Repurpose An Old Door Into A DIY Desk For Your Home Office

If you've just done renovations and have a spare door lying around, now's the time to repurpose it into a desk. The great thing about this DIY hack is, it's super simple. All you have to do is prep your door, flip it on its side, and use something to prop it up as a tabletop. 

Of course, just how much effort you'll need to put into this repurposing project depends on the door itself. If yours is in great condition, prep might end with a wipe down and some wood putty (Amazon stocks this in various wood shades for under $7) to cover up the cross and latch bores. On the other hand, if it's been in your garage for a while, or you picked it up at an estate sale, sanding and re-varnishing may be in order, too. You may even want to switch things up and use a different color stain, or even paint the door in another color or fun design. 

The design of the door also makes a difference. Flat, slab doors make for an almost instant desk. However, if yours has molding or ridged details, you won't have an even workspace. You could create one using putty, but keep in mind that would take away some of the door's character. If you'd rather avoid that, head to your nearest glass shop, tell them you need a sheet for a desk, and ask for a quote.

Use sawhorses or filing cabinets as the desk's base

Once you have your door prepped, it's time to create your desk's base, and two sawhorses can do the trick. Clearly, you don't want something in your home office that looks like it's straight out of the workshop, so shop around for something neutral. One option is the Burro Brand wooden folding sawhorse, which is available at Walmart for $180 for a set of two. Plus, at 29 inches tall, it's roughly the height of most desks. The set can also hold up 3,600 pounds altogether, which is also incredibly helpful (though, as we'll get into in a sec, we certainly don't recommend overloading this DIY desk).

Another way to create a base is with two filing cabinets placed at either end of the door. Amazon stocks one option for about $73, with a height of around 25 inches. Alternatively, if you're open to something a little shorter, the IKEA MALM is a sturdy choice, coming in at $89.99 each. Better yet, go for a full-on repurposed hack and use the old filing cabinets you already have. That said, before deciding on any cabinet, be sure to compare its dimensions to those of your door. The cabinet's depth doesn't need to match your door's width exactly, but if there's too much of a disparity, you could end up with an office desk that risks toppling over every time you work on it. 

Knock to see if your door is solid before doing anything

Before repurposing your door into an office desk, it's crucial that you knock on the door to determine whether it's solid or hollow, because one of the unfortunate drawbacks of hollow-core doors is that they don't hold much weight. In fact, you may even deal with some warping if you use a hollow door for a desk. 

Opting for the filing cabinets option would help a lot here, as you'd be able to keep a lot of your items off the desktop itself. Alternatively, one other possibility would be to secure plywood to the door using adhesive (like Gorilla Glue construction adhesive, available on Amazon for around $8). Granted, YouTuber Heart to Home Woodworking pointed out that even with that, he ended up needing to create a metal support to ensure everything stayed up — though it is worth noting that he also poured epoxy into the door's molds, which added to the weight. 

At the end of the day, you know yourself best, so if your door is hollow and you know it's unrealistic to keep your desk empty, it may be safer to avoid this home office hack. That said, if you can make it work, it's certainly worth a shot.