House & Home

DIY Recycled Door Coffee Table

Posted February 20, 2014 10:25 a.m. EST

I'm pretty sure you can teach an old door new tricks, and Hometalk users have pretty well proved it with their wide assortment of reclaimed door projects large and small. One of my favorites right now, though, is the humble coffee table, because it's such a great, but simple, use of a door in interior design and decor.

How hard can it be? I took a look around to do some preliminary research and discovered that it's pretty darn easy, even for hamfisted people like me, so here's our easy DIY carpentry tutorial for turning an old door into a coffee table!

Step One: Assemble Materials

You're going to need a door (I know, you're shocked too). Choose a five-paneled solid door: three of the panels are going to face up to make the surface, while the other two are going to make up the legs of the table. Pay attention to panel shape and size, because you want to avoid cutting through a panel to make the table, since that wouldn't look very attractive.

Watch out for hollow-core doors, which aren't a good choice for this project!

For supplies, a tablesaw helps (you can use a circular or other saw type, but it's more difficult), along with drill, screws, wood glue, straight edge, marking pencil, measuring tape, and, if you want the table to move, casters.

Step Two: Cutting

Please wear face and hearing protection while using power tools! Use the measuring tape and straight edge to mark out two even cuts so you'll have two stable legs of the same height, and cut them. Sand the edges to avoid injuries before the next stage.

Step Three: Attachment

You can simply screw down through the top of the table and into the legs, but then you have screw holes to deal with. Maybe that's not a problem because you're painting, so you can putty, sand, and paint over them. But if you want to maintain the original paint job, you need to be more crafty. Enter the pocket screw hole. It's made with a specialized tool called a kreg jig, where you drill into the side of the leg to create holes you can run fasteners through from underneath. The screws will go up and into the top, and the wood glue you run along the sides before attaching will help keep them reinforced.

Add brackets for added strength, if you want. This is an opportunity for adding decorative brackets if you want something that stands out, like cast iron.

Step Four: Casters (Optional)

If you want your table to be movable, add your casters. Otherwise, you're ready to go! You can finish the table however you desire (maybe you have a Portland painting project in mind?), add a shelf if you want, and get going with the fun step of adding it to your decor.

Katie Marks writes for

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