repurposedLife 150static

Welcome Gail from My {re}Purposed Life. Gail is what I aspire to be like when I am older. The girl has no fear of power tools and actually knows how to build stuff…like with her two hands…like really well. I got to meet Gail at our Goodwill Shop and Hop event earlier in the year and she is awesome, down-to-earth, unassuming, helpful and smiles a lot. You have to skip on over and follow my {re}Purposed Life. Check out what she has for us today.


My Repurposed LifeHi, my name is Gail.  I am the sole proprietor of a little ole blog called My {re}Purposed Life. I am a thrifter and repurposer at heart. I love changing up everyday found items into unique and unusual pieces. I DIY on the cheap.  Stop by some time and take the quick tour by visiting my Complete Photo Gallery.

I am so happy to be guest posting for Beckie!  I have had the pleasure of meeting Beckie irl (in real life), which I think is pretty rare in this big land of blog.  She is such a sweetie!  When we met, she just grabbed me and gave me a big hug! That’s the way Beckie rolls, just down home sweet and kind!

The project I’m going to show you today is not an original idea, but it was a LOT of work!

old 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.



100_7685After I ripped it I needed to do a little repair on it. Some of the dowels were cut in half.

100_7689 I replaced the dowels, glued and taped them in place.100_8759 This door had many layers of paint. I decided to let mother nature help me “weather” the paint off. I actually cut the door at the end of April, and here it is October and this project is finally completed.  FYI I do not recommend this method of stripping paint.

100_6092 When it got to this point I used a paint stripper to remove the remnants of paint.

100_6291 Then I sanded it. Because I had left it out in the weather for so long some of the joints needed to be fixed.

100_6296 I glued the loose joints with Gorilla Wood Glue.

100_6361I was lucky enough to find some pink Kilz in the oops bin at Home Depot. ($5.00)

100_6366 This is after one coat of primer,  I ended up  putting on two coats of primer.

how to door bookshelf

I also found a really pretty red “oops” paint at Home Depot.

make a shelf from a doorI laid the two pieces on the driveway and began designing the configuration of the shelves.

making a shelf out of an old door The first step was to attach a top and a bottom.  I always use wood glue and drywall screws.

old door into shelfThe plywood I used for the top, bottom and shelves all came from the cull bin at Home Depot.  The cull bin is leftover cuts in the lumber department. Think of it as the “oops” area of lumber. My Home Depot’s prices range from .51 cents to $4.01.  I used two pieces of cull bin plywood that cost me .51 cents each. 

100_6660To attach the shelves I used a Kreg Jig Jr, you can see how easy it is to use in my post titled, DIY Corner Cupboard.

old door shelvesWhen you are building something like this you need to make sure your shelves are level. But more important you need to make sure the ground/floor you’re working on is level first!

100_6679 It is shaping up, and it is very heavy.

repurposed old doorI used two scrap pieces of cull bin luan (.51 each)  for the back. One piece runs from the top all the way to the last shelf. I joined the other piece of luan in the center of the bottom shelf. From the back you can see that it is pieced, but from the front it is not noticeable.  I told you I DIY on the cheap, that means I’m a “use what you have” kind of girl.

100_6772For the bottom trim I used some scrap molding I bought at one of our local Peddler’s Malls.

100_6774 For the top molding I used crown molding.

repurposing and old door I found that it was easiest to paint it on its side while up on saw horses.  I used primer on the new wood. (2 coats)

100_6785 This is the top…

red door bookshelf after 1 coat of red. You know those drop cloths everyone uses for curtains and upholstery?  They make great drop cloths too! (LOL…ha! — there is another use for those Gail…teehee)

100_6796I chose not to fill in the hinge mortises.

pottery barn inspired book shelf I haven’t measured the height of this piece, but it seems like it is taller than a standard door.

how to turn a door into a bookshelf I put the last coat of paint on it while it was upright. I painted the top, bottom and the back of this piece.

100_6846 I located two door knob plates in my stash. I’m pretty sure they were the original pieces off of this door. I stripped the paint off of them.

100_6849 This is how they looked after I cleaned them up from the paint stripper.  Before attaching them to the door I sanded them with a sanding sponge which makes it easier to get into the crevices.

door repurposed bookshelf I never really put much thought into how TALL this piece was going to be. It really is big.

door into bookshelf I love how the door knob plates turned out. Chippy is good, but sometimes I don’t want chippy.

old door bookshelf The door is old and has a few flaws, but I think it’s age adds character. I think about how many times it was slammed by young’ns running in and out.  I think about how it may have been adorned for Christmas and Autumn.

repurposed door This is the first piece of furniture I have ever painted RED, but something tells me it won’t be the last.

old door project 

how to build a shelf Check out my blog today and you can see how these pieces of glass evolved.

white glass 

white frames 

repurposed door 

tall red bookshelf

old door bookshelf What do you think?  Do you repurpose found items like Beckie and I do?  It really is fun to think outside the box. It can be challenging at times, but I love it!

I want to thank Beckie for allowing me to crash at her place today!  I am one of Beckie’s biggest fans!  It was fun being here and making new friends. Stop by my place sometime.


Shut the front door Gail!  Or the back door!  Or the side door! Unfreakin’BUHLIEVABLE! I pale in comparison to her when it comes to repurposing ladies.  You must go check her out and add her to your daily DIY reads.

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  1. Gail, I love this. That does seem like a really tall door. I think it will still fit right next to my washer. I so need some storage in there!

  2. I love how this looks like a piece of fine furniture until you look closely and see that it was a door in another life. I'm glad the hinge mortises were left to tell the story of it's past, along with the knob plates. Just beautiful!

  3. Love it! And this may sound dumb, but yay for the Kreg Jig! My husband used to work for the company and most people he talks to have never heard of it, but what an awesome tool!

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