A couple years ago we replaced our old heavy wooden garage door with a lightweight aluminum door.  I hung onto the panels since they were made with high quality pine wood and marine grade plywood.  I turned one of the panels into a workbench in my garage, and 2 others were reserved for a new dining room table.  Thanks to the furniture contest, I finally took the time to make the table.  

I tossed around several ideas on how to fill the recessed pockets of the door sections.  The first thought was to fill them with concrete and grind and polish the surface much like a concrete countertop.  However, if I did that, it would cover up most of the beautiful wood grain.  So I decided on a clear epoxy.  Because of this decision, I found out HOW MUCH epoxy is required to fill the recesses and cover an entire 48" x 83" table top, and also just how expensive it is!  Sometimes, finding the right solution to upcycle materials will cost you more money than just buying new ones, but where is the fun in that!?  I don't think you could ever buy a table made from a garage door at the mega furniture stores.

Step 1: Getting Started and Planning

Because this is such a specialized project and I highly doubt many people have old wooden garage door sections lying around, please look at this instructable more as an inspiration for other possibilities of making custom furniture.  My approach to this project was to try to plan as much as possible, but the majority of the work was trial and error.  I want to share lessons learned and ideas to make your own furniture as painlessly as possible.

I laid out the general idea of the table in CATIA - yes I know a little bit of overkill on the CAD software, but hey, it's what I do for a living so why not!?  I actually used the CAD model to calculate the exact amount of Epoxy I would need.  I had the option of just leaving both sections at their length (8') and using them side by side, OR I could cut the sections in half and butt them up against one another.  Leaving them long and side by side made for a really long skinny table whereas cutting them and stacking them end to end made for a semi-really-long and wide table.  Stacking them also allowed for more symmetry due to how these garage doors were made. - see pictures for explanation.

I started by attempting to scrape the peeling paint off the doors.  This proved to be very difficult as there were approximately 60 years worth of paint stuck to the door.  Since I wasn't using the painted side of the door for the top, I didn't spend a lot of time trying to remove paint.  I basically wanted to make sure I didn't have loose paint chips coming off the bottom of the table. (Note* - I want to point out that I have no idea if the paint on these doors was lead based.  I made sure that any paint that could be peeled, picked, or knocked off was removed and sanded smooth.  Any unsealed painted surface would not be exposed to food and would be out of reach of prying hands.  Please keep this in mind when working with older painted materials.)  

<p>Great use of resources, nice to see junk turned into something beautiful AND useful.</p><p>here are some tips for looking after your <a href="http://www.adelaideeliterollerdoorrepairs.com.au/faq/" rel="nofollow">new garage door.</a></p>
<p>Wouldn't it have been easier to put a glass top on it, probably cheaper, too? We did that with an old pocket door from a Queen Anne in San Francisco. You can display small things, or pictures or whatever in the low spaces. It's always good to see someone saving something instead of throwing it away. Good instructable!</p>
<p>Thanks for the compliment! Yes, it would have been easier to use glass however, the look would have been completely different. With glass, you would have to make sure you had the right type (which I don't know what type that is), as dropping anything on it over one of the pockets could break it. I've seen doors finished with glass, but that wasn't the look I was going for on this table. I actually thought about putting objects in the epoxy while I was pouring it, but they would have been permanently embedded, so couldn't be changed if needed.</p>
<p>Beautiful job! I try here in Brasil ;D</p>
Thank goodness you 'put a bird on it', it really makes the table unique :) <br> <br>The table looks beautiful. I'm searching for different leg options for a table project I'm working on using an upright piano sound board with a glass top as a basis. This has inspired me for sure.
Thanks! Glad I could be an inspiration. <br> <br>~He's making furniture now...~ <br>
very beautiful ! love the colors and the use of epoxy !
It looks beautiful!!!
Thank you!
That's gorgeous! You did a fabulous job. I'd love to have one just like it, if only I had the space and the garage door.
Thanks! Yes it does take a lot more space than our old one, but it is worth it! :)
Hey I voted for u can u return the favor and vote for m K'nex gun in the make it to learn youth contest thx and plz vote for me cause I voted for u
Thanks for the vote! Voting isn't a trade agreement. If you followed the contest guidelines and it is a good instructable, then it is worthy of a vote.
I feel like it shouldn't be a favor to vote for someone, don't you?
Now I NEED an old garage door! Wait, must check to see what people doors we have stored in the pole building. Thanks, I needed another project. ;-{ <br>That's a seriously stunning table and I was happy to vote for it.
Thank you!
Lindo... So Beautiful. Nice work.
Thank you!
It's gorgeous!
Thank you!
Nice Work !!!
I think you could have done with 1-bys throughout for the framing if you had made a torsion box. I agree with using mechanical fasteners for the painted wood, and with a torsion box you could have glued everything else. The bottom of the torsion box would seal up the paint and you could have removed ALL the paint around the edges with a planer or chemical removers. <br> <br>Still, it looks good on top.
OOPS! Sorry about the previous post! You've got the torch down pat here. Being rather lazy but loving stuff like this, would it have been cheaper to have class cut to cover the entire top of the table? Our local glass store sells &quot;reclaimed&quot; 1/4&quot; storefront glass very reasonably for large areas like a table including cutting and polishing the edges.
I didn't think about checking the glass store for reclaimed glass....good idea! It would be a whole lot cheaper than buying it new I would imagine!?
very nice work, but now my wife saw I have to make one for her.
Thanks! It's worth it to make your other half happy! Good luck!
Oh! Fabulous idea! <br>I have an unfinished wood bifold segment that would make a great desk/sewing table. <br>Thank you for the inspiration.
Thank you! It is quite a conversation piece if nothing else!
Rather fantastic in my opinion! I would LOVE to make one of these and thinking that I know a few people talking about replacing garage doors this Spring.. I just hope they have wooden garage doors. lol! You got my vote on this one and also my interest peeked on doing/trying this. Congratulations on a beautiful table that you should be very proud of, but now you have to get more garage doors to make chairs out of don't you? JK.
Thank you!
Beautiful job! How did you keep the epoxy from running off the top if you didn't use a barrier of some sort? It would seem that the table would have to be perfectly level. <br>
A MAPP torch flame run over the liquid epoxy will cause the bubble to disappear. Don't hold too long in one place tho! You can find info on this thru the DIY Channel online.
Good God, man! Great work. Lots to read, see and be inspired by. Thank you!
Awesome. Simply Awesome. <br> <br>Now I want to make one of these, but maybe a coffee table instead, aha!
Thank you! One half section would make a perfect coffee table!
Great job! Would have never thought to do this. Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks Amy! Welcome to Instructables! :)
I wish I HAD one of these!
I believe you DO! :)
I realy like the darker chairs to go with it. A beautiful project for sure. I like that you didn't try to hide all the blemishes, as your last pictur shows. I don't have garage doors, however I do have regular doors that look similar. A smaller scale kitchen table may be on the horizon for me. Thanks for the 'ibile.
Thanks! The blemishes are what gives it character...unfortunately, sanding the doors removed more than I originally wanted. I wanted to retain the look of a garage door.
Fantastic. I would be proud to have that in my dining room.
Thanks! I am and so is my wife!
ABSOLUTELY STUNNING! - Great job!.... I love to re-purpose items... this is great, thanks for sharing!
Thank you!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an artist and work as an engineer. I like to combine the 2 fields in my projects.
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