I am revisiting this older project, a repurposed door bookshelf. I'm updating all the photos, and sharing what I would do differently 10 years later. Look for those thoughts in bold text below.
Cut Door in Half to make Repurposed Door Bookshelf
I ripped this old door on my table saw with the help of a neighbor. This was a solid and very heavy door, impossible to handle by myself. Always trust your gut and ask for help if you feel the project is too much for you to handle.
When ripping a large project on a table saw, it's a good idea to have those extra hands to receive the project.
Make Necessary Repairs
After I ripped it I needed to do a little repair on it. Some of the dowels were cut in half by the table saw.
This door had many layers of paint. I decided to let mother nature help me “weather” the paint off. I actually cut the door months ago. Of course, I wouldn't recommend this technique.
When it got to this point I used a paint stripper to remove the remnants of paint. Always use caution when dealing with old chippy paint.
Because it had been out in the weather for so long, I had to make repairs.
Prepare Door Bookshelf for Painting
Add Shelves to Bookshelf
To attach the shelves I used a Kreg Jig, you can see how easy it is to use in my post titled, How To Use a Kreg Jig.
Embellish Repurposed Door Bookshelf with Wood Trim
Clean and Install Door Plates
Red Repurposed Door Bookshelf
Hi, there! I’m Gail, the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. I’m obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believe that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again—myself included! I hope you’ll enjoy the journey and pick up a few tools along the way… literally!
This is awesome! I love door and shutter projects!
beautiful! love the red!
fantastic!!! you are amazing woman!!!!
I absolutely LOVE the red color! It really pops. And, I noticed the door is real wood, not hollow. That makes it extra sturdy. Now, we need lots of small craft ideas on how to fill all those shleves!
Great job! You put alot of hard work into this piece and it turned out great. If your readers wanted to try to do something similar but lack the table saw to rip a full-size door, there is an alternative. Bi-fold doors can also be found in solid wood. These would allow the builder to have two door panels on each side without cutting and would provide extra materials. They wouldn't be the old door like you used, but they could accomplish a similar look by adding the old hardware. Some hardware stores still carry the old hardware if it can't be found. I know it is carried by most Ace stores, but is only available in a shiny brass. Just wanted to throw out that alternative for those who can't go into a big project due to lack of tools or space (apartment). You did a fantastic job and loved the detailed instructions. Thanks for sharing this.
I appreciate your input. You make a great point. I wish I had some bifolding doors in my stash right now, I think I need to hit up the Habitat ReStore! 🙂
Pam @ This House Our Home
What a creative idea! I would have been nervous to go with such a bold color but it is truly beautiful. Great work
Thank you Pam, I appreciate your comment.
Love the shelf, and your curtious reply to someone who didn't exactly earn a curtious reply, but I have learned that you learn more about someone by what they say about someone else than you do about the person they are talking about. So kudo's to you. I have a suggestion for paint removal. Buy a heat gun and a good scraper. They cost about the same as a gallon of paint striper and last for years ( I've had mine for over 10 years) then you don't have all the mess or smell of bad chemicals and it is amazing how well the paint just bubbles up. I scrape off as much as I want off and then lightly sand the residue. Anyway it has worked well for me. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for your very kind comment. 🙂 I have recently acquired a paint gun, but I've never used it to remove paint. I look forward to putting it to the test. Stop by the home page this week to enter LOTS of fabulous giveaways! almost $2000.00 as I celebrate four years of blogging.
I love what you have done with the doors. I have a few that I am considering turning into a corner shelf, but I am not sure if the old paint on them is lead based...do you have any suggestions?
I like the way this piece looks, but the fact that you only glued it together and did not use any mechanical fasteners proves that beauty is only skin deep. I expect the girls who bought it to discover the poor build quality of your shelf the hard way. Shame on you. Thrifty is one thing, downright cheap is another.
Apparently you didn't read my entire post. I used screws and wood glue. We all know that wood glue is what really holds a piece together in the long run. I used pocket hole screws for the shelves, this piece was built to last.
how much did it sell for?
how sad is that! ALL that work!
Laura @ House Of Joyful Noise
And here I thought our door shelves were an original idea! I had never seen it done before. Huh. Our shelves were actually an after-thought, to the shoe storage bench we made. ( http://houseofjoyfulnoise.com/doors-to-storage-literally/ )
I love the bold red color! I thought you were going to distress it down to reveal some pink. How funky that would have been. lol. No surprise this sold right away.
