Old wood screen doors have long framed views of the outdoors, but after they've worn out their welcome, they can find a new use as a wall-mounted frame for artwork and collectibles.
Turning a door horizontally offers ample openings to highlight a colorful print or small shelves to hold coordinating pottery pieces, photos or flowers or treasured items.
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Hunt around for a down-and-out screen door at barn sales, salvage shops and flea markets, and then bring it back to life with these simple step-by-step instructions.
Old screen door (the one seen here measures 80-by-35 inches)
White latex paint
Small pieces of old trim or scrap wood
Handsaw or jigsaw
½-inch and 4-inch screws
Taupe craft paint
2-inch chip brush
¼-inch-thick foam-core board
Several small shelves (try making your own 4-inch-deep by 6-inch-long shelves from scrap beadboard)
1. Remove the screen from the door, if necessary. Lay the door on a work surface and paint it with white latex paint. Let dry.
2. Create the eight corner pieces from old trim or scrap wood. Cut trim with the handsaw or jigsaw into 8-inch pieces. Note: The scrap wood can be different types, finishes and widths; this variety adds to the frame's unique character.
3. Secure the scrap-wood pieces diagonally across the corners of each door-frame opening with ½-inch screws.
4. Using a 2-inch chip brush, lightly dry brush the frame and scrap-wood corner pieces in selected areas with taupe craft paint for an aged effect. Let dry.
5. Select a print that will fit within one of the door-frame openings. Measure the back of the opening and use a craft knife and straightedge to cut a piece of ¼-inch-thick foam-core board about 1 inch bigger all around than the opening. Lightly spray the back of the print with spray-mount adhesive and center it on the foam-core board. Center the mounted print behind the door-frame opening and secure in place with ½-inch screws.
6. To determine the door's placement on the wall, locate studs in the desired area and mark lightly with a pencil. With two people holding the door (because of its size and weight), place a level on top of the door and use a pencil to lightly mark a placement line for the top of the door and down the two sides. Set the door down. Use the level to extend vertical lines from the stud marks to the top placement line near where the corners and the center of the door will rest.
7. Because the door placement may not be centered directly over the studs, measure in from the side placement marks to the first stud on each side. Transfer these measurements to the corresponding corners of the door frame, several inches down from the top edge. Predrill holes at these marks through the door frame. Set 4-inch screws into holes and drive them through the frame until just the tips protrude out the back. Hold the door back on the wall aligned with the placement marks and check placement with a level. Continue driving screws through the wall into the studs. Note: If you cannot mount the door into the studs, use heavy-duty wall anchors or flush-mount hangers.
8. As a complement to a print, hang a trio of small wood shelves within the other door-frame section. Determine the placement of the shelves and attach them to the wall inside the opening using screws and a screwdriver. Note: Use wall anchors if you plan to display heavy items.