Hi diyers, it’s Joan from Scavenger Chic, and I have a great repurposed baby gate project to share with you. I was looking through my projects and when it comes to repurposed, this one rose to the top. It not only uses an old baby gate, a discarded mirror and pallet wood, but even the mdf backer was found next to a dumpster, discarded from an old poster. My mirror was pulled out of my bathroom. While it looks like a window, it’s not an actual window, it’s an impostor. If I’m going to have a window mirror I want the real thing, the one with the chippy paint and the glazing falling out…this one is way too new for my tastes, it will have to be repurposed. I wish I could say that this was my kids baby gate and that I remember their little chubby faces standing at the top of the stairs, not being able to fall down. I wish I could say that, but my baby gate is long gone, this one was found next to a dumpster and from the looks of it, it had been kept outside for a long time. The baby gate was kind of fuzzy with green stuff but once it was attacked with a palm sander, the smooth wood shone through. I would think that unless you too have a fuzzy green baby gate that you could probably skip this step. The mirror was taken out of the fake window frame. The plastic edging was cut off of the baby gate and the gate was stretched far enough so that there was a somewhat even frame around the entire mirror. With a nail gun the crosses were tacked in place. Now wouldn’t you think tacking the wood in place would keep the baby gate open? It didn’t…it still wanted to fold like an accordion. To keep the baby gate from folding in on itself, temporarily attached a piece of scrap wood to one side of the gate. While the gate was still laying flat and the mirror was in place, laid out a pallet wood frame around the mirror. Marked on the gate where the edge of the pallet wood would go. The pallet wood was cut to size and sanded with a palm sander, not so much as to take away all it’s character, but just enough to remove all the splinters. With a jigsaw, cut out the markings I had just made. You can see why you want to tack the wood together where it crosses before you cut out the mirror center. Relaid the mirror and baby gate back out on a flat surface. Nailed the interior pallet frame together. The pallet wood frame just has straight cuts but they can be mitered if you like. Make sure the pallet wood frame still fits within the gate. With 1×8 pine pieces, framed out the rest of the mirror. Trim to fit if necessary. The pine is just slipped under the gate. With a nail gun, nailed the gate to the 1×8 pine pieces. Right now, the interior pallet frame is not attached. Note: As you can see, I didn’t prefinish my pine backing first, mainly because I had no idea how I was going to finish it, but, if you know how your mirror is going to be painted it may be a good idea to paint it before attaching the baby gate…there are tons of nooks and crannies. The same goes for the outside pallet frame. With liquid nails construction adhesive, a 1/8″ mdf backer board is slipped under the entire frame. Entire piece was spray painted a coat of semigloss black. The mirror is attached with construction adhesive. Outer frame of pallet wood was cut, and using finishing nails attached in the corners and nailed to the 1×8 pine. I actually thought I would like the black background as is, but I changed my mind and thought it needed a bit more dimension, so on to the next layer… …a coat of flat gray paint. This can be spray painted or painted on with a brush. Spray paint is definitely the easier choice. Again, I thought I would like the color as is. Nope, I actually hated it. It still lacked something…dimension. It needed an aging wax. The bottom layer was finished off with a dark wax, painted on and rubbed off. This is the reason, you just might want to finish the 1×8 backing before attaching the baby gate. I used q-tips in the corners to smooth out the extra wax. The baby gate portion was sanded off to show the layers of paint. This too got a layer of wax, though a lighter shade than the background. The pallet wood interior and exterior frames were each given a coat of black paint, followed by a coat of gray paint. Once dry, they were sanded again with the palm sander revealing all the layers. Final step for the frames, they were each painted with clear wax coat with a bit of dark wax mixed in, buffed off with a rag before it had a chance to dry. This is the difference in finishes. The interior frame has been painted sanded and stained, while the exterior frame has only been painted. A couple of finishing nails was all it took to nail the interior frame to the 1×8 pine base.
So much fun to use items that were not only headed for the trash they were actually in the trash. Just think, you can be the first in your neighborhood to own a genuine baby gate mirror.
Make sure you stop by and visit me over at Scavenger Chic and I’ll be back next month with another fun repurposed project.
See more of Joan’s projects here: