How to Hang an Old Door as Artwork
An old wood door doubles as art when securely hung on the wall. Because the average door is around 80 inches tall and 36 inches wide, this project looks best if the door is hung horizontally, but a collection of two or three doors hung vertically on a very tall wall can be stunning. This uncommon type of wall decor works well over sofas, beds and as a focal point in a dining room.
Preparing the Door
Determine which side of the door you want to display. Leave it as is for a rustic look, or refinish it to coordinate with your existing decor. Fill any holes with wood putty, or a mixture of sawdust and wood glue, using a putty knife, and then let this dry.
Sand the door with medium-grit sandpaper. Wipe away the dust with a damp cloth. Apply a wood conditioner or paint primer to the face and sides of the door.
Apply wood stain about 15 minutes after you apply the wood conditioner or two to three coats of paint after the primer dries. When painting, use painter’s tape and different colored paints to highlight the woodwork of the door, or paint it all one color. Wait for each coat to dry before applying the next, and wait for the stain or paint to dry before hanging it as art, at least 24 hours.
Hanging the Door
Measure the height of the door in the orientation you want to hang it, either vertically or horizontally. Divide this number by half. For example, if the door is 36 inches tall if hung horizontally, half of the measurement is 18 inches.
Locate the horizontal center point of where you want to hang the door as artwork. Measure from the floor up 57 inches and mark this point with a pencil. Measure up from this half of the height of the door and mark it with a pencil; using the previous example, you would measure from the 57-inch mark up 18 inches. This second mark is approximately where the top of the door will hit.
Place the door face side down on a large work surface. Measure in from the top down about three inches, and from the side about four inches. Repeat this on the opposite side. Base your measurements on the specific shape of the door you’re working with, ensuring that the marks are even on both sides and on a flat portion of the door.
Hold a D-ring bracket so that the outer edge is centered on the inside of the mark and the D-ring is pointing toward the center of the door; for example, if you measured in 4 inches, the edge of the bracket will be 4 inches from the edge of the door. Mark the screw holes with a pencil and then remove the bracket. Drill pilot holes into the door, put the bracket back in place, and then secure the D-ring to the door with the provided hardware. Repeat this on the opposite side.
Position the D-rings so that they’re flat against the door. Measure the distance between them. Add 10 inches to this and cut a piece of heavy-duty picture frame wire to this length. Pull the wire through the D-rings on either side, leaving just a bit of slack in the middle. Tie the wire to the rings and then fold the excess wire in on itself, twisting it tightly. Clamp down on this with pliers to tighten it.
Extend the wire toward the top of the door as far as it will go, holding it in the center. Measure from this point to the top of the door. Measure down from the highest mark on the wall this distance and mark that point with a pencil, erasing the one above it.
Position a heavy-duty, three-nail picture hanger so that the center nail hole is centered on the mark on the wall. Secure the hanger to the wall with the provided nails. Hang the door on the wall, hooking the picture wire over the wall hanger.
Display family photos, children's artwork or hand-painted designs on the door if desired.
If you want the door to retain its old finish, apply a coat of clear, matte sealant to prevent further splintering or chipping. Let this dry before installing the hanging hardware.
Ask a friend to help you hang the door, which is likely to be heavy.
Ensure that the picture hanger is installed into a wall stud, for stability.
Things You Will Need
- Wood putty
- Putty knife
- Medium-grit sandpaper
- Wood conditioner
- Wood primer
- Painter’s tape
- Measuring tape
- Heavy-duty D-rings with hardware
- Drill with various bits
- Heavy-duty picture frame wire
- Wire cutters
- Heavy-duty picture frame hook with hardware
Amanda Bell spent six years working as an interior designer and project coordinator before becoming a professional writer in 2010. She has published thousands of articles for various websites and clients, specializing in home renovation, DIY projects, gardening and travel. Bell studied English composition and literature at the University of Boston and the University of Maryland.
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images
- John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images