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Project with Old Doors: DIY Sunroom

How to create a DIY sunroom using a bunch of upcycled old doors.

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For those of you who don’t know, I am co-owner of an artisan gift shop called The Painted Pig. We have roughly 50 local artists from the area who bring in amazing creations and we (my partner, Denise, and I) have become quite fond of the community we have created.

The shop is located in a nearly 200 year old home (built 1820) and the space next door is leased to a coffee shop. When Denise purchased it, the front porch was covered in astroturf…. no seriously.

Some screen shots from Google earth to show you how amazing it was:

Pretty sharp, huh?

Denise and I spent 7 months renovating it to fit our needs before we opened.

Open two years, we are quickly running out of space. It is certainly a good problem to have, though there isn’t really anywhere to “go” as we have pretty much used every square inch in the best way possible.

The house has a front porch, while we do take items out there, dragging them in and out every day is less than ideal. Then one day it hit me- expanding there was a viable option as long as I could keep the cost down.

front porch of retail business with bakery rack to the left and abandoned stroller. pea gravel yard with dead weeds are in front of the porch.

Supply List

I have quite a few old doors lying around and knew I could probably find more at a decent price so I started the hunt. I put the word out to let people know what I wanted and the more windows, the better. Who doesn’t love decorating windows?

Getting Started

Once I had a good collection going, I got to work. Looking at the structure of the porch, I used it to my advantage. The overhang provided a straight line to follow and a place to attach them on top. I just had to come up with a bottom support.

Starting on the center of the porch just worked for my brain. It was the only place where the top had to be framed out. It’s not the easiest to secure a 2×4 to the ceiling alone… scrap wood to the rescue!

porch ceiling and 2x4 leaning against a white siding wall.

I used a scrap wood cut off screwed to the overhang to hold one end of the 2×4 in place while I lined it up, then screwed it to the porch ceiling on my straight pencil mark.

porch ceiling with flag in background small 2x4 scrap screwed into porch overhang as an extra pair of hands to hold a 2x4 beam

One door had a full frame around it. Since it wouldn’t need to be cut down, I started with that one and placed it about center of the space. I cut the other doors down a few inches on each side with my table saw to make them fit. The building has asbestos siding so I had no desire to even try to attach anything to the house itself. I just stuck with the ceiling and floor as my secure points.

old doors being laid out and installed on the porch

I used the RAM set to attach pressure treated 2x4s to the cement floor of the porch. Making the edge plumb with the overhang on the porch, screwing a 1×6 to the outside edge of the 2×4 and securing the doors to those. It was a lot of measuring, cutting and remeasuring. The support posts were staying of course so I worked around them to make the doors fit.

vintage doors being placed and secured for a diy sunroom
vintage doors being placed to create a DIY sunroom.

I wasn’t worried about gaps because caulk and trim are your friends.

a white house with a porch made of doors with a white van parked in front. a small former garage with glass doors is to the left.

Trimming out

Once I got all the doors up, I used various widths of trim and ripped down some leftover 1x lumber to cover large gaps in the structure.

a side view of the entry doors to the DIY sunroom before being painted and trimmed out


Now it was time for paint. I cleaned the doors really well to get them ready. Most of these doors were pretty old so there was a strong chance they were painted with oil based paint.

a lady wearing a colorful striped shirt, jeans, and blue athletic shoes, painting doors of a diy sunroom with a can of Behr marquee paint in front of her.

To be safe I used an oil-based primer to prep all of them. Then I used a mixture of Behr Marquee exterior paints to paint each door a different color. This is an artisan shop. If I was going to do something wacky, I wanted it to get attention!

front view of DIY sunroom made from brightly colored vintage doors next to another small building with glass doors with bicycle mailbox and pea gravel lawn

First “Showing”

Then came our “birthday party”. I got just enough done to not feel embarrassed.

front view of DIY sunroom made from brightly colored vintage doors with bicycle mailbox and pea gravel lawn

The next weekend was Oktoberfest- the largest town event of the entire year. I busted my rear end to get it all finished up and hired a landscaper friend to put in a new walkway outside.

front view of DIY sunroom made from brightly colored vintage doors and stone walkway with bicycle mailbox and pea gravel lawn

The temporary signs I had made with my Cricut machine had to go. The red did not work. Plus people didn’t always understand them. I made new ones.

image of vinyl cutting stating "side entry" and a curved arrow directing you to the right

Not happy with the ugly pea gravel in front, I got a lucky break when someone gave my husband two rolls of putting green grass to get rid of. (Yes, I forgot to take down the banner from the party the weekend before, no one seemed to notice)

side view of diy sunroom made from vintage doors with stone walkway and astroturf lawn in front with front end of a bicycle mailbox on the right

Full Reveal:

I filled in the old knob holes with leftover hardware and some wood pieces.

full view of diy sunroom made from vintage doors in right colors with stone walkway and astroturf lawn in front.

Oktoberfest was a huge success.

We got a lot of compliments on the new sunroom.

front porch of retail shop with various artisan goods for sale.

It’s not a lot of extra room but at this point, every little bit counts.

Please share and pin this post!

pinnable image of a diy sunroom made from colorful vintage doors with a stone walkway, astroturf, and a   bicycle mailbox out front

Google Web Story: DIY Sunroom on a Budget!

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  • Reply
    Patrice DeHaven
    October 29, 2019 at 1:35 PM

    This is wonderful Scottie! You did an amazing job an it looks great. Good idea for ‘side entrance’ signs.

    • Reply
      October 29, 2019 at 6:59 PM

      Thank you so much! I’m so pleased it’s finished!

  • Reply
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    December 19, 2019 at 9:02 AM

    […] a coffee shop. Don’t you just “love” the astroturf porch? (I recently did a huge makeover on that porch and you won’t even believe the […]

  • Reply
    January 12, 2020 at 5:49 AM

    I already have a sunroom, although I call it a summer porch because it faces north. Instead of a basement, I have a crawl space. There are 2 entrances – 1 with a fairly large opening to the furnace. I go in there to change the filter. The other opening is much smaller for access to plumbing and electrical. I have not been in there but a tradesperson told me there are lots of old doors without windows. Thanks for reminding me. I had all the windows in the house replaced and kept the old ones to use to build a greenhouse. I can use the doors – one or two as doors and others where I want openings for ventilation in warmer seasons. Probably make swing doors to go in the window openings.

    • Reply
      January 13, 2020 at 10:31 PM

      Absolutely- That is a fantastic idea! I would love to see your project when you’ve completed it! Good Luck!!

  • Reply
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    August 4, 2020 at 4:30 PM

    […] ABOVE RIGHT: An owner of The Painted Pig in Lovettsville, VA, created this amazing DIY sunroom out of vintage doors from Community Forklift. More info here! […]

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