• Junk garden project-Dutch door

    by  • February 17, 2012 • Design, Garden art, How to, Projects, Winter • 9 Comments

    Saturday– Hmmm, Tractor Man gone for the day?  Having coffee and wondering WHAT to do today. I love having a day when nothing is planned.”

    Jeanne Sammons's barn door

    Jeanne Sammons's barn door

    Here is friend, Jeanne Sammons’s barn door which grabbed my attention. I first put it in my ‘Idea’ file, but then thought, ‘I have some of the things to make this!’  I might just go get the bottom half of my old Dutch door and the paint. Luckily it’s warm enough to paint still. I just HAVE to replicate this door.

    Jeanne says “Here’s an old barn wood door that we rescued … I painted it white, added a board frame & grapevine wreath, an old freezer basket, a branch of Curly Willow & took it to daughter’s house with Fall Mum…picture a few yrs old … barn wood is fun to recycle!”

    Dutch door before

    My old Dutch door before, found on trash day.

    Sunday– Pro-ject!! Here is my ‘beginning’, the old bottom section of a Dutch door, which I’d like to transform into a display like Jeanne Sammons made up. Saturday, I scraped and washed the spiders off. Wish I’d seen the spiders before I picked it up and carried it to the shed.

    You all should have seen me carrying it down from the goat shed,…on my head! It was heavy and I thought that would work. Actually my head still hurts! I don’t know how women do that on a regular basis!?!?

    Eyew...spiders!

    Eyeew...spiders!

    See the spiders? I wish I had seen these before carrying this all the way from the shed on the hill. Probably have some down my neck!

    Dutch door after scraping and sanding

    Dutch door after scraping and sanding

    Monday– I brought down an old Dutch door to use as a background for a garden vignette and washed and scraped off the chippy paint. Some areas are bare wood. You can see that it’s possibly had a red undercoat. The question is should I paint this or leave it? Does this side look interesting enough to keep with a clear protective finish or should I start with a fresh paint job?

    The door hardware

    The door hardware causes me to choose the white side to work on first

    Here is the doorknob hardware on the white side. NOT having to take this off and move it to the other side OR finding a new handle more decorative are two good reasons to maybe use the white side.

    Dutch door before-the white side

    Dutch door before-the white side

    I believe I will be looking for clear varnish.  I will take friends’ suggestions to scrape off more loose white paint. After one coat of Marine varnish, I will head to the junk stores in town to look for a wreath and an old wire basket.

    Raw materials found at junk stores

    Raw materials found at junk stores. You can see that the varnish has turned the door quite yellow,...NOT what I wanted.

    Tuesday– Back from the stores with some possibilities… I found two items that can possibly be used in place of Jeanne’s wire basket….didn’t find quite what I wanted but will experiment with these.  Jeanne used a wire freezer basket, lined with moss.

    (See her original picture)  The basket would hold a potted plant like Jeanne’s mum and a branch.  I also found this wreath for $2 and will take off all the ribbon and stuff on it.  So which container, the pale yellow metal basket or the black metal thingy?

    Below is another look she put together using a sun plaque.  I have a chipped ‘old man inter plaque I could use.

    Jeanne Sammons's barn door with the sun plaque

    Jeanne Sammons's barn door with the sun plaque

    Test one

    Test one

    I’ve added the plaque to the center of the wreath. This light brown side has the light yellow metal container for contrast, I thought…. Drain holes could be drilled and plants added.  Hmmm,…not sure…

    Test two

    Test two

    I like the white side better, so will keep experimenting. The pinky-white side turned a bit too yellow, so I’ll be sanding some off. I was disappointed in the Marine varnish and will look for paint to transform the door, now better protected, back to the creamy white.

    Dutch door finds a place in the garden,

    Dutch door finds a place in the garden.

    I leaned the door against this tree…it looks good here, I think,  and so will try one more option going simpler.  This looks a bit busy to me,…not the look I saw in Jeanne’s original idea.

    Dutch door with a terracotta planter

    Dutch door with a terracotta planter, decorated wreath and branch

    Wednesday– After toning down the color which had turned too yellow, here are the suggestions from friends that I used:
    -Some Manzanita branches were added to the wreath to add color.
    -The Old Man Winter plaque was removed for being too terracotta and busy. I painted that so may see if it fits in later.
    -The metal basket was replaced with a larger planter filled with thyme. I’ll be looking for a longer wire basket for Spring.

