Skip to Content

How To Repurpose Antique Doors To Create Farmhouse Charm

Want to give your home instant authentic farmhouse charm? You will be amazed how adding repurposed antique doors will impact a newer home. See how using vintage doors and antique door hardware will infuse your home with an authentic old farmhouse feel.

I’ve always wanted to renovate an old farmhouse, but it wasn’t in the cards. Therefore, when we built our new farmhouse, I looked for ways to give the home a timeless feel. We used antique light fixtures and shiplap walls to create an authentic farmhouse aesthetic. However, what made the biggest impact was the antique doors and antique door handles we installed. We have often been asked, “What did the house look like originally?”. It’s our biggest compliment.

But you’ll not believe how everything fell into place and how we ended up with seven antique doors in our modern farmhouse.

So, let’s take a look at how to repurpose antique doors and why you want them in your home.

Rudy at vintage screen door repurposed as pantry door in modern farmhouse country chic farmhouse.

(Posts on The Ponds Farmhouse may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure details here.)

Why Should You Use Vintage Doors In Your Home?

Why would you want to install vintage or antique doors in a new home? Most older homes have a unique character, and you will find that old antique doors also have much more character than you find in newer doorsOlder doors’

The styles, wood, and time-worn fors are hard to duplicate. If you are an antique or vintage lover, you know what I’m talking about. If you want a home with character and an authentic vintage aesthetic, you should consider adding salvaged doors.

Antique Door repurposed into barn door for modern country chic farmhouse.

Where To Find Antique Doors

If you are considering adding antique doors to an existing home or a new build, first, you need to find the doors.

You may luck up and find antique doors in vintage shops on occasion. However, if you are seriously shopping, I recommend checking into shspecializinglize in architectural salvage. Many will have stacks and stacks of old doors.

We have shopped at Legacy Salvage in Wilmington, NC, and they have many great old doors. I’ve also visited Black Dog Salvage in Roanoke, VA. They have two store locations and an eBay store. You may have seen them on Salvage Dawgs, which airs on the Magnolia network.

We got really lucky when we were planning our farmhouse. I’ll explain where our doors were found as I share each door with you.

What Are The Pros and Cons To Using Antique Doors

Here are sthe pros and cons of using antique doors in a newer home.

First, the pros:

  • They add unmatched character to a newer home.
  • It will possibly cost less than a new door of a similar quality. (depends on where you purchase)
  • They help to make a new home look vintage.

Cons:

  • You have to find the door, which can be time-consuming.
  • You may possibly pay more for an antique door than a new door. (depending on where you purchase)
  • Installation costs. Most old doors will not come with a door frame or jamb. Therefore, it has to be built by hand. Fortunately, our builder was all in on using the old doors and built the door jambs without a fuss.
  • Finding the correct door side can be challenging if it is installed in an existing home.

I hope I haven’t talked you out of this. I promise the results are so worth the effort.

Repurposed Antique Doors In A Modern Farmhouse

As we were planning our new farmhouse, I wanted to add as much character as possible. Therefore, searching for authentic antique light fixtures, doors, and hardware took up a lot of our time.

We already had one door that we had purchased and never used in our previous home. But we had a long way to go, and then something wonderful happened.

But I’m getting ahead of myself; let me start at the beginning.

Bathroom Antique Door

We had purchased an old door when we built our previous home. It was always just leaning against a wall as decoration in that house. It still has the original chippy white paint, and we decided to install it in the half bathroom upstair.

This door still has the original antique door handles, which are crystal and all the hardware was in working order.

The Antique Barn Door

The first door we purchased was at an antique shop specializing in European Antiques. I wanted a unique door to repurpose as a barn door. The lady in the shop was skeptical because the door would need to be tall, and the only tall door she had was this one.

We call it the jail door. I really can’t imagine where it was used, but we have loved having such a unique piece of door art in our home.

The interesting antique door hardware truly makes it a unique accessory in the farmhouse. The warm finish is almost an exact match for our antique cupboard that we purchased in the same antique shop several years ago.

How To Repurpose A Screen Door: Pantry Door

Next, we found an old screen door that had been repurposed with a chalkboard and tin. It was perfectly chippy with layers of original paint. The repurposed old door has so much character and that rounded top. I had to have it.

I asked my builder if we could use it for a pantry door, and he said he could make it work. Yay!

The pantry door is a focal point of the kitchen, and I love having the chalkboard for seasonal messages.

Vintage screen door repurposed into pantry door for modern farmhouse kitchen.

The Amazing Thing That Happened

Once I decided on these three doors, I thought it would be amazing to use more old doors. But where would I find them?

And then it happened, and I couldn’t believe it.

Our friend and grading contractor told me he had salvaged doors from an 1800 farmhouse that was being demolished. He had never found a use for them and said I could have them. What? FREE doors!

So my builder went with me to pick them up, and y’all, I was so excited. I got three full-size antique doors and one baby door.

It really is a baby door, and I couldn’t imagine where it had been used. However, my builder had an idea, and here’s what we did with it.

We had an opening for a crawl space in the loft that was 42 inches high. The vintage wood door was almost 6 feet tall, but he had a plan.

Small vintage door used for crawl space door in loft.

Here, you can see what’s behind the repurposed old door. It makes me smile every time I look at it. I’m so glad he had the vision to use the tiny door.

crawl space in loft with vintage wood door that was extra small.

Bedroom and Bathroom Vintage Wood Doors

Two more of the free vintage wood doors were added at the other end of the farmhouse.