Really a great way to reuse a piece that would otherwise be wasted! Very inspiring, thanks for sharing 🙂
Thank you Gail for the Inspiration you are giving me. Today especially has been a hard day so I sat down to browse your site and read some past Blogs and I am already feeling better. I want to and will do an old door piece like this one day. Thanks so much for the step by step pics. Got my feel good on now thanks to you:) Have a GREAT weekend. email@example.com
Jeff & Kristin McClure
Great project! We have a couple of doors sitting around and trying to decide what to do with them, so this might be the project we go with!
It is absolutely gorgeous!! I love the red! I never think outside the box like this...I wish I were more original.
GAH! I love this. I want one now 😉
great work!!! I love old doors!
★All Thingz Related★
It's absolutely terrific! Amazing job! Thanks for stopping by and linking to Anything Related!
This is such a beautiful use of old junk that might have otherwise been taking up space in a landfill somewhere. I always love the post where someone has reused something rather than just buying new. Beautiful and good for the environment. Love it.
April @ HomeHinges.com
Oh Gail ~ that turned out awesome!! There is an old door in the dumpster next door & I've been begging my husband to go get it. I wish we had to the tools to do what you did. So cool! Great job & love the color, too. And yes, the doorknob plates really put the icing on the piece. :o)
Wow, great job! I wish I had that much initiative today.
You never cease to amaze me! I'm so impressed with this and the toddler bed! How great! Keep up the good work!:)
I love this! So unique. I just painted a headboard & bookshelf red this week & it really is a great color.
Beautiful!! I LOVE tall shelves ~ it's always hard to find super tall ones. And I just love the hardware too!
You're amazing ~ what a fun piece you created! I love the color, too. You continue to inspire me to "see" the new piece that every old piece can become 🙂
this piece is fabulous on so many different levels! I love it!
Becky@Beyond The Picket Fence
Golly Gee Gail--that is gorgeous. I would have had a tough time getting rid of that fun peeling paint, put since you had to use new wood for shelves get you had to do it. The results are beautiful!
I so enjoy seeing your projects! I am not handy with tools, but I can paing and seeing your projects helps me broaden my vision and see things differently and potential where there was none before.
I have to say I love your blog and I love the name of it. I am sure there is a backstory behind it!
WOW! No seriously, WOW! This is gorgeous, no wonder someone stopped and wanted it right away! I would love to do something like this... but how would you do the shelves if you didn't have a Kreg Jig?
I love your Red Door Bookcase. I love red furniture. I don't think I would be able to give up a piece of furniture for sale after I worked so hard on it.
I saw this on Infarrantly Creative and was totally blown away. It made me subscribe to your blog. I think this is absolutely gorgeous and awesome and you are a freaking genius for thinking of it and doing it! 🙂
Gail,, you always inspire and amaze me.. You give me hope that O N E day I will finish the dresser-to-tv stand redo that I started last year. I love everything about this shelf. So glad you sold it too. Thats always nice if you can make something($) from something you made.. have a great week.
One more thing... Have you ever considered getting into politics? I'd like someone like you running our country. Someone with imagination and the ability to get things done. Someone who can refurbish, redo at very little cost. Yes, you are just the kind of person we need. ;o) Please consider it.
Goodness me. I love it just as much the second time as I did the first. Maybe more.
Amanda@The Hand Me Down House
Absolutely GORGEOUS (as always!!) Thanks so much for showing us how to do the trim/crown molding -- it really adds to the shelf! And I love the hardware you added too! Great job, Gail!
Marla @ Always Nesting
Never in a million years could my imagination take me from beginning to end with a project like that. I wish I had half your vision. I love that shelf. It's amazing!!!
You never cease to amaze me! That is one beautiful piece you created there. Love the red and I'm with you - the cleaned up door knob plates really added some class to the piece. It would have been hard for me to part with it!
Bonus it sold... that was a gorgeous piece Gail. You totally rocked that. I loved the red also. I am with Rose too bad you didn't get a chance to enjoy it a little longer. I knew I should have stole some doors from Rose...lol
Have a great day Gail...
Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic
I know I should be happy you sold it, but it makes me sad that it's gone already...I love that piece! Gonna have to try my hand at one of these soon!
Congrats on your sale.