Door Table




About: Furniture hacker. Author of Guerilla Furniture Design, out now. Find me on Twitter and Instagram @objectguerilla.

Old doors make great tables -- they're the right size and shape, and usually made of good solid wood instead of that hollow-core nonsense you find in houses today.  The only problem is finding a way to flush out the panels so the surface is continuous and flat.  I have seen tables that fill the panels with glass, or cut wood, but I decided to mess around with some concrete instead.  You can't use normal Quickcrete in such a thin-set application, but I found that some expansion or anchoring cement (such as Rockite) works pretty well.  Throw some modern, angled legs on it, and you've got a sexy little work or dining table.

I salvaged all the wood in this project, but screwed up the concrete bit, twice, so that cost a little bit.  Between screws, polyurethane, and concrete, it should run about seventy or eighty bucks.

You will need these materials:

An old panel door, preferably solid wood
4 3'-4' pieces of 2" x 6"
6 24" pieces of 2" x 4"
40-60 lbs of thin-set anchoring/expansion cement
1" drywall screws
3" drywall screws

You will need these tools:

Circular saw
Impact driver
Grinder (optional for polishing concrete or grinding down if you over-fill)

First five photos by Mr. RaMell Ross (

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Step 1: Legs!

First, lay out your door on the floor or some saw horses.  Pull a centerline in each direction.  You will have to adjust dimensions to your own door, but I put the leg attachment points at about 1/4 of the way in from each end of the table.

My legs were salvaged rafter tails from a demolition project, so they'd already been cut to a taper.  If starting from scratch, cut up some 2" x 6"s to about 45", then split them diagonally with a circular saw, bandsaw, or jigsaw. 

Then lay them on the door from your attachment point out to the corners of the door and strike a line on the under side of the door.  Now you've created a triangle from the 1/4 centerline out to the corners of the door.  Measure the angle of the point of the triangle and use that to cut two triangles out of scrap 2" x 6".  These will become the attachment points for the legs.  Screw and glue them to the door from the top, pre-drilling with an 1/8" bit to prevent splitting.

Hold a leg up to the triangle with the other end in the air and adjust until the foot seems to be roughly in line with the corner of the table.  You might need a helper on this.  Strike a line on the leg to get the miter where the leg meets the table.  Cut all your legs to this angle.  Screw and glue the legs to the attachment triangles with 3" screws, pre-drilling to prevent splitting.

Do the same with the leg braces -- just hold up a scrap of 2" x 4" and scribe the rough miters, then cut one and trace it onto the other four.  The legs will still be pretty flexible and wobbly at this point, so push and pull them as needed to make them line up with the corners of the table.  Toe-screw and glue the braces in with 3" screws, pre-drilling to prevent splitting.

Step 2: More Leg Stuff . . .

A work table or desk will want to be about 30" off the ground, a dining table a little lower, like 28"-ish. Flip the table up on its legs and see how high it sits; determine how much needs to come off your legs to get it at the appropriate height. Mine conveniently needed to come down about the width of a 2" x 4", so I laid it on the ground and scribed a line across the leg, flipped the table, and cut all the legs down. This is a simple way to get the angle of the feet right.

Next, to brace the legs off of one another, miter a 2" x 4" to fit between each pair of legs where the other braces come in and screw and glue it into place.  The leg structure should now be extremely sturdy, without a trace of play.

Step 3: Concrete Prep

To hold the concrete in the depressions, punch a bunch of 1" screws in from the underside of the door.  The concrete will flow around and grip the screws to keep it locked into the panels.  My screws ended up slightly too long, so I had to grind off the ends of each one a little bit.

Sand down the door with an orbital sander, rounding off the edges of the door and legs well.

Set the table up on a level surface, shimming the legs as necessary to get the top as level as possible in both directions.

Step 4: Pourin'

To successfully pour in such a thin-set application without cracking, conventional concrete will not work very well.  The aggregate is too big and the ratio of cement to other ingredients too low.  Expansion cement is used for setting railings and bolts in concrete because, as the name suggests, it actually expands as it cures.  This means you can drill down into an existing slab or stair, stick a bolt in the hole, and surround with with this stuff and it will expand as it cures, locking the bolt into the hole.  Conventional concrete would shrink away slightly from the edge of the hole, making the connection loosen over time.  For this table, expansion cement both resists cracking in a thin-set application, and won't shrink back from the borders of the panels.

However, it cures in 15-30 minutes depending on temperature and humidity, making it somewhat difficult to work with.  I ended up over-filling my depressions, which led to me having to grind it down later, which cracked it a little.  To prevent this, have a screed, or a piece of wood you can use to scrape the concrete level with the wood, handy.  Also make sure you have enough -- the depressions seem shallow, but my door ate up 70 lbs of concrete.  The product I used can be found here:

Expansion cement is also self-leveling if you mix it slightly liquidy, which is why I suggested you level the table with shims under the feet.

So, mix up the concrete in batches in a bucket, wet but not soupy, and then pour it in.  If you over-fill, screed it off, and be quick about it, because that stuff will set up on you in a minute.

Let cure overnight.

Step 5: Finishin'

Since my concrete set up on me and there was some over-filling, I ground it down with an angle grinder and a masonry disc.  Try to avoid this!  It was miserable, and it didn't turn out that great.  Also try and find a better dust mask if it comes to that . . . .

Wipe down the table with a damp rag and then polyurethane the whole thing, concrete included.  Once it was dry, I also lay two coats of wax on the top to protect the finish and prevent rings from cups.

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    13 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Beautiful! Would a simpler set of legs work as well, or is the door + concrete too heavy for store bought, premade legs?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    I love this project. I am a ceramic artist and have a beautiful old oak door I found and am going to fill the panels where a mirror used to be with custom made crazy-quilt style tiles to make the surface level instead of concrete. I love the leg design though and will probably use your patterns. Thanks!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    love your projects mine is black with dyed concrete to match my foot stool


    Glad I stumbled on this! What a great idea with the concrete or similar material. I have an old wooden garage door I am going to convert into a table or shelves or something. This is my inspiration! Thanks!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Just a tip, if you put a comment box around another comment box in your photos, the interior one becomes impossible to view. You've got one of them on the third photo in step four.

    What does the little comment say? I assume something about the screws being too long and creating those bumps?

    Great intructable otherwise!


    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Yeah, it just says if your screws poke up too far hit the tips with a grinder or a dremel to get them down below the surface of the finished concrete.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    super idea, i love it too.
    i'm just wondering, should one paint or coat the concrete with something or just leave it like that ?

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    If you look in the last step, I just sealed over the concrete with polyurethane like the rest of the table. There is a whole universe of specialized concrete sealers and coatings, but poly is simple and works fine for my rough purposes.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    That's a great looking table!

    BTW, N95 particulate masks are widely available at safety supply places, and if you do enough grinding of any sort to own a hardcore angle grinder like the one pictured it would be a good investment. They're also pretty comfy too, especially compared to cartridge masks.


    9 years ago on Step 5

    great idea. might be fun to try a tile finish or tile mosaic in the panel fill ins.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I like projects like this, think of something and just try to accomplish it, even if it didn't turn out perfect you have a presentable and usable object that is a great conversation starter. I think that posting an "ible" like this and pointing out what worked and what didn't work so well shows others that its ok to just GO FOR IT !
    Nice pics as well ^5