One is the door to our guest bathroom and it was painted on one side and stained on the other. The guest bedroom door is stained on both sides.

In order to preserve the authentic appearance of the doors, I only cleaned them. They all still have their original finish.

The Coat Closet Door

At this point, all the main interior doors are repurposed antique doors except for the coat closet. That door is located at the end of the hall between the two antique doors. I knew we had to find an old door for it also.

So we went antiquing and found the perfect size door at a barn sale.

three antique doors add vintage charm to modern farmhouse with vintage wood doors

Antique Door Hardware

In addition to using vintage doors, consider adding antique door hardware. All the interior doors in the farmhouse have antique door handles. Even the three doors that are not old.

A few of the doors had the antique door handles still attached, but many did not. Once again, I was fortunate. My brother had rescued some old door knobs and gave me all I needed.

The door hardware adds another level to the authenticity of the old doors.

Antique Door Handle on vintage door of coat closet in country farmhouse.

You can add the old door handles to your existing doors to add a vintage touch to your home. They are fairly easy to find at salvage stores, antique malls, etc.

We used a combination of crystal antique door handles and white porcelain. The white porcelain door knobs were popular in the mid-eighteen hundreds, while crystal was more popular in the early 1920s.

Since I had several options at my disposal, I used a mix and added the vintage door hardware to the new interior doors as well.

Talk about original old door knobs. Check out this vintage door knob. Can you guess what it’s made from? I had to leave such a curiosity in place.

It’s an old wooden thread spool. LOL

How To Make A New Door Look Old

You may wonder what we did with the remaining doors in the farmhouse. Well, there are only three more interior doors to worry about. Two are in our bathroom, and one is in the guest bathroom.

At this point, I felt I’d pushed our builder to his limit with old doors, and so we added three new doors. However, instead of just painting them, I added a faux finish to each door to give it a vintage feel.

No, they don’t look as good as the real deal, but no one seems to notice but me.

This is the closet door in the guest bathroom.

Closet door with faux antique finish in bathroom of modern farmhouse.

To achieve an aged appearance, I used three colors of chalk paint and then waxed the doors with a mixture of clear and dark wax.

All three doors received the same finish, and the antique door hardware adds to the vintage vibe.

New Door with faux finish and antique door hardware in modern farmhouse.  Cottagecore style decorating.

Authentic Farmhouse Charm With Antique Doors

Each of the doors used in the farmhouse has its own unique charm. So, instead of trying to make them match, they remain as I found them.

I consider each one a piece of art. They add so much character and vintage charm to our home.

Final Word

I’m so thankful to have a builder who was willing to see my vision and act upon it. I am especially thankful for my friend’s gift of the doors and my brother’s gift of hardware. It’s amazing how things seem to work out in the end.

Building a new home that is filled with history takes work. It’s easier to just buy something new but establishing a curated home is my passion. As long as the projects were not cost-prohibitive, I’m all in for the challenge.

I truly believe that the universe works in mysterious ways, and if you want something badly enough and really work for it, everything aligns to make it all work out.

Please let me know if you’d like to add character to your home by repurposing vintage pieces or if you have already done so. I’d love to hear your journey.

I hope you enjoyed our journey, and BTW, you might wonder what happened to the other FREE door.

We finally found a use for it last year when we added a closet to our tiny beach cottage. You can read all about it at Tiny Beach Cottage Before and After.

Resources

Click images to shop for vintage and antique door hardware.

Additional Articles You May Enjoy

If you enjoyed this article, check out these similar ones.

Pin It To Remember It

Did you find some great ideas you’d like to save for future reference? Hover over the images you’d like to save and pin to your favorite Pinterest Boards when you see the PIN button.

Bill Evans

Sunday 4th of February 2024

My house was built in 1955 with all hollow core ( cheap) doors. Luckily, we live in an area rich in antiques and old buildings that are being other rehabed or torn down. So in the ‘60’s it was easy to replace all my doors with 6 panel solid doors with rimlocks. Also i used a variety of door knobs . Brass, bennington, white porcelain, etc. Kind of an eclecic mix.

Rachel

Sunday 4th of February 2024

Bill, That is wonderful. I know it added so much character to your home. Thanks for sharing.

Lisa

Sunday 4th of February 2024

I've even salvaged the engraved hinges and hinge pins from old houses being bulldozed in my area for years. I also salvaged the brick from 3 old houses for free in my neighborhood after a tornado strike thanks to the very generous owner. Life is good!

Rachel

Sunday 4th of February 2024

Lisa, Yes, that's amazing. I love old hinges and nails. Also.

Shelley

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Rachel I too love old doors. I have one that was an old victorian exterior on my lower level closet. It was in horrible condition and had been broken into, we weren't able to save the lock box but, a lot of ingenuity, removing 12 coats of lead paint, and chalk paint created something really special. I used an old porch screen with great copper and a mail slot on a barn door mechanism for our laundry room. It pleases me every time I slide one of these open. Please feel free to check out my blog. I think you'de enjoy https://fortheloveofold.net.

Rachel

Sunday 4th of February 2024

Shelley, Thank you for sharing. I hopped over and love your design style. Your article on trends follows my feelings as well. I love a curated home. Have a blessed day.

Phyllis

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Great article! Thanks for the info. I want to change out our coat closet door for a vintage door. We have one old barn door in the office & love it!

Rachel

Saturday 3rd of February 2024

Phyllis, Do it. It will make such a statement. Thanks for sharing.