    The finished door in the garden

    The finished door in the garden

    So, here’s the Dutch door in its place in my Winter California garden. I love it! I’ll be able to change the door around to the brown side when I want, as well.  I’m very happy with the result and the difference is it looks easy for Jeanne and it was hard for me! Ha!

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    9 Responses to Junk garden project-Dutch door

    1. February 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

      “Luckily it’s warm enough to paint”, doesn’t that sound strange for the middle of FEBRUARY!? I keep having to pinch myself, and remind myself, that last year I couldn’t get much done until May because of the weather! I’m not complaining though.

      I love your door, but as I have to build a dutch door from scratch this weekend for our new barn, I want to reach through the screen and steal it 😉 I love it all spruced up though. I agree, Old Man Winter detracted from the door. If he’s painted a similar color now, I think it would be a nice textural addition, without drawing the eye in too acutely. A lovely reuse of a door though that would otherwise be in the back of a shed somewhere. I’ve also seen some beautiful solid wood doors turned into lovely headboards for beds too. I’d love to find one for a project like that someday!

    2. February 17, 2012 at 11:15 am

      “Luckily it’s warm enough to paint”, doesn’t that sound strange for the middle of FEBRUARY!? I keep having to pinch myself, and remind myself, that last year I couldn’t get much done until May because of the weather! I’m not complaining though.

      I love your door, but as I have to build a dutch door from scratch this weekend for our new barn, I want to reach through the screen and steal it 😉 I love it all spruced up though. I agree, Old Man Winter detracted from the door. If he’s painted a similar color now, I think it would be a nice textural addition, without drawing the eye in too acutely. A lovely reuse of a door though that would otherwise be in the back of a shed somewhere. I’ve also seen some beautiful solid wood doors turned into lovely headboards for beds too. I’d love to find one for a project like that someday!

    3. February 17, 2012 at 11:35 am

      Clare, Thanks! I had wanted to use this door in place of our back door, but bowed to the sensibility of keeping the metal door there, here in fire danger area. If you make a door, use Jeanne’s example for a design,..I love it! And no reason why you can hang a wreath on the goat shed door. A plaque by the door and a contrasting door color will make those goats stylish!

    4. Desiree
      February 18, 2012 at 12:45 am

      I love what you’ve done with your Dutch door (we call them stable doors). It makes an eye-pleasing addition to the garden propped against the trunk of that tree and blends in so well with the natural surrounding. The fun thing is that you can play with it each season and move it around to other locations on a whim. I saw a beautifully decorated door at my favourite local nursery, Aspidistra. I must go there soon to photograph it to send to you. It incorporates a lot of mosaic work and old pottery. So cleverly done and makes a stunning art piece for the garden.You might like to copy that idea too, sometime 🙂

    5. Desiree
      February 18, 2012 at 12:45 am

      I love what you’ve done with your Dutch door (we call them stable doors). It makes an eye-pleasing addition to the garden propped against the trunk of that tree and blends in so well with the natural surrounding. The fun thing is that you can play with it each season and move it around to other locations on a whim. I saw a beautifully decorated door at my favourite local nursery, Aspidistra. I must go there soon to photograph it to send to you. It incorporates a lot of mosaic work and old pottery. So cleverly done and makes a stunning art piece for the garden.You might like to copy that idea too, sometime 🙂

    6. February 18, 2012 at 10:45 pm

      What a fun project. I am not much gifted at thinking of such things. But I would like to use something to create shady spots in our sunny ridgetop and your door idea looks like a good one! I may steal it… May you enjoy it for a long time.

    7. July 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Love the project! I’m a big fan of dutch doors and you used these pretty uniquely. Just finished writing about the origin of dutch doors and they are so unique. Might give you a little insight for restoring one in the future. http://wp.me/p26RBT-fd

      • July 22, 2012 at 6:36 pm

        Thanks, Scott, I will read your post! I’m sure it will be interesting…

    8. July 22, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Love the project! I’m a big fan of dutch doors and you used these pretty uniquely. Just finished writing about the origin of dutch doors and they are so unique. Might give you a little insight for restoring one in the future. http://wp.me/p26RBT-fd

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