Old Doors Give New Life to Backyard!

7 Materials
10 Hours

We had an old pool deck that we needed to remove and this left open a huge empty spot next to the patio. I wanted privacy, but couldn't afford a privacy fence. I bought these old doors (they have crystal door knobs!) for $10.00 a piece! I thought they would be perfect way to make a cool fence! What do you think????
Removed the deck. Removed all the dead plants/weeds. Added new dirt to "build up the area and make it level"
I washed the doors and sanded them lightly. I applied a coat of polyurethane over the entire doors. Some people wanted me to paint them...I decided against painting them. I love the different wood tones, so I left them in their current state. If you look close enough, they have crystal door knobs!!!
My hubby and son built frames for the doors. Because the ground sloped downward, it was a little bit of math to have them "gradually" go down so it looked good (and we didn't have to build up the dirt on the ground...) We set them in concrete.
We had 7 doors total. One of the doors was skinnier than the others (Middle Panel)....so we decided to put three together in the center with the skinny door in the middle and then make two additional panels, with 2 doors each. We attached them easily to the frame. We attached window boxes (plastic) to the middle of the doors and secured them. To make sure they were not so heavy, we added plastic water bottles to help "fill up the space" and then dirt. If you notice the "welcome to my garden" - that was an old screen that I painted the scene on and it goes lovely with my "vision."
I put a little bench in the corner. If you notice the big "flower" on the shed wall...I got this little gem at a Junk Jaunt (held in September in all these small Nebraska towns) -it was something used for harvesting, that they turned into art and welded it into a shape like a flower!!!
The final step in the process was adding the rest of the mulch and we found buried in the dirt some left over stones/pavers all broken up. Perfect! Placed those around the area. Added $1.00 solar lights for the Dollar store and then our Aldi Store had Solar Spot lights (not shown) that I added at the end...they light up the doors at night. Those were $6.99 a piece.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 31 questions
  • HFredda
    on Mar 6, 2021


    Why did you have spacing/openings instead of the doors completely covering the area?

    • Neva Dew
      Neva Dew
      on Mar 6, 2021

      She only had 7 doors. Maybe because that is all the seller had?

  • Flo
    on Mar 6, 2021

    I love your idea of using the doors, but aren’t they going to warp from the rain?

  • HFredda
    on Mar 6, 2021


    To re-invent the project later this year or next year, what about keeping the doors and filling in the empty spacing with actual fencing? Should be a great look! Will the doors resist the weather that long, Mary?

Join the conversation

2 of 341 comments
  • Susan
    on Mar 7, 2021

    I love this idea..I would have tried turning the doors horizontally for more privacy, yes more showing at bottom but that is what flowers are for.

  • Kathleen
    on Mar 9, 2021

    Should have sanded and stained them and then put a coat of water seal on them. You’d still be able to see the wood grain but they would hold up better in inclement weather. Also, could have alternated the doors with a fence panel or lattice panel. More privacy and still budget friendly. Plus, climbing plants or vines look beautiful on latticework !

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