Here Are The Butternut Doors With The Support In The Middle That Drops Down When The Bed Is Lowered To Carry The Weight In The Middle In Case Thing Get Bouncy.

Secrets to using Salvaged Doors to build Tiny Texas Houses

Here are some of the incredible ways to use old doors to create great spaces with nearly no carpentry work. This is a way to have raised panel wainscot, a beautiful bathroom wall, and other ways to make your Tiny Spaces unique, but they can be used on big spaces too.

I love the shadows with the stenciled windows showing on the back upon the wall.  On the lower half you can see the doors laid on their sides to create the raised panel look.

I love the shadows with the stenciled windows showing on the back upon the wall. On the lower half you can see the doors laid on their sides to create the raised panel look.

The big secret to this is to lay the doors out before you lay out the electric outlets so that you do not have one come out on the edge of a panel or rail and not have the cover fit on properly. Here is also an example of how that layout goes.

Here you can see the doors and the beaded wood used together.  I did not choose the monochrome paint job.

Here you can see the doors and the beaded wood used together. I did not choose the monochrome paint job.

If you look around the room you can see how the outlets fall on the rails or in the panel at a level spot.

If you look around the room you can see how the outlets fall on the rails or in the panel at a level spot.

You will find some great old wood in the doors that were built prior to 1900. Often, up North, you will find exotic or expensive woods that were once common, now hard to find and expensive, but in the form of an old door, they are cheap. Black Walnut, Butternut, Cypress, Hickory, Long Leaf Pine, and other great types of wood that were stable and strong were used to make doors that you can often buy for less than the wood costs new at a specialty wood store as these types of wood are not found at the big box store.

Here is an example of a wall of doors with the Murphy Bed and a closet with a half door below the book cases.

Here is an example of a wall of doors with the Murphy Bed and a closet with a half door below the book cases.

This shows the bed down.  The counter weights are hidden in the closet in some designs.

This shows the bed down. The counter weights are hidden in the closet in some designs.

Off from a demolition site, a salvage job, or out of an architectural antiques store, you may be able to find them at a price that you can not pass up compared to the alternatives available today, like plywood, particle board, and other outgassing new building materials. The antique doors are all cured, often only covered with varnish that can be removed by washing them with simple cheap ammonia cleaner, ammonium Hydroxide being the key ingredient at full strength, and the varnish melts away. Ideally, Milk Paint is a great pre-existing finish, but you can also strip lead based paints off with a bit of care and they work great or leave the paint on and add a coating to encapsulate it so that it will not be dusting, or exposed later.

Here is a shot of the raised panel wainscot on the bedroom and living area walls.

Here is a shot of the raised panel wainscot on the bedroom and living area walls.

Here is a great example of using a door for a privacy railing on the loft up above.

Here is a great example of using a door for a privacy railing on the loft up above.

Installing a door to be a wall is as simple as putting down a 1/2″ strip of wood on the floor and butting the bottom of the door against it, and if possible, the top would go straight up to a loft beam that the top can be screwed to. It will add strength to the beam so that you might get by with a smaller loft beam as well as stiffen the wall. By putting one big pocket door as I have, as much as 5′-6′ in a single door, you then have a great wall. I have set several doors side by side to form the wall before and then put a knob and faceplate over the holes in the door for decoration. NO reason to hide what was done as it becomes a great conversation piece for guests.

Here is a good example of a 5' long pocket door being used for a kitchenette / bathroom wall.

Here is a good example of a 5′ long pocket door being used for a kitchenette / bathroom wall.

I have also used two doors for the bottom of the Murphy Beds we make. If you are using a strong wood like Long Leaf Pine, the doors will give you all the support you need for the bottom of the bed structure. There are a number of ways of hinging it, counterweighting it, and even adding a block and tackle or pulley if you do not want to build a counterweight system. The weight of the mattress will determine what you will need to raise and lower it other than a really strong back.

This includes a sliding door to the bathroom made from doors.

This includes a sliding door to the bathroom made from doors.

Here you can see the door slid open.   The oil is fresh and not fully absorbed or the excess wiped off yet.

Here you can see the door slid open. The oil is fresh and not fully absorbed or the excess wiped off yet.

Murphy bed ladder with counter weight under the bottom.  This is with the bed down.

Murphy bed ladder with counter weight under the bottom. This is with the bed down.

Here is the bed up which shows the other two doors that make up the bed platform.

Here is the bed up which shows the other two doors that make up the bed platform.

Here is an example of the two doors going together for the Hill Country Victorian which uses Butternut and Walnut.  Not a strong wood compared to Long Leaf Pine so you will see a center support when it is put up.

Here is an example of the two doors going together for the Hill Country Victorian which uses Butternut and Walnut. Not a strong wood compared to Long Leaf Pine so you will see a center support when it is put up.

Here you can see the shelf used as a floor support.

Here you can see the shelf used as a floor support.

Here is a great use of antique tin ceiling for on the back of the bookcases.

Here is a great use of antique tin ceiling for on the back of the bookcases.

Another view with the bed down.  Note that with it up, the window disappears.

Another view with the bed down. Note that with it up, the window disappears.

Here are the Butternut Doors with the support in the middle that drops down when the bed is lowered to carry the weight in the middle in case thing get bouncy.

Here are the Butternut Doors with the support in the middle that drops down when the bed is lowered to carry the weight in the middle in case thing get bouncy.

Hill Country vicky's Murphy Bed in the down position without a mattress yet.  The door on the right is also Black Walnut like the trim on the doors.

Hill Country vicky’s Murphy Bed in the down position without a mattress yet. The door on the right is also Black Walnut like the trim on the doors.

Here is a great  example of using a giant sliding pocket door for an upper railing to the loft.

Here is a great example of using a giant sliding pocket door for an upper railing to the loft.

Wide pocket doors can also work as a bottom for a Twin sized Murphy Bed as there are doors at 40″ wide and that can then be mounted on the wall so as to lower down sideways or longways to reveal a futon mattress and only take up a few inches of wall when put away. While I have not yet done it, we may well still use some of the thousands of paneled doors we have in stock to cover an entire ceiling. This would be a cool way to give depth to the room without a lot of extra work since there are not outlets and other things to get in the way on the ceiling like there are on the walls.

In the down position but this was a memory foam incredibly heavy mattress that should not be used in my opinion without incredible counter weight, which we did, but did not like.

In the down position but this was a memory foam incredibly heavy mattress that should not be used in my opinion without incredible counter weight, which we did, but did not like.

Here is a King Sized Murphy bed with drop down feet on the top.

Here is a King Sized Murphy bed with drop down feet on the top.

I hope that gives you a couple of good pointers to keep more doors alive and thriving for another hundred years in tiny houses. For quick closets in a house, for tables, work benches, and many other things you can create that I have not covered here, please check back and let me know if you liked this one and I will do another.

Darby
2015