DIY Dog/Half Door
I was given a very fun, yet interesting task from my brother. John recently adopted two very adorable black lab puppies, and asked me to create a dog gate for his kitchen. I was very excited for the new challenge! As I searched through Pinterest for a few ideas/thoughts, I came up with the plan of using a recycled door as my structure.
Dan and I headed to the Salvage Yard to find an old door with the right dimensions.... After 2 hours of shopping and the JEEP full of different reclaimed items (including the door we will need for this project) we were on our way home!
The Before, During, and After!
Step One: Cut the Door Down to Size
After many calculations and measurements, we cut the door down to the height we wanted it. Dan also cut out all of the panels, which will allow the dogs to be able to see into the living room/kitchen from the other side.
Step Two: Remove All The Paint
The door we purchased was a gorgeous cherry hardwood solid door, however it had about 5 different layers of paint on top of the hardwood. The door was originally painted white, then green, then white, then blue, then pink... amounting to a lot of removal! The first thing we tried was a Stripping Solution. Which actually worked quite well, however was very time consuming and had a potent smell. We needed to come up with a new plan... Dan had figured out that if you were to heat up the paint with a heat gun, it could be removed with a putty knife. As you can see, this step was an absolute mess! I would suggest doing this outside or in a space that can be easily cleaned.
Step Three: Sand... Sand... Sand...
Now that all of the paint has been removed, we needed to sand off all of the residue and the top layer of varnish. I used the belt sander to take off the majority of the residue. Then we hand sanded all surfaces until the door was smooth!
1. Belt Sander = 40 grit sandpaper
2. Hand Sander = 80 grit sandpaper
3. Hand Sander = 220 grit sandpaper
Step Four: Construct Cross Braces
We have the frame of the door perfect! We just need cross braces in the holes so that the dogs are not able to climb through. With the idea coming from a barn door, we decided to build "x" shaped braces to fit perfectly in the holes. Dan used a Walnut 1"x4" board that was 6 feet long. After many measurements and calculated angles, Dan cut and constructed the braces. I then sanded the "x" using 220 grit sandpaper. We then glued the "x" into place using Wood Glue, clamping at each joint. We then let the glue dry overnight.
Step Five: Stain
I then stained the door and "x" with Early American 230, by Minwax. I wiped on the stain with an old piece of cloth (like a t-shirt) and then wiped off the excess stain with a clean piece of cloth. REA Tip: Start staining on the back side of a project or on a scrape piece of wood, therefore you can make sure that you like that particular color of stain.
Step Six: Paint Shelf Red and Glue
We decided to paint the shelf that was going on the top of the door a barn red. I finally found the perfect color! I used Cranberry, by Rust-oleum. I then glued the top shelf with the same Wood Glue as before.
Step Seven: The Hardware
Now to the tricky part...Wanting something that was very antique, but still served the purpose of being a working door knob; I recruited Dan. He painted the plates from the original door a matte black, and then went rummaging through the house in search of an antique knob of some sort. He actually found a whole box full of antique glass knobs that my Grandfather had collected. Mission accomplished - making this door that much more special for both me and my brother.
The door is now complete! The total time dedicated to this project was about 4 days. We were able to work on other projects during the drying time, but overall a very fun and productive 4 days!
- Door = $15
- Stripping Solution = $6.91
- Cross Braces (Walnut 1"x4", 6 feet) = $20
- Early American Stain = from another project
- Wood Glue = from many projects
- Glass knob = antique found in the house
- Hinges = off the original door
Total = $41.91
The Puppies showing off their new doggie door!