bedroom–I love it! Your 7-year old did an outstanding job! I’m glad that you left it with all it’s age and patina in place, because I think it looks cool.

  4. What a cool idea! I love old pieces- we used to live in an old farm house and now live in a newer one. I really miss the character of the old place!

  5. I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my web site πŸ™‚

  6. Looks fabulous there – great job!!!

  7. now you’re crazy old door is a cool decor door. Love it.

  8. Love it, Amber! I always appreciate the inspiration you share at Potpourri Friday!

  9. What a great idea! I love the colors that you chose! Absolutely perfect!

    Thanks for inspiring me today!

  10. LOVE it!! This is similar to an old door I redid this weekend!! Check it out at! I cut off the extra wood on mine too! Gotta love symmetry!

    Question… How in the world did you hang it? We used drywall anchors and everything, and it tore through the drywall! Ugh!! You are brave to have it about your bed! Eeek!!

    • Thanks! I’ll come see yours next! To answer your q, we used a stud finder, then we screwed two 2x4s horizontally along the wall into the studs. From there, we put about ten screws that were 3″ long through the door so that they went into the 2x4s. It was probably overly secured, but better safe than sorry! ESPECIALLY, since it is over the bed! πŸ˜‰ ~Amber

  11. Ah Ha!!! That makes sense!! My husband mentioned doing some kind of boards behind it next. I guess that’s what we’re going to have to do. I didn’t even think about putting screws right through the door either! I’m glad you secured it that well! I was worried after I saw how easily mine ripped right out of the wall! Grrr! Now I have no choice but to hang mine where I had it so it will cover up the holes! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for answering! Claire

  12. Love your crazy door!!! Then to hang it…holy moly you rock!!! I did an illuminated photo door not too long ago…I love doors too! Come check it out and tell me what you think! πŸ™‚

  13. Your old door turned out so cool, Amber! I love the way your display brought it to new heights. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for linking to Time Travel Thursday. Be sure to stop in tonight to see yourself featured.

    Liz @ The Brambleberry Cottage

  14. Love your mix of modern and vintage – a very inspired look to your bedroom – absolutely love that you had your daughter do the decoupage – great training πŸ˜‰
    I appreciate you sharing with Home and Garden Thursday,

  15. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co.

    That door is crazy wonderful now!

  16. Love what you did with this door! Love it so much I’m featuring it on the All Star Block Party today!! Head on over to grab your button.

  1. Pingback: Autumn Joy Wreath! (+ DIY home happenings) « what AMBER loves

  2. Pingback: Master Bedroom Tour « what AMBER loves

  3. Pingback: Old Windows Repurposed As Art! | what AMBER loves

  4. Pingback: Fall All Star Block Party #17 | New House New Home

Leave a Reply to Amedar Consulting Group Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: