What do you get when you cross a couple of old doors…
…with a box of Mexican pottery fragments…
…and an eyesore?
You get a unique, DIY upcycled work bench or buffet table that can roll right over your upright freezer and recycling bins!
I’m not much of a carpenter, but I do have common sense, and that is how I constructed this table. So if you also have common sense, a couple old doors lying around and the hankering for a new project, keep reading. 🙂
How To Construct DIY Upcycled Door Work Bench
- 2 doors (I used a 24-inch-wide door for the table top and sections of a 36-inch-wide door)
- Sandpaper or electric sander
- Screw driver
- Box cutter or razor blade
- Straight edge
- Power saw
- 6 four-inch-long wood screws
- 6 three-inch “L” brackets
- Electric drill
- 1-5/8″ casters (4)
Step 1: REMOVE HARDWARE
Remove all hinges and door knobs.
I found my doors on Craigslist for $20 a piece, and each had about three coats of paint smothering the hardware. It took me at least an hour to remove all the hinges using a box cutter and a flathead screw driver.
Step 2: MEASURE & MAKE YOUR CUTS
I chose my 24-inch-wide door for the table top and decided to use 24-inch-wide portions of my 36-inch-wide door for the sides of the table.
For straight lines, measure using a T-square or level.
Using a circular saw, Mr. Smith cut the pieces following my lines because Mrs. Smith does not prefer to operate noisy machines equipped with blades. Eep!
Step 3: MEASURE SCREW PLACEMENT & ASSEMBLE TABLE
Measure where your screws will line up along the right and left sides of the table top and the top edge of the table sides.
Use a table or bench to support the tabletop as you screw in the sides.
As you can see, we have a crude way of getting things done around our house:
Step 4: ATTACH “L” BRACKETS & CASTERS
Braces and brackets help keep your table from wobbling. Make sure to use 3-inch or longer. (Like the kitty photo bomb? Big Kitty is always watching.)
Baby Girl was beside herself at the discovery of a new surface to jump on.
Most of the casters I found had bases that were too wide for my doors. 1-5/8″ casters did the trick and each can support up to 50 pounds.
Time to mosaic!
- Pottery fragments
- Bonding material such as plaster (I used sheetrock mix)
- Grout (preferably sanded)
- Bucket with water
STEP 1: LAY OUT YOUR DESIGN
Doors have handy little insets perfect for a mosaic. Give yourself time to plan out your designs before mixing up any plaster or grout! If pieces don’t fit, break them up with a hammer.
Once you are happy with a design, transfer the pottery pieces in that same design onto a flat board and set aside.
Step 2: APPLY A THICK LAYER OF PLASTER & REASSEMBLE DESIGN
This project was an experiment in using up all the spare materials I had leftover from other projects. Therefore, I used up a tub of mastic as well as the remnants of a bag of sheetrock mix.
Apply a 1/2-inch to 1-inch layer of plaster or whatever bonding agent you have to the area you are working in, making sure the plaster is smooth and even all over.
Reassemble your design by carefully pressing pieces halfway into the plaster.
Don’t press them all the way in or there won’t be room for the grout!
Step 3: GROUT & WIPE DOWN
Allow the plaster 1 day to dry before grouting just to be safe.
Grout was another item we had a small collection of from our backsplash and vinyl tile setting projects. As a result, some designs received sanded grout while others got unsanded grout. I chose not to worry about it, but larger gaps do prefer the sanded grout.
Once you’ve completed a mosaic, immediately wipe down the pottery surface with a damp rag. Allow grout 24 hours to dry before setting anything on top of your mosaic.
I ran out of the blue-gray grout on the last design so I just used the greige-colored vinyl tile grout. It’s barely noticeable and seems to work just fine.
Step 4: Hang a curtain
I had half a painter’s cloth left over which fit the bill nicely. A decorative sleeve along the top made the curtain the perfect length.
Goodnight, ugly recycling bin.
Nothing beats furniture that has a story. This table is special, not only because we built it, but because it was made from special “ingredients”:
- Doors: Purchased from a gentleman who moved to Texas from New York back in 1980. He had only come down for a visit, but on his last day in Texas he got hit by a car and, in the process, was set back from leaving. 34 years later, he still hasn’t left, and he still has his Yankee accent. 🙂
- Pottery Fragments: A gift given to me by my lovely, red-headed designer friend, Bex, who is always in the middle of an adventure and who also appeared on HGTV’s Design Star a couple years back.
- Recyle Bin: Paid a quarter for it at a yard sale my friend was having to raise money for her family’s move to Africa.
I am loving the look of my DIY upsycled door work bench / buffet table, but I’m sure I’ll love it even more when there’s platters of food and pitchers of punch sitting on top of it and guests milling around it. 🙂
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