Upcycled Wooden Closet Door

Hello all, writing this from a hotel in Atlanta. I just barely finished this project and took pictures just minutes before we left for a few days. We’re trying to make the most of our last few days of summer before 3 (!) of my 4 go back to school. I’m not sure I’m ready for this; I have so enjoyed having all off my kiddos home all day. However, I won’t mind the one-on-one time with my littlest.

If you’ve been following along, then you know I’ve been concentrating on finishing up my living room, and there was this back corner between the couches that really needed my attention. Here’s what I had in the corner. I don’t have any before pictures, but this used to be a bulky, black chest with doors. It was very dark and heavy, the paint was chipping, and it had seen better days. So, about a year ago, I painted it white (4 or 5 coats), finished it with polyacrylic, and painted the inside this burnt orangish red to give it a pop of color. The basket was a gift from a baby shower, and the filing boxes are from IKEA. I added the flowery details with a white paint pen.


By itself, it’s just not very commanding.

So my next project began with my raiding my parents garage to find these old wooden closet doors covered in a few layers of construction dust.


By themselves, the doors aren’t too exciting, but I loved the height, and knew it would really fill up that bare corner well.

I started off by rubbing Vaseline in a few spots along the edges to try to give it a more rustic look.


I mixed my white paint with water, because I wanted the wood grain to show through just a little bit, so it wasn’t perfectly white.


The doors were pretty just plain white, but I wanted something a little more bold and graphic and unique. I was inspired by this project from DesignSponge. While I love the fun, bright color, I needed something a little more monochromatic to go with the rest of the room, mostly black and white and neutrals.


So, I taped off my door, and decided to go bold with black chalkboard paint. I have this love affair with black and white; in fact, I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to black and white décor.


Looks kind of cool with that bright green stripe, no? Maybe a future DIY project? But for now, I’m sticking with the black and white. After drying and removing my tape, the line was a bit wonky, so I had to touch it up with a very small paintbrush and white paint.


Here’s what happens when I try to get creative. There’s not much I can do without making huge messes. My husband just loves it.


Once the paint dried, I turned my doors around (to a very messy backside!)…


…and my husband added hooks to hang my air plants from. Originally, we had nails, but I learned the hard way that that wasn’t very secure. My five air plant holders used to be six. I also learned to tie a mean bowline knot to hang my plants securely.


Now that everything was in place, I added my air plants. These are such quirky and unique plants with a sculptural quality. They require no soil and little maintenance; they just need to be soaked in water once a week. I got mine from Air Plant Worlds, and they even threw in a few extras.



My project was complete, and I just needed to put it all together.



Because I repurposed items I already had on hand, the only elements I actually paid for in this whole setup were the air plants and containers, sisal rope from Lowe’s, and that sansevieria (snake) plant. I love that plant…not only is he handsome, he’s also tough. He has graciously survived me when others of his kind have not. A moment of silence for the ones who have gone on before him. I keep thinking that one day, my thumb will turn a little greener…someday.

I’ll leave you with a few more pictures, and I’m going to get back to exploring Atlanta with my kids. See you next time!


Also sharing this project in the Pretty Preppy Party.

Less-Than-Perfect Life of Bliss

8 thoughts on “Upcycled Wooden Closet Door

  1. Your posts make me laugh! I love how honest you are about the “process.” I like how you “modernized” the closet doors with a bold black (I love black and white, btw). And those hanging plants? I’m in love! I’ve been looking for something to hang in one corner of our living room. I’m a chronic plant killer, too (surprise, surprise), so perhaps something like those will actually work!


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