Replacing Your Garage Door? Use the Old One for Creative Home Building Projects

14 January 2015
 Categories: , Articles

You've finally done it. You now have a brand new garage door improving your home's curb appeal. Now, what to do with the old one? If you are into recycling, are fairly good at DIY projects and have a vivid imagination, you can breathe new life into that old wooden door. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Garage Door Garden Bench

If your wooden garage door is made in sections, then this garden bench is a fairly simple project. Select two of sections, one for the seat and the other to be cut up for supports. Use middle sections, since these tend to be in better shape. Sand the seat section down so it's nice and smooth. You don't want anyone getting splinters when sitting down.

Cut the second section into pieces. If each section is already made up of rectangles, as you see in many garage door designs, just use these for a guide. One "rectangle" should be high and long enough to support your bench at a comfortable height. Attach the cut up sections to the long bench, using nails and/or screws.

Sand the edges and sides of the sections and give the bench seat another once over. Either varnish or paint your bench to protect it from the elements. Add pillows as back rests, and if you prefer, make or find some seat cushions for the length of the bench. Dress your bench up or down, depending on your backyard décor.

Raised Plant Beds

The wooden sections of your old garage door can be turned into eye-catching raised plant beds. Use entire sections or cut them down for smaller beds. One idea is to create a rectangular bed using two entire sections connected by two half-sections. Use 4 X 4 pieces for the corners, perhaps with decorative finials on top.

Assemble the plant bed in place, then sand all the sections down and paint or varnish the structure.  Fill the inside with a combination of top soil and growing medium, depending on what you want to grow. After the initial planting, the rectangular shape should allow you to water all parts of your garden without having to go inside every time. The garage door sections are easy enough to step over for periodic weeding and of course, the harvesting.


An old wooden garage door makes an excellent headboard. Just make sure it is firmly attached to the wall. Use as many sections as you want to get the right height and width. If needed, you'll usually have enough material to use for a king-size bed.

Measure the bed and the wall space, then cut the garage door to size. If you have to shorten the width, salvage the frame pieces so you can reinstall them for a more finished look. Sand, then varnish or paint the headboard in the color of your choice. Mount on the wall and leave it as is or install bits of hardware or decorations to taste. This is one look you can dress up or down. An old worn door complements rustic décor, while a highly polished model offers a sleek, contemporary, modern look.

Room Dividers

Room dividers can also be made out of old wooden garage doors and can be similarly dressed up or down. Just turn the sections on end and connect them with hinges so they can fold in or out. Depending on the size of your original door, you might have to trim the sections so your room divider doesn't overwhelm the space.

If your divider is for a bedroom, make it even more versatile by installing hooks for hats, purses or clothing. If you are creating an office space in an open-concept room, consider applying cork board to the part facing your desk. Use it for pinning up notes, calendars and more. Cork board also helps to muffle sound, a plus if your work includes talking on the phone.

For more about this topic, talk to garage door professionals or designers.