Got an aged or weathered timber door past its use-by date? It may seem like rubbish, but look beyond what it was and think of what it could be – it’s the timber equivalent of a blank canvas! With a cut here and a screw there, you can turn it into a one-of-a-kind coffee table.
Gather your supplies:
• Old solid timber door
• Joining batten (2) 880 x 42 x 31mm primed pine
• Brace (2) 250 x 42 x 31mm primed pine
You’ll also need:
Lead test kit; plastic sheet; respirator mask; gloves; water spray bottle; scraper; fine wet and dry sandpaper; old rags; large square; fine handsaw; Dulux Wash&Wear in Black (low sheen acrylic paint); paintbrush; PVA; drill and drill bits; various length wood screws; Cabots Cabothane Clear in Satin (clear polyurethane)
Use lead test kit to check for lead paint (see Lead paint safety, left). If safe to proceed, place door on plastic sheet. Wearing respirator mask and gloves, wet surface using water spray bottle then use scraper to remove large paint flakes. To smooth, sand using fine wet and dry sandpaper, keeping surface wet. Use old rags to wipe clean, then wrap them up in plastic and dispose.
To create a straight edge at end of door, use large square to draw a line across it where timber is sound. Use fine handsaw to cut timber along this line. Repeat for other end of door.
To create table legs, draw a square line across door 350mm from 1 end. Use handsaw to cut along line. Repeat for other end of door. Wet-sweep sawdust and collect to safely dispose.
Cut joining batten to length 20mm shor ter than width of door, here 880mm. Paint 2 adjacent faces and both ends with black acrylic paint. Let dry. Spread PVA on narrowest unpainted face and place batten on leg flush with end, with a 10mm gap to edge of leg at each side. Make sure a painted face is facing back towards leg. Predrill, countersink and screw batten to leg, ensuring screws don’t come through other side of leg. Repeat for other end of table.
Glue and screw table-leg assembly to underside of tabletop so outside face of leg is flush with end of top. Repeat for second table-leg assembly.
Cut brace with a 45° angle on each end, going in opposite directions across timber. Paint with black acrylic paint and let dry. Place on inside of table between leg and top. Use square to make leg 90° to top. Screw brace into leg and top. Repeat for other end of table.
Apply 3 coats of clear polyurethane to table, allowing to dry after each coat. Ensure all surfaces are covered, including underside.