Old Screen Doors Get New Life

21 Materials
6 Hours

This project has been four years in the making, yes I said four years! We have a problem with starting projects and letting them sit for years before we decide to finish them. Four years ago in June, we remodeled the pantry. You can see that project right here. I actually mentioned these doors in that post four years ago. Guess what, we finally got around to make it all happen!
We got these two old screen doors for FREE and they have been standing in our shop just waiting to be made pretty again. As you can see they really are pretty and have lots of detail on them. Also, black paint. Due to neither door being completely all there, it took both of these doors to make one good complete door, so I guess we were lucky we had the two together because otherwise, this project may not have ever happened.
First thing we had to do is carefully remove all the nails, screws and hardware from both doors. We used a hammer and flat head screwdriver for that.

PRO TIP:Use a magnet to keep track of all the nails and screws from your project.
Unfortunately, the width of the pantry opening was much smaller than our door. My honey had to figure out how to cut it down to size and still keep the uniform structure that make all the details line up equally. 
He decide that the width needed to be cut down four inches to fit our opening. That means that he needed to cut off two inches from both sides. That sounds really simple huh? Well, it wasn't because he also had to factor in making the Dado joint cuts so he could reattach everything. Now it doesn't sound easy anymore, does it? NOPE!

As you can see this old door was held together by mortise & tenon joints. The tenon (or tongue) on one piece fits into the mortise (or hole) of another.
He used our circular chop saw to make his cuts. Measure twice, cut once!
Since he had to cut down the boards, he used the table saw with a dado blade to make the new tenon joint on each end of each board. Of course all the mortise joints were already there.
After got all the parts cut to size and made the new dado joints on each piece, he carefully reassembled it all using his blue measuring square to make sure it was all squared up before he glued and nailed it permanently. He used his furniture clamps to hold things in place while he made sure it was all lined up.
Next he used his nail gun to tack it all back into place and make it good and sturdy again. He applied the clamps with slight tension to make sure it was all firmly back in its place.
After it was all back together and the clamps could come off, I used a wire brush to remove as much of the old black paint that I could. Normally I would take the hand sander to it, but it had so much detail on each piece that I didn't want to ruin it.
Primer first. I used an old one of my favorite angle brushes because this wood is rough and dry and I figured it wasn't going to be kind to my brush, so an old one it is!
Next I painted both sides of the door with the same color paint I used on the inside of the pantry. Its also the same color we used to paint the bead board in our dining room. There is a link to that post on our blog.
After paint, I distressed it and sealed it and then we added the screen back on it and added a "handle". All of those steps can be found on our blog right here.
Thanks for looking and I hope you like it! Have you ever done anything like this project? Let me know down below. :)
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 40 questions
  • Lillian Welch
    on Jul 26, 2019

    Just curious, did you think of useing chicken wire instead of the screen? It would be very "farm house" like.

    • Karen Theisen Shackett
      on Aug 2, 2019

      I love the screen because it slightly distorts what’s behind it . I could definitely see this as a pantry door and at our house, it can get a little unruly in there.

  • Crazyliblady
    on Jul 26, 2019

    Lovely repurpose of the old door. And I love the "handle." lol

  • Janet B
    on Jul 26, 2019

    Awesome !!!

Join the conversation

4 of 609 comments
  • Sweet
    on Aug 3, 2019

    i love this project

  • Chilli
    on Aug 5, 2019

    I LOVE this screen door, and always am on the lookout for something like it. Great look for the pantry!!!

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