Turning a Front Door into a China Cabinet

One of my all time favorite “re-purpose” projects that we have done at our house started with an old door.

A friend of ours is a contractor, and he had gotten the job of turning the town’s old drug store into a restaurant. This wasn’t just any drugstore…this was the mainstreet drugstore…the one that had been there forever. Imagine my excitement when I got called to see if I wanted one of the original front doors!

We decided to make a corner curio cabinent out of the old door.

Beautiful, isn’t it? Here’s how we did it:

  • Run the edges of the door through a table saw to bevel the side edges to a 45 degree angle. This lets the door fit snugly into the corner of the room.
  • Save the drop from the cuts (triangle shaped scrap). We will use them later.
  • Hold the door in place, adjusting it until both the left and right front edge of the door are equal distance from the room corner.
  • Reaching through the door, mark the wall at the inside edge of the door. Remove the door and measure from the corner to the mark.

  • Take 1/2″ plywood and cut it 6″ shorter than the door height. The first piece is cut to fit from the room corner to the wall mark on the left side. Bevel the cut at 45 degrees so that the door will fit smoothly to the plywood.
  • Fasten the plywood to the wall (slightly above the base board) with 1 3/4″ drywall screws into the wall studs. Repeat the process on the right side of the room corner.
  • Fasten the triangle shaped scrap from the first 2 cuts to the back of the door edges, holding it off the edge far enough for the plywood to nest into (1/2″).
  • The door is then test fitted against the plywood pieces, and fastened in place by drilling & screwing through the triangle scrap pieces into the plywood. (This way the fasteners cannot be seen.)
  • With the door fitted in place, mark the desired location for each shelf so that the shelves will line up with the base of the door opening, slightly above the top of the door opening and with each window mullion (frame).

  • Remove the door, and cut a 1/4 round and fasten it to the plywood with finish nails to act as shelf supports.
  • Cut plywood to size to form the bottom shelf and cabinet ceiling.
  • Paint the plywood and 1/4 round flat black before reattaching the door.

In order to get glass cut to fit properly, I cut cardboard templates until I had an accurate fit. I took the template to the local glass shop and had glass shelves made.

The door was black when I got it so I dry brushed white paint over it…I love how it still looks aged.

There is no glass in the door window so we were able to slide the shelves right in.

We even added a halogen light to the top so it can shine down on all my pretties….which of course are my daughter’s pretties because she decided she needed this more than me…

I know the instructions in this tutorial were a bit lengthy, so please feel free to email me if you have any questions! I just love the finished product…and love the history behind this old front door!

Have you ever re-purposed an old front door? If so, how?


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42 Responses to Turning a Front Door into a China Cabinet

  1. This is so creative!!! I never would have thought of doing something like that. Brilliant! I’m sharing this on the A2D Facebook page.

  2. Great job re-salvaging the door and you give great detailed directions.

  3. Dianne –
    That is so inspired! I love how it looks and never would’ve thought of using a door in such a way.

  4. Jean

    I love this! Just got your link from Addicted 2 Decorating.

  5. This is such a creative idea! Nicely done girl!

  6. hiya , i came by your blog via housemaker on a dime and i am so glad i did , wow wow wow about your door makeover it is just faaaaaaaaaaaab x
    i’ll be back !!!! lol

  7. Tammy Soave

    Oh wow! I LOVE that idea. I too love the idea of repurposing something with history. You are so darn clever! I am new to your blog and truly find inspiration everytime I visit. Now, could you just find a way to provide me with some time and ambition? LOL Just kidding! But, you can bet I will now be on the lookout for a door to turn into a cabinet. I have 2 corners in my dining room and 1 in my kitchen that would be the perfect places!

  8. So creative! Visiting from SAS!

  9. Dar

    Coming to you via TT & J. Wow! Great idea. Never would have thought to do that.

  10. way cute!! Just loving it!

  11. Wow!!!! That is the best idea for an old door that I’ve ever heard of. Great job.


  12. Sandy

    That is so cool! I’m constantly amazed at the ideas everyone comes up with.

  13. What a great idea. Love the door, such a nice shape. Dropping by from Met Monday. When you have time, come see the chairs I had recovered.


  14. What a great idea, especially since the door has a history in your main street area. I’ll be keeping this one in the back of my decorating mind for the next time I see a great door. Thanks so much for sharing.

  15. That was really a clever idea. I love it. Thanks for sharing and for joining in on the newbie party. I look forward to seeing you again.
    Debbiedoos blogging and blabbing

  16. What a fantastic idea!! I have 2 old doors that I am using as a headboard in one of our guest rooms till we actually use them to replace the pocket doors up stairs.

  17. Love it, great idea. I love to repurpose old things, too.

  18. This was a fantastic idea. I LOVE it!! Visiting from Debbie’s newbie party, Martina

  19. This is a fabulous idea and I LOVE it! My sister has been searching for the right old door to hang horizontally on the wall, then she plans to hang photos on it. I might have to start looking for one too, I think my breakfast nook might need something like this!

  20. THAT is a fabulous idea!! I happen to have a corner cabinet that I MUST refinish when the weather gets warm, but your idea is AWESOME!!
    I’m here from Debbie’s party, and I am you newest follower! Can’t wait to see what you make next!

  21. Fabulous idea. Beautiful reuse of the door.

  22. OMG! This the most creative thing I have ever seen! It came out terrific. When I saw your thumbnail, I got curious and BOY!,

  23. This looks great! love love the look of the door.

  24. Nicole @ The Wonderful World of Wohler

    What a great way to repurpose something! I love the idea of the corner cabinet becasue sometimes there just isn’t enough room for a larger one. Thanks so much for sharing, found you at the newbie party, I’m your newest follower.

  25. what a cool idea,turned out great. i have a party going on later today, i would love it if you shared this. http://typeadecorating.blogspot.com/

  26. Wow, this is so cool!! I love old doors. I have a set of burnt armoire doors (rescued after a house fire) as my headboard….. Your cabinet is darned clever.

  27. This is so fabulous!!! I’m sure I NEED to make one now…

  28. That is fabulous! Makes me wish I had a free corner (:
    visiting from C.R.A.F.T.

  29. Completely awesome!! Thanks for auditioning for OMTWI!!

  30. I love it! Gotta love those rustic white french doors! Gorgeous!

  31. What a cool and unique idea for an old door. Love it. Thanks so much for sharing at my Swing into Spring party.

  32. This is one of the most awesome things I have ever seen! I love it!

  33. i’ve been saving this post til i had the time to comment, and i must tell you that this is genius! such creative thinking!

  34. This is one of the most unique ideas I’ve ever seen! I found you from the Savvy Southern Style linky party, can’t wait to start following you.:)


  35. who would of ever thought!

    awesome idea. omgoodness & there’s so many old door out there in junk yards. super creative idea.

    thanks again for linking up!

  36. ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing!

  37. A few of us have shared this link on facebook. It’s sooooo cool! I absolutely love it!

  38. Pingback: Seven Links | The Inspired Housewife

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