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.
- collection of old doors
- 2×4 and 1×6 boards for mounting and trim
- table saw
- cordless circular saw
- trim screws (I love these- hardly noticeable when you’re finished)
- RAM set
- exterior paint
- rollers, paint brushes, etc
- old door and cabinet knobs
- various trim and wood pieces
- Cricut Air Express 2
- exterior (permanent) vinyl
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?
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!
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.
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.
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.
I wasn’t worried about gaps because caulk and trim are your friends.
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.
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.
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!
Then came our “birthday party”. I got just enough done to not feel embarrassed.
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.
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.
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)
I filled in the old knob holes with leftover hardware and some wood pieces.
Oktoberfest was a huge success.
We got a lot of compliments on the new sunroom.
It’s not a lot of extra room but at this point, every little bit counts.
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