The Found Door, part 2

Updating you on the progress of the door that will be a desk: I'm a bit stuck.

To refresh, a little before and after of the paint stripping.
FoundDoor1DoorStillNeedsSanding2

After the second coat of Peel Away and a couple more hours of scraping, Ive gotten 99% of the paint off. Hooray! It still needs to be sanded and cleaned up a bit but I think its mostly there.
DoorStillNeedsSanding3

I've officially abandoned the idea of repainting it. The weathered look is working for me. Ideally, I'd like to get it looking a bit like the finish you see on this gorgeous dresser from Anthropologie or this fab dining table from Restoration Hardware. I know it won't quite be like that (different wood, limited skills on my part, etc.) but at least you know whats in my head in terms of inspiration.
So now that I've done the dirty work, there is a part of me feels like something is missing. Those recessed panels are just calling out for some kind of embellishment or display. But what?
On the other hand, maybe its better to just leave well enough alone and let it stand for itself.

What do you think?

40 comments:

  1. As I mentioned before, I'm making a door desk as well. I have the panels and I too thought they could use something. I'm obviously topping the door with glass so it can be used as a desk, and thought about dressing up those panels with some great fabric pieces cut to fit. Or maybe vintage postcards or pictures down the line. For now, I'm just going to leave it as is though and let my desk top accessories be centerstage. Can't wait to see yours as you progress. I'm moving Saturday and picking up the glass so I should be posting some pictures of my final set-up next week! However, what are you doing for legs/base? I'm curious because I have some ideas for mine but still not 100%. Not sure I'll have the permanent solution by next week but something temporary maybe, just so I can start working at home on Monday.

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  2. Hi Amanda - I bought two trestle legs from Ikea ($10 each!) to sit the desk on. Im going to make a skirt to hide the underside anyway b/c I really want to use the space under the table for storage of stuff. I should say Im going to TRY to make a skirt for the table..we'll see how it goes.

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  3. my friend made a desk out of a door exactly like this as well. she ended up getting a piece of glass cut for the center so that it was level. it looked great!

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  4. I was going to add that you may want to get a piece of glass or plexi for the entire length or for each recess. You can place pictures or momentos in sort of a shadow box way. However those items have to be thin to fit under. I think it looks fantastic. It will be a great finished piece.

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  5. I would let the door shine through its own beauty. I personally havent liked the versions of this that I have seen in the pass were something was done to the individual panels.

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  6. Is this going to be a desk for craft or sewing space? You could decoupage some vintage pattern covers or sewing items. Depends on fabric choices for the skirt you want to make. Sometimes the beauty of that wood makes all the statement you need. Then again, you could do something on one side of the door and depending on how you anchor it to the trestle legs, you might be able to "flip it over" if you get bored or want a change back to neutral. Options are always good.

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  7. I think you should put some of your favorite travel photos and maybe trinkets (plane tickets, souvenirs, etc) in the panels and cover with glass. You could also find some vintage (small) posters (keep them within one theme) and put one in each panel.

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  8. Anonymous2:44 PM

    Love the natural finish of the door. What a lot of hard work! You might want to try liming wax to get the effect of bleached wood. Very easy to use - just rub on with a rag. I usually finish up with some paste wax to protect the finish.

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  9. Not sure if i should comment, since it has been so long since i last did, GOSH I work to much, but I think you should leave it alone and plain. go to the store and get some buther block rub after you have sanded it and put severl layers on the door and allow the natural wood turn. And then Top with a piece of glass with a beveled edge. that would be what i would do. Natural is the way to go in my opinion! Good Luck.

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  10. I would opt for letting the worn beauty of the wood stand on its own. Anything you decide will be great, perhaps let the additional something be the fabric you select for the skirt.
    Janell

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  11. I would leave it alone. It gives it more that unfinished look that those Restoration Hardware pieces have. Less is more kind of idea.

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  12. Talk about the fruits of your labor--great work, S! It's gorgeous as is. Really resembles the RH table top!

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  13. some pretty escutcheons in the corners of the recessed panels - something like this?

    http://www.historichouseparts.com/images/VINROSEnickelplateset.jpg

    i'd leave the finish as-is though - you did a lovely job!

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  14. I love that restortion hardware piece... FYI this blog is hosting a giveaway of three of them... free shipping and all!

    http://brookegiannetti.typepad.com/velvet_and_linen/2009/11/the-brickmakers-coffee-table-give-away-some-clarifications.html

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  15. you can get that lighter color of finish by bleaching the wood... you may already know that... but I've seen it done to lighten wood floors and it's gorgeous... not sure if you could diy it though

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  16. Ahhhh this was a major jolt of inspiration for me finish stripping my fireplace mantle! This weekend! I will do it!

    I love it as is - that wood is just too pretty to cover up. Plus if you'll be skirting it, you'll get your jolt of color/pattern/interest there.

    Great work (as always), Mrs. L!!!

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  17. Stefanie3:39 PM

    put some etching on glass

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  18. Ooh, I so agree with you on not painting it! That door turned out gorgeous underneath all that ugly paint!

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  19. Anonymous4:57 PM

    What about randomly placed stenciled gold stars within the recesses? Or using nailhead trim around the perimeter of the rectangles?

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  20. Let it stand as is for awhile and then after some time if you still feel it needs some pizazz, go for it!

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  21. I definitely wouldn't repaint it. I love the worn look.

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  22. I would leave it as is and add a piece of glass to create a writing surface.

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  23. What a great desk that is going to be, I cant wait to see the finished product. Oh, and I think it looks great just the way it is, good choice on not painting it again.

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  24. wow I do love that door, I too would leave it, just wash it down seal it and put some glass on it for a desk, love it..I am a new follower, come for a visit

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  25. agree you should not paint - and just leave as is with a little wax/polish to seal it.

    i would just get a piece of glass with beveled edge as someone suggests above - it will be so beautiful - and maybe a couple of sets of drawers on wheels (ikea has some nice metal ones) to roll under the table - i think a fabric skirt would take away from the hard work of restoring that wood!

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  26. I like the liming wax idea.

    I did a door table. Piece of glass over the entire thing...then I used the handle as a paper weight. You sould do that with your handle too!

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  27. If it were mine, I would want to paint that door with some sort of gold or silver leaf and have mirrors cut for each panel. Prop it up agains a wall in your living area and it would look elegant.
    Even black might work. I can see it metallic. A matte metallic.
    pve

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  28. What is the plan on the doornob?

    As for the wood door, I think once you've picked out the fabric for the skirt, then you will know your vision as to what to do with the wood.

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  29. Hi, I'm new to your blog, but am soooo impressed! I vote for keeping the door as is (great work, BTW) and topping it w/ beveled glass. May I ask how you're going to attach the IKEA legs? In case I do the same thing one day....

    Carole @ Oui, ca va bien

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  30. Great work! I love it as is and if you don't like the skirt once you are done see if you can get someone to fabricate some metal legs- it would make a simple clean statement... As always I am sure it will look really great! And I love that it is being reused and given a new life!

    Christina

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  31. Looks great- love it! Are you putting glass across the top? Would be nice with the recessed panels. Could always put art or ephemera in the recesses.

    Great work you!! xo Terri

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  32. I turned a very ordinary door (bought for about $30 from Home Depot) into a desk by placing it on top of 2 filing cabinets. It was primarily a practical decision, but because the door top is deeper than the filing cabinets, they get tucked under a bit. Also, for the top of mine, I kept the edges wood (stained), and painted the center white because I wanted a plain surface for the top. Yours looks much more interesting, and it might be nice to stain...ever so slightly...a pattern into the recessed panels. You could even use a very light pickling stain which would lighten it a little if you liked the wood tone of the Anthro pieces. Good luck! Everything you touch seems fantastic, so your instincts are probably perfect!

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  33. I vote for leaving it as is with a was finish. Once you add accessories on top of the desk, it will add even more. The details of the door stand on their own.

    I love old doors and have used them to build a little shed, make a wrapping paper center, a coffee table for my daughter, and I have one I use for a photo backdrop and other things. We used old doors we had retrofitted when we finished our basement...I just can't get enough of those old doors.

    I also skirted two table in my studio for extra storage. They are tailored with box pleats...black and cream stripped with solid black in the box pleats. I did an interesting original window treatment to coordinate. Let me know if you are interested and I'll take pictures and post it for you.

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  34. I would definetly leave it as is. It looks great! (And staining furniture is such a pain in the a**.) But my question to you is, are you going to put glass on the top to make it level or are you going to leave it uneven?

    -Kelsey

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  35. Personally, I wouldn't add any embellishment. I think the wood is lovely on its own :)

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  36. Good idea on the skirt. I actually thought of that tonight as well, but really wanted the "open" feeling. I want to use sawhorse-esque legs but that doesn't give any storage either. For now, since I needed to get set-up here at home to work tomorrow we just used a cart we had lying around (with 2 pieces of wood on top to even out with the other piece on the other side). The other leg is actually the old stand for a cheap-o desk. Obviously not my permanent situation but it works for now! I'll take some pictures of it tomorrow hopefully and get them on my blog. Can't wait to hear more about your progress and the final results!

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  37. Carolina3:31 AM

    Another vote for leaving the wood as is and adding a piece of glass on top. Perhaps you could have some wrought iron legs made later on. And for storage the shelves/drawers on wheels sound simple and practical, and wouldn´t take away from the beauty of the wood.

    Carolina from Barcelona

    PS. I discovered your blog last week and love it! I read through all the posts over a few days.

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  38. Since you are going to have a skirt, I would leave the top alone. The wood is beautiful! Great job!!!

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  39. You did an awesome job! I've stripped many a door and floor in my old house so I can appreciate this post. I can't wait to see how it turns out.

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  40. Hi! I've been reading forever but never left a post. My husband made me a desk out of an old door we found in the attic when we moved into our old house. We cut it shorter and stained the exposed wood, but otherwise left it alone. The recesses are where the computer monitor sits and I keep the keyboard on the higher board, if that makes sense. I did want to recommend plain old sawhorses for legs. We painted the legs of my sawhorses flaming red (we have a red and sage-y green study with a bit of an English bent) and I get a lot of compliments on it! (Oh, and it cost about 10 bucks to put "legs" on it - and I can take it down and move it from room to room very easily with legs that just sit underneath it. It was a buffet for Thanksgiving!)

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