8 Old Screen Door Ideas: Sustainable & Charming

Repurposed Screen Door

Even old screen doors can be re-purposed in a number of clever and beautiful ways! If you have one, then you’ve got to see these ideas…

Old and weathered screen doors may look ugly for an entry door, but re-purposing or upcycling is a great way for bringing out their beauty.

Upcycled Screen Door

So don’t throw away or destroy your old screen door just yet! See the various, beautiful ways of recycling them on our list below.

Do you have any ideas to add to this list?

Sustainable Screen Door Ideas

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1. Chicken Wire & Screen Door Display

Transforming an old screen door into a display piece with chicken wire is a creative and functional project. To begin, remove the existing screen and securely attach chicken wire in its place. This setup allows you to hang various decorations, photos, or even small plants, adding a unique charm to any room or outdoor space.

Consider painting the door frame to match seasonal themes, holidays, or your home’s decor. For a more rustic look, you might leave the wood in its natural state or use a distressed paint technique. Adding hooks or small shelves can increase its functionality, making it a versatile piece for organizing or showcasing items.

2. Sliding Door

Creating a sliding door from an old screen door offers both aesthetic and practical benefits. It’s a stylish solution for adding privacy to areas like the dining room or a home office without sacrificing natural light. To adapt a screen door for sliding functionality, install a track above the doorway and ensure the door is fitted with rollers for smooth movement.

You can customize the door by painting it, adding a design, or even replacing parts of the screen with glass or fabric for a different look. This project not only recycles an old door but also adds a unique feature to your home that can enhance the flow and use of space.

3. Garden Feature

An old screen door offers a charming way to add character to your garden. Whether it’s too weathered for indoor use or you’re simply looking for a unique outdoor element, a screen door can be repurposed into a beautiful garden feature. Consider using it as a trellis for climbing plants or a decorative backdrop for a garden nook. 

Painting it in bright colors or leaving it with its natural, rustic patina can enhance its visual appeal. Adding hooks or shelves can make it a functional piece for hanging garden tools or displaying potted plants. This creative use of a screen door not only recycles but also brings a touch of whimsy and history to your garden space.

4. Divider

Repurposed screen doors are excellent for dividing spaces in a home without closing them off completely. They offer a unique solution for creating distinct areas while maintaining an open, airy feel. Screen doors can serve as dividers in large rooms, between a dining area and living space, or to separate a home office area in a bedroom. 

Customizing the door to fit the decor of your room is easy—you can paint it, add fabric or wallpaper to the panels, or even modify the screen itself to include glass or mirrors for a more polished look. This not only adds functionality to your living space but also introduces an element of design that is both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

5. Chalkboard

An old screen door can find new life as a chalkboard, as a functional and creative addition to any home or business. By replacing the screen with a chalkboard panel, you can create a space for children to draw and write, or a place for jotting down reminders, grocery lists, and messages for family members. 

This repurposed door can become a charming way to display the daily menu or specials for businesses like cafes and restaurants, adding a rustic or vintage flair to the decor. Customizing the frame with paint or decorative elements allows it to blend seamlessly with your interior design, making it a utility piece and statement item.

6. Potting Bench

Transforming an old screen door into a potting bench breathes new life into both your garden and the door itself. Attaching the door to a sturdy table base creates a dedicated space for potting plants, storing garden tools, and organizing gardening supplies. 

The screen can serve as a backdrop for hanging tools or even be modified with shelves and hooks for additional storage. Painting the door to withstand outdoor conditions extends its life and adds a splash of color to your garden. This project recycles an old item and enhances your gardening experience by providing a functional and aesthetically pleasing work area.

7. Jewelry Rack

Repurposing an old screen door into a jewelry rack is a stylish and practical solution for those with a jewelry collection. This creative transformation allows you to organize and neatly display your necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and other accessories. The screen’s mesh or wire is perfect for hanging items, making it easy to see everything at a glance and select what you want to wear. 

Adding small hooks or bars can accommodate different types of jewelry, while painting the door in your favorite color or a shade that complements your room decor can also turn it into a decorative piece. This idea saves space and turns your jewelry into a part of your room’s aesthetic.

8. Pantry Door

Swapping out a solid pantry door for an old screen door can transform the look and feel of your kitchen or dining area. This switch adds a touch of charm and character, and the screen allows for ventilation, helping to keep your pantry contents fresh. 

If privacy is a concern, consider adding a light fabric or lace behind the screen to obscure the view while still letting the air flow. Painting the door to match or accent your kitchen’s color scheme can integrate it seamlessly into your home’s design. This simple change not only repurposes an old item but also enhances the functionality and appearance of your pantry space.

Creative Ways to Paint and Decorate Upcycled Screen Doors

Upcycling old screen doors offers a fantastic opportunity to add a personal touch to your home decor. You can transform a simple screen door into a statement piece with creativity and paint. Here are some creative ways to paint and decorate upcycled screen doors:

Choose a Theme

Selecting a theme before starting your project sets the tone for your upcycled screen door. If you’re drawn to a rustic farmhouse look, consider using natural wood finishes or distressed paint techniques that evoke a sense of warmth and history. 

Light blues, greens, and whites can mimic the calming colors of the sea and sand, complemented by nautical decorations like ropes or starfish for a coastal chic vibe. Modern minimalism favors clean lines and neutral colors, making a simple yet bold statement. 

Alternatively, a colorful bohemian theme allows for vibrant hues and eclectic patterns, reflecting a free-spirited and artistic style. Your chosen theme will influence the colors and the selection of decorative accents, ensuring the door perfectly complements the intended space.

Bold Colors and Patterns

Embracing bold colors and patterns can breathe new life into an old screen door, making it a focal point of any room or outdoor space. Bright, eye-catching colors such as turquoise, magenta, or sunny yellow can instantly uplift the door’s appearance. 

When selecting patterns, geometric shapes offer a modern and dynamic look, while stripes can create the illusion of height or width, depending on their orientation. Floral designs, on the other hand, add a touch of nature and whimsy, perfect for a garden setting or to bring a bit of the outdoors inside. 

To achieve crisp, professional-looking patterns, use painter’s tape to mask off areas before painting. This method helps create sharp lines and avoid bleed-through, ensuring a clean and polished finish. Mixing and matching colors and patterns can add depth and interest, creating a truly unique piece.

Stencils and Artwork

Using stencils on your upcycled screen door allows for precision and creativity in adding intricate designs. The variety of stencils available in craft stores means you can find patterns that align with any theme, from floral and lace to geometric and abstract. If you’re aiming for something uniquely yours, crafting your stencils from cardboard or plastