Antique Door Table
I’ve had this old antique door sitting in my garage for about two years now. I bought it at a garage sale with the intent of turning it into something interesting and functional but had a bit of creative block deciding what it could be, hence the two years sitting in my garage. I did some searching on Pinterest to come up with some ideas with what other people had done with their old doors; there was the common cut it in half and turn it into a corner shelf...boring. Or, build a bench onto it and add some hooks turning it into an entrance way seat...meh. Or, cut out the panels and stick a wreath on it…yawn. I wanted to transform this door into something beautiful but still let its personality shine through! Finally, inspiration struck, and I knew what I had to do. I was going to turn it into a table! Ok, so I know that sounds a little like, really? A table? But, this was going to be a table unlike any other table has been before and believe me it was worth the two year wait!
First, I removed the old hardware from the door. Sometimes, if it’s really cool you can save it for another project but this was kind of junky, so I just tossed it.
Then, I sanded the door down really well with an 180-grit to get it smooth. I also cut a scrap piece of wood to fit the size of the hole of the door where the lock mechanism used to be and inserted it into place. The edges of the door are going to be covered with a trim, so you wouldn’t see it anyway. But, I left the keyhole shape on the top of the door in tribute to its “antiqueness” and just wanted to seal underneath it.
Flipping the table over to the backside, I needed to get the legs installed. I was debating what to use and after wandering around Lowe’s for a while trying to come up with something, I found these deck railing inserts that were perfect! They were a little tall, so I knew I would need to cut them down to a table height.
Cutting two at a time with them clamped tightly together, I measured out a length of 26” and cut them with my metal blade on my oscillating tool.
I had to figure out a way to turn them into stable legs. So, cutting the 1 x 2’s into four pieces with a length of 25” and two pieces with a length of 26” were going to give me my framework. I also cut the 26” board ends at a 22.5 degree angle just to give it a more finished look.
I gave the boards a coat of primer and then spray painted them black before assembly just to make things a little easier on myself.
I took a 26” board and centered two deck railings onto it screwing it into place with wood screws. The bottom portion of the railings already had a bar in place with pre-drilled screw holes, so this made it easy for me to place the screws. Screwing the bottom board on first made it easier to assemble from bottom to top for spacing purposes.
After I had the bottom board in position I placed a 25” board under and over the cut portion of the railings making sure everything was centered and the cut ends were flush with the edge of the boards. I clamped them together, so they wouldn’t move while I drilled through them.
I drilled through the wood and each spindle together using the 5/32 drill bit then secured them with a 10-24 washer, bolt and nut tightening them as tight as possible.
Then repeated this same step for the other two railings to create two table legs.
To attach the legs to the door, I first decided where I wanted them positioned then I clamped them into place, so they wouldn’t move while I attached them. Using the brackets, I placed them on both sides of the legs at each end making sure the opposite side brackets lined up evenly with each other.
I screwed them into place on the door with washers and wood screws. Then, on the top holes I drilled through both brackets and wood at the same time with the ¼” drill bit. Then secured it with ¼” washers, bolts, and nuts.
Flipping back over to the top, I added gold leafing to the inlay of the door.
Then I primed and painted the door excluding the inlay and panels.
On the panels, I measured to fit and cut out a decal and applied it to the door. I had this print custom done for me, but a decorative adhesive wallpaper will have the same effect.
Then, I placed a sheet of plexi-glass on top of the door to create a tabletop surface. Mine was a ½” thick because it was actually scrap from my parents’ sign company that they couldn’t use. But that’s pretty expensive so if you are going to make a table like this I would suggest going much thinner to keep the cost down. Or even price compare to a piece of glass.
All that’s left is to cap the edges. You can use the 1 x 2 boards for this and cut it to the lengths of the edges, mitering the edges. I think mitering gives a more finished edge, but you can always just make straight cuts if mitering seems too intimidating.
I happened to have a beautiful red oak board that was my grandpa’s I had managed to save over the years and was just waiting for a special project to use it. So, I carefully cut it into 3 - 2” strips on the table saw to use for my trim. Talk about sweating bullets as I was cutting it trying so hard not to make mistakes on my cuts and utilizing as much as I could because this wood was both special to me and expensive!
Sand the trim down with an 180-grit, finishing off with a 320-grit. Attach them to the door using wood glue and 1 ½” brad nails making sure it is flush on the top to the plexi-glass. This will keep the glass in place and help it to not shift around when the table is being used.
I wanted the beauty of the wood to shine through on the trim so I rubbed some antique oil on it as a finish.