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How to Upcycle Old Salvaged Doors Into A Beautiful Room Divider

written by: Cyndee•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 7/6/2011

Salvaged doors from old homes have so much character and history. These old relics of the past have so much potential, that with a little elbow grease and a vision, you can create beautiful furniture, art and accessories for your home and prevent them from being discarded.

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    One idea to upcycle doors is to create a room divider. Learn how to below with these simple instructions.

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    Upcycled Door Room Divider Supplies

    • Three salvaged interior doors
    • Sandpaper
    • Tack cloth
    • Leftover house paint for the base coat
    • Paint brush
    • Crackle medium
    • Decor and border stencils
    • Acrylic paints
    • Paper plate and paper towel
    • Stencil brush
    • Small bowl and water
    • Sponge brush
    • Old rags
    • Four door hinges (If available, use doors with existing door hinges)
    • Drill, screwdriver and any other tools needed to attach the hinges
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    Steps for Creating an Upcycled Door Room Divider

    Step 1

    Determine which doors will be the left, middle and right panels. Remove the hinges from the left door. Sand the surface of the doors to smooth any rough areas and to remove peeling paint. This project will have a crackle finish, so it is not necessary to completely eliminate bumps or cracked paint. Remove sanding dust and dirt from the doors using a tack cloth.

    Step 2

    Base coat the fronts, backs and edges of all the doors using leftover house paint. This color will be painted over with a crackle finish and it will show through the cracks of the topcoat paint. Allow the base coat to dry. Paint over the base coat with crackle medium. Allow the crackle medium to dry until it feels tacky to the touch. Paint a topcoat over the crackle medium. The crackle medium will cause the topcoat to immediately crack. Do not stroke over the paint multiple times or it could cause the crackling to smudge. Allow the crackled topcoat to dry thoroughly.

    Step 3

    Arrange the placement of your stenciling design on the front sides of the doors. Note: The left door will have no hinges, the middle and right door will have hinges on the left edge. Use this note to determine which side of your doors is the front and which end is the top.

    Place dabs of each acrylic paint color needed on a paper plate. For each color application, dip the stencil brush in the paint and scrub the bristles into a paper towel until most of the paint has been removed. This trick will prevent the paint from seeping under the edges of your stencil. Stencil as needed and repeat if desired. Allow the stenciled paint to dry.

    Step 4

    Antique your upcycled door divider. Pour brown acrylic paint into a small bowl and mix in water until it is an inky consistency. Working in small areas at a time, apply the mixture to the surface of the door using a sponge brush. Immediately wipe off the mixture. This will give the doors an authentically old finish. Continue until all three doors have been antiqued.

    Step 5

    Lay the doors side-by-side. If the middle and right side door already have attached hinges, use the free flap of the hinge to mark hole placements on the neighboring door. Use a small drill bit to drill pilot holes on the marks and attach the hinges. If you are adding new hinges, use the existing holes from previous hinges for placement. Stand the doors and fold at the hinges, slightly, to stabilize.

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    Uses for Your Upcycled Door Room Divider

    An upcycled door room divider is a great way to add storage to a corner of a room, especially if storage is at a minimum.

    Attach inexpensive full length mirrors to the back of the doors to create a cozy dressing room screen. Attach recycled coat hooks for accessory storage.

    Create a miniature divider using cupboard doors to quickly put a mess on a desk out of sight.