Easily Transform a Vintage Door to a Cabinet?
I’m excited to share how you can easily transform a vintage door into a cabinet. Taking something old and making it something beautiful and new is one of my favorite DIY projects. I love the beauty of old pieces and the stories they possess.
I wanted to add a unique piece to our master bedroom. A piece that would hold memorabilia that is special.
I also wanted to create something that would look amazing in the space and was functional.
Finding the Vintage Door
When I had the idea of turning an old door into a display piece I need to find the perfect door. I knew finding a door wouldn’t be hard but finding one that had the correct shape was going to be a little more difficult.
Making and creating the piece was going to be the easy part. I had a vision for what I wanted so the door needed to look a certain way.
After I walked through a couple antique shops near my home and didn’t see anything that would work I went to one of my favorite antique malls Merchant Square in Chandler. I had just a few minutes to see if they had something.
Because I didn’t have a lot of time I did some speed searching. Thankfully a door is easy to spot.
It was my lucky day I found the exact door I was needing. It was a little buried but I could tell it would work for my project.
After purchasing the door the next challenge was getting it into my vehicle. I didn’t really think that through. I knew length wise it would fit but I didn’t think through the height. Thankfully we were able to get it in and get it home.
The Perfect Door for the Project
Not only was the door the design I needed it was also a little rustic. It is a solid wood door but had been painted a few times which gave it the perfect look.
Just enough chippy loveliness to make it look unique and pretty.
Buying the Wood for the Frame
After purchasing the door we needed to buy the wood to build the case that the door was going to be in front of.
We made our way to Home Depot to check out the options. I wasn’t 100% sure how deep I was going to build it before we headed out. I originally thought we’d make it 10 -12″ but realized that was a lot deeper then I wanted so we used 1 x 8″. Making the finished cabinet 9 1/4″ deep which looked a lot better then if it was deeper.
We also needed to purchase backing for the cabinet. Because we don’t have a truck yet we opted to have them rip the plywood down to the proper width we need. It makes it easier for us to transport and saves us a step when we get home.
Altering the Vintage Door
Before we could build the frame and shelves to the proper height we needed to alter the vintage door.
We took our small skill saw and cut out the two recessed panels. Leaving the horizontal frame in the bottom third and a top and bottom . This opens up the door and gives us the exact measurements for the shelves we are building in the frame.
Monte was able to take the skill saw and cut out the center panels. Because I was wanting a vintage look I didn’t do anything with the door after the panels were taken out. I wanted to keep its vintage charm plus add a little rustic beauty.
Building the Cabinet Frame and Shelves
The frame was super quick and easy to build. We used the door as the guide for height and width. I wanted the shelves to match up where the openings are plus a couple more shelves in the top section because it was a larger space.
Monte built the frame separately using the 1 x 8’s for the frame and shelves. After it was built we figured out the shelf height. Since it wasn’t a long shelf we didn’t need to make cleats. He used the air nailer to secure them in place. I didn’t plan to put anything super heavy on them so it wasn’t going to be a problem. Plus they’ll get support on the front from the door and the back from the panel.
Painting the Frame
Because I didn’t want to work around the door I painted the frame separately. I wasn’t painting the door because I wanted to keep its vintage look. I used the same painting technique that I did with our bookcase we built in the office. You can check it out here and here. I didn’t want a stained look or the look of thick heavy paint so I thinned my paint down with water and give the frame a couple coats of paint.
I made sure to sand between each coat of paint. That gives the smooth rich look I’m always after. I even painted the crown and base moulding we were going to add to the face of the door. It was so much easier painting at this stage then trying to paint after it was all assembled.
Securing the Vintage Door to the Cabinet
After the frame was completed Monte screwed the door to the frame. He screwed from the frame side using the header and nailers he added. That way you wouldn’t see any on the screws in the face of the door.
It was so easy to transform this vintage door into a gorgeous cabinet.
The Back of the Cabinet
The final step is adding the backing to the cabinet. The 1/8 in plywood was cut to size. I wasn’t sure if I was going to paint it white to match the door, dark to match the cabinet or leave it of the rustic feel. Because I was unsure about the color I needed to see it all put together before I made the final decision.
I was leaning towards just leaving it. When we held it up I was sure that’s what I wanted. That made finishing the back super easy. We marked where the shelves hit the board. Monte used finishing nails to nail the top, bottom, sides and across the shelves. Making it very secure and square.
The Crown and Base Moulding
To give it the final wow look I wanted we added some crown moulding around the top and a plain moulding around the bottom. The crown we used was left over from our office cabinet. There was barely enough which was great and we used scrap wood from another cabinet we built to frame the bottom. So we didn’t add any additional cost to the bookcase.
The top header on the door was narrower then the bottom so we raised the top crown as high as it would go adding heigh to the cabinet and not making the header look too narrow.
When you start doing DIY projects these are the fun decisions you can make and you build your project.
A Beautiful Vintage Doorknob
This door came with an outdate and not pretty doorknob and hinges. I would have left the hinges if they were original but they were cheap and ugly. So we took them off.
The final piece to this project was finding a beautiful vintage doorknob. I had a few minutes one day so I ran to a antique store and luckily found a super cute knob. It is so unique and perfect for this project.
The Easily Transformed Vintage Door to a Cabinet
This easily transformed vintage door into this gorgeous cabinet is a piece I love and have loved decorating. I had some special pieces that I wanted to display that mean so much to me. The perfect place to show them off is in the master bedroom. I can look at them at the end of the day and first thing in the morning.
It is a piece I will love and cherish for years.
Decor to the Door
It is also a great place to decorate each season. Having a beautiful place for seasonal decor makes decorating even more fun.
Be sure to check out my Decor to the Door site and see whats new for this season.