Friday, May 4, 2018

It's a Door...It's a Table...It's a Door-able!

My latest project - constructing a table for my ever expanding art space in the house - turned out to be one of my favorite of all time.

Since I can hardly wait to debut it, I'll start with the finished piece and work backwards.
My little photo construction journal will follow - plenty of detail just in case you want to make one of your own!

A little drum roll please...

This is my new work table ~

My new door-able project - a door, a table, a display case, and more...

I have dubbed it "A Door-able" - a little play on words for this combination of a door and table.

Before the construction details, here is a little back story:

In an effort to create more room in our home for my ever expanding art space, I decided to take over the front room of the house.

I do most of my tangling in this room already, sitting at a cozy antique desk tucked into one corner. I rigged an adjacent counter to it, along with some shelving and a file drawer.  It is very quiet in this room, it's close to the front door, and near enough to the action of the house if I choose to participate but secluded enough if I don't.

Just this week, I donated the older couch that sat in the room for a bit too many years as well as an organ that had long been forgotten by our musically inclined children.

One 'must have' for my newly defined room was a large work table - space to spread projects out, have my Knuckleballers over to sit around and share ideas, and to use as back up when our dining room proves too small for added guests.

A bit of sticker shock set in when I priced out my table wish list.  Estimated costs were upwards of one thousands dollars or more for a large, wooden (a deep walnut color to match our piano) one with clean lines in more of a transitional style.

Then one afternoon last month when Lou and I went out to lunch, inspiration struck!
We ate at a very homey Italian place that, besides having delicious food, featured dining tables made from old wooden doors.  In an instant, I knew just what I wanted to create.

I found the perfect starting point at a Habitat for Humanity resale shop - a beautiful, over-sized, wooden French door.  It was just the right color, the glass panels were square, not the usual rectangular shape of most, AND it was a steal at $20!

I gathered the materials, tools, and know-how for the job after several Google searches on table construction, trips to Home Depot, and tools from my dad's stash.

The materials list included:

18 feet of 1" x 3" poplar to create the under framing (skirt)
4 pre-made wooden table legs
Wood glue
Back saw and miter box
Saw horses
Jig for drilling pilot holes - used to secure adjoining pieces of wood (i.e. the skirt to the legs)
Long screws made to fit the pilot holes
Pre-cut dowel rod plugs to fill the pilot holes
Fine sandpaper
Kilz 2 (primer)
Black acrylic paint
White trim paint
Glass to cover the entire table surface (I ordered this from a local glass and mirror company.)

Preparing the wood for the under frame (skirt) took some time.  I sanded...
 primed, sanded...
and finished with two coats of black paint.

Once the prep work was complete, my son Louie and I loaded the materials into his truck and took them all over to my parent's house.  

We set up saw horses in their driveway and got right to work.  Thankfully it was a beautiful day and ideal for working outside.

We decided where to place the legs, and my dad began removing the doorknob hardware.

Louie marked the leg positions.

We secured the first two legs and attached the first piece of the skirt using the new jig to drill precise pilot holes.  My dad's smile reflects the sense of accomplishment we all felt!

The longer we worked, the more tools piled up on the table :).
After too many of my admonitions to be careful with the glass, Louie thought it would be fun to tease me about breaking it - funny guy that he is!

We had a good system in place by the time we were about half way through. 

Construction complete!

Once back home, I set the table up in the entry way of our house...

The top and bottom of the door were unfinished as were the holes where the hardware was removed.

I used painter's tape to mask off the sides and rolled one coat of Kilz 2 primer...

and then another, followed by two coats of gloss white trim paint.
(The round coasters under each leg made it easy to move the table around as I painted.)

And then the fun began!

In true zentangle® fashion, without measuring, I began painting a checkered pattern.

It helped to use a brush about 3/4 the size of the squares I was painting.  This allowed for some splaying of the paint coated bristles.  I used two to three strokes to create each black square.

I wasn't too sure how the indents from the hinges would look when painted, but I was pleasantly surprised that the paint covered so smoothly. 

Once the four sides were checkered black and white, I added touches of color in a MacKenzie Childs' fashion.  With a semi-dry brush, stroking from the top downward, I added gold, pink, blue, and purple.

Oooh!  This was getting exciting!

I washed the glass panes three times to get them to shine.  This picture was taken half way through that process - look at the difference between the left and the right side ~

Next, I gathered my tangled tiles, a bit of memorabilia, and began grouping and arranging them on each of the squares of glass.

Here is a close up of one.  It holds an open booklet from zenAgain 2017, a little note from Maria and Rick, and a smattering of my tiles.

My husband suggested that I secure everything because the table would be moved from time to time.  I used Glue Dots - clear removable circles - to hold down each piece.  (I just happened to have an industrial sized box of them from my Tangled Frame business.)

An "I love zentangle" decal covered the door nob hole perfectly.

One side...

and the other...

Finally, everything was in place and secured.

Lou and I placed the glass top over the entire thing - and voila! - the masterpiece was complete!

A door, a table, a display case, a work space - it is everything I envisioned when I first saw the basic door/table idea in that little Italian restaurant where Lou and I enjoyed lunch.

With many thanks to my dad and son for the manpower and willingness to help, I am so pleased with how it turned out and cannot wait to make it the centerpiece of my 'new' room.


  1. Wow... this is a most amazing and adorable (pun intended!) project! If we had the space, I'd be already off planning my own Door-Table. I hope you'll have many many hours of fun sitting at this beauty!

  2. What a beautiful table and a lovely helpful family!

  3. Awesomeness! Thanks for sharing your process. Positively inspired and inspiring!

  4. Wow Adèle,this is just beautiful! Did you fix the glastop in any way?
    Hmmm I will soon have a spare door like yours because of creating finally a gave me a good idea for my « atelier »

    1. The top is not fixed, but the company I purchased it from provided eight 1/2" plastic circles that were placed on the table before the glass top. They keep the glass from sliding from side to side.
      Send a picture if you get to make one of your own!

  5. This was the most fantastic idea for storing and showcasing Zentangle tiles I've seen yet Adele. Wonderful result!

  6. How wonderful, Adele! It looks so good! Please post a picture of the room with the table in it. - Sra

    1. Thanks, Sra. The room is still a work in progress. I will post a picture when its completed.

  7. I'm sure you'll be a-dooring your table for many years to come. It's a beauty Adele!

  8. Congratulations, Adele, on your finished project. Your table is a fabulous work of art with Zentangle art, too. Thank you for sharing your family's story and pictures of the process, too. Loved the journey!

    1. Thank you, Lin. You will have to come for a visit soon.

  9. Fantastic idea and beautiful result, I love that table!!!

  10. Oh my goodness!!!! This is brilliant, beautiful, and mind-blowing!!!