Asked on Apr 16, 2014

Should I leave the old doors as they are or repaint them?

by Busymomhelp
This is my new outdoor repurposing project. 2 doors turned into a handging table and a seat. I am not sure what to do next. Should I repaint them and make them look like new or leave them shabby?
q should i leave the old doors as they are or repaint them, doors, outdoor living, painting, repurposing upcycling
  76 answers
  • Constance Constance on Apr 16, 2014
    I personally love the old paint but, it's probably a good idea to be cautious about the paint containing lead. Maybe you could put a good clear polyurethane on it to seal it in. That's what I'd do. Maybe a light sanding to get the smoother texture.

  • Constance Constance on Apr 16, 2014
    I love your idea of the hanging table outta old doors.

  • Teresa Schroepfer Teresa Schroepfer on Apr 16, 2014
    I love the old look, but seal it and you're good to go. I used to make hanging tables and use them for end tables in the living room. I loved this too.

  • Laura Jackson Laura Jackson on Apr 16, 2014
    I would also keep old look!

  • Cheryl Ponzar Cheryl Ponzar on Apr 16, 2014 it

  • Susan Sheffield Susan Sheffield on Apr 16, 2014
    Love the old look, but it would even better with a little freshening up with a little white washing over the current paint and on the legs of the bench to let the color show through and clear coat it. I love your idea.

    • See 1 previous
    • Carol Jensen Carol Jensen on Apr 17, 2014
      I see worry here over the flaking paint. The process of a light sanding, a whitewash and a clear coat seal would take care of that problem.

  • Amy Merriam Amy Merriam on Apr 16, 2014
    I may be the only one who feels this way but I just don't understand this current trend for flaking, worn-out paint. When I paint something..... I want it to look clean, and freshly painted. So I would paint these doors! But I LOVE the hanging idea...that's awesome!

  • Gilda Marconi Gilda Marconi on Apr 16, 2014
    keep it the old look. Put a few pillows on it.

  • Sherrie Sherrie on Apr 16, 2014
    Love the old paint...I mould seal it also.

  • Lynn Zawojski Lynn Zawojski on Apr 16, 2014
    Love them, but i would n't want the flaky chips in my food if possible, and ? of lead. And sitting on the bench may again leave chippy flakes on your clothes. I'd lightly sand and coat with poly for the outside... great job and looks fun.

  • Maria M Maria M on Apr 17, 2014
    I like the shabby, maybe put a thin glass top on the table.

  • Shirley P Shirley P on Apr 17, 2014
    I go for paint

  • Mary Clark Mary Clark on Apr 17, 2014
    The table needs some thing so the paint chips don't get in mouths

  • Mureleen Watson Mureleen Watson on Apr 17, 2014
    I'm different. I would clean them really good and decide what color of paint to buy. When it comes to eating off something, I want the clean look.

  • Michelle Hazelrig Michelle Hazelrig on Apr 17, 2014
    Love the shabby look, don't paint!

  • Katarzyna M Katarzyna M on Apr 17, 2014
    Ll obe the old look but I would go with otherw people here and seal it, and yes pillows would also look good :-)

  • Johanna Eldridge Johanna Eldridge on Apr 17, 2014
    At first glance, I thought you had made it into a swing!! (you still could, you know!)

  • Kitty Kitty on Apr 17, 2014
    white wash them then seal them

  • Debi Jones Debi Jones on Apr 17, 2014
    Shabby for knick-knacks, lamps, arrangements, etc. Fresh, crisp and clean for eating. Just sayin'.......

  • Lois Crivello Lois Crivello on Apr 17, 2014
    Refinish both. Neither are antiques and both look to be of decent wood. Strip the paint, stain in your wood color of choice and seal.

  • Sharon Gass Sharon Gass on Apr 17, 2014
    for this particular set up, eating and swinging, I would paint to could use chalk paint and a sealer, this would keep paint off your clothes and out of your food :) But they are really cute!

  • Patty Reisz Patty Reisz on Apr 17, 2014
    Personally, I would paint them and seal them. They do look really cool!

  • Betty Mckinney Betty Mckinney on Apr 17, 2014
    I would go for the clean paint and pillows.

  • Cindy Cindy on Apr 17, 2014
    Make sure that isn't lead paint!

    • Linda C Linda C on Apr 18, 2014
      @Cindy Do NOT sand or scrape the paint off. It very well could be lead paint. I simply put on primer and fresh paint to SEAL the lead paint in.

  • Karyl Conard Karyl Conard on Apr 17, 2014
    Do what you like if you are the one living with!

  • Bonnie Ihrie Bonnie Ihrie on Apr 17, 2014
    If mine, I would scrape the paint chips down. Leaving the paint showing and partly wood. Then give it a good couple of coats of polyurethane wood protector.

  • Robyn Cave Robyn Cave on Apr 17, 2014

  • Linda L Linda L on Apr 17, 2014
    If you leave them shabby you would need to seal them or get slivers of paint in you tush and off your table. So you may as well paint.

  • Connie Cunningham Connie Cunningham on Apr 17, 2014
    you have a baby there and you don't know if there is any lead toxicity with these. Sand them paint them and seal them.

  • Accentuations! Accentuations! on Apr 17, 2014
    shabby is nice...but is that a lead paint on the door? I think I would get a mask on and give it a good washing, let it dry well and then seal it...preferably with a spray. If you are planning on dining at the table you will want it to be clean and lead free! Nice job!

  • Jodi Sanford Jodi Sanford on Apr 17, 2014
    I would leave it this way, put some blooming pots of flowers on it (or something similar). Then a tablecloth if you use it for dining.

  • Dana Shuster Dana Shuster on Apr 17, 2014
    It depends on the whole look you have going. If everything else is all tidy and spiffed up, I would paint it in keeping with that style. If everything else is "eclectic," I would leave it shabby or minimally improve it by smoothing it a bit and sealing it.

  • Cathy A. D Cathy A. D on Apr 17, 2014
    I would paint them and add a cute bench cushion on the bench. If you lije the distressed look that would look really good. Add some pretty flowers on the table and a couple of potted plants on the patio.

  • Kathy hodges Kathy hodges on Apr 17, 2014
    I would do a red/white checkered top for the table, white with red trim on the seat and a few red/white checkered throw pillows. Neat ideal.

  • Jessica Mullen Jessica Mullen on Apr 17, 2014
    i would say paint them bright & cheery colors, don't need to match.

  • Nancy Nancy on Apr 17, 2014
    The table seems too low for the bench. How would you eat at that height?

  • Annette Brittain Annette Brittain on Apr 17, 2014
    Definitely shabby

  • Hazel Witzgall Hazel Witzgall on Apr 17, 2014
    paint them

  • Gloria Musgrave Gloria Musgrave on Apr 18, 2014
    They look ugly and dirty. Paint them.

  • Rose Halloran Rose Halloran on Apr 18, 2014
    I think I would scrape off all the loose paint and then clear coat with exterior poly.

  • Julie Sutake Julie Sutake on Apr 18, 2014
    Be a good idea to scrape the paint, just because of the possibility of lead. Then do what ever you want with it. I think it is a great idea.

  • Stephanie George Stephanie George on Apr 18, 2014
    Paint them for sure. You'll be pleased when finished. Since it's a small project you could use leftover paint.

  • Mary Mary on Apr 18, 2014
    paint them for sure. I agree with nsch the bench lookd even wtih the door how would you eat at the table???

  • Greedith B Greedith B on Apr 18, 2014
    If you like the shabby look and you want it to definitely be safe for your lil ones, then you can strip it and then repaint and ruff it up to give it the look you want or just seal over the top of the existing paint.

  • Alice Gerber Alice Gerber on Apr 18, 2014
    I would clean em up n paint them good, esp if u have children or finds who have children visiting. One nvr knows if there is lead paint on the doors or not...

  • Janice Staggs Janice Staggs on Apr 18, 2014
    Clear coat.

  • Henry Menn Henry Menn on Apr 18, 2014
    I would just scrape any loose paint off, then seal.

  • Carol Brilliant Carol Brilliant on Apr 18, 2014
    Leave it, just put a glass panel on top of the table.....I LOVE IT

  • Dawn Evans Hallinan Dawn Evans Hallinan on Apr 18, 2014
    Just scrape and seal it, looks great

  • Bev Bev on Apr 18, 2014
    Definitely the table seems too low to eat at. Probably should raise the table. Paint or not to paint...your decision. For a cleaner look...paint.

  • Kathy Dillard Kathy Dillard on Apr 18, 2014
    If the table and bench will be exposed to rain or snow, you should paint them to waterproof them.

  • Ginger Scott Ginger Scott on Apr 18, 2014
    I would paint it. It is an old door and could have lead based paint on it.

  • Mikki Cavallo Mikki Cavallo on Apr 18, 2014
    Although they are beautiful as is, I agree with the lead paint. Plus looking at your house, it would blend better if they had a fresh coat of paint.

  • Julie Sims Julie Sims on Apr 18, 2014
    Yes, lead paint is a factor, however if you wanted the old look after cleaning, sponge on or rub the paint on! If it weren't for the lead paint, I would just make sure no one can get paint chips in the back of their legs or behind!

  • Julie Sims Julie Sims on Apr 18, 2014
    PS, it is extremely clever and perfect just the way it is!

  • Pamela Knott Pamela Knott on Apr 18, 2014
    I love the old blue door and would have used it somehow standing up! I love old blue paint. But I agree with everyone that unless it's in an old looking garden with a shabby fence and wooden wagon wheels and old wooden ladders all around, I'd clean them up and paint them with waterproof paint to make them blend in with your house better. And you need a big center piece of some sort! Have fun with this! Great place to sit and chat!

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Apr 18, 2014
    I am not a fan of distressed wood. I would sand, prime and paint with a waterproof paint. Good luck.

  • Debbie Hettinger Debbie Hettinger on Apr 18, 2014
    use the table as a day bed outside just put a small mattress or some big oversized throw pillows on it..

    • Therese C Therese C on Apr 18, 2014
      @Debbie Hettinger yes! I could imagine rocking those long lazy days of summer away in a hanging bed outside!

  • Jane H Jane H on Apr 18, 2014
    leave it

  • Paula Paula on Apr 18, 2014
    clean with TSP lightly scrap in a safe area(may have lead [paint on them) then seal good stain=ARE YOU GOING TO PAINT THE TRIM IN THE WINDOWS THAT ARE SHOWING IN PIC IB RIGHT CORNER keep all trim the same beautiful door!

  • Patty Edge Patty Edge on Apr 18, 2014

  • Chery63 Chery63 on Apr 18, 2014

  • Jessie Jessie on Apr 18, 2014
    PAINT IT !! please.

  • Barbara R Barbara R on Apr 18, 2014
    Even sanding lead paint can make you sick...that powder is very dangerous, you don't want to inhale any part of it. Seriously, I wouldn't deal with it, I'd replace it with new wood. Make sure you know what you're doing if you're not a professional!

  • Pat Croley Pat Croley on Apr 18, 2014
    Seriously....people used lead paint for a long, long time and we didn't die. We had asbestos in our attics and pipe covers.......we didn't die. You guys are just wusses.

  • Patricia Patricia on Apr 18, 2014
    @Pat Croley your incorrect people did die from both products. They ended up with cancer from asbestos and children ended up with brian damage from lead paint. Now as far as your project repaint. Have the doors test before you do any sanding. Good luck.

  • Julie Sims Julie Sims on Apr 19, 2014
    Even using a goop to remove lead paint needs to be done with a mask, its just a precaution and make sure no small children want to "help." Otherwise, I still think your find and idea are awesome!!!

  • Timothy Snyder Timothy Snyder on Apr 19, 2014
    I agree about the lead paint worries! especially out in the weather, the erosion of the wood would increase the chipping of the lead paint, and those chips might get into the food! Strip it to the natural wood, then stare building up random layers of paint of different colors, but sponging areas away to give it a weathered look! finish it off with a clear lacquer!

  • Starr Durrant Starr Durrant on Sep 13, 2014
    Love it just how it is - creative and beautiful!!

  • Janet Friend Janet Friend on Sep 13, 2014
    If you are likin em leave all natural...

  • TMulhern TMulhern on Sep 15, 2014
    I would suggest to paint them. It would look more attractive.

  • Martha Martha on Sep 15, 2014
    Buy a lead paint test kit, use it, then decide on your next steps! Precautions may not be necessary. If you decide you like the shabby look best, use some polyurethane sealer to keep them from peeling further.

  • Lee Lee on Sep 16, 2014
    People pay good money for them to look just like that.

  • Rebecca Bellew Rebecca Bellew on Sep 17, 2014
    If you like the distressed look then put a clear sealer over it and it won't chip off or get dust on your clothes or food. If sealed then the lead paint problem will not be a problem!

    • Timothy Snyder Timothy Snyder on Sep 18, 2014
      @Rebecca Bellew you may want to remove any loose paint before sealing the door, to ensure the old paint remains intact after the seal!

  • P.j. C P.j. C on Nov 02, 2014
    I didn't see this project until today, but wanted to offer my 2 cents' worth about the paint. Although many of us grew up in homes that had lead paint (as a child, my husband even melted & recast lead soldiers!), it's always a good idea to test old paint for lead. Children are more susceptible to lead poisoning, so it's best to be safe than sorry. If it IS lead paint--which was used until the 1960s---DO NOT scrape or sand it, even outdoors. Lead stays in the soil & can be dangerous, especially for kids or pets. The best way to remove lead paint is with chemical strippers. There are 'safe' formulas, but most don't work as well as the other formulas do on lead paint. I've stripped old doors & windows with a heat gun & sharp metal putty knife, while wearing a respirator made especially for working around lead fumes. Another method is a type of stripper that is covered with special paper or fabric, then pulled off. Lead paint residue is supposed to be disposed of properly, not with regular trash.

  • Maggie Jarrell Maggie Jarrell on Sep 12, 2016
    Yes definitely test for lead. Maybe light sand to get flakes off. Coat of linseed oil and water base shellac to keep the pretty shabby look from deteriorating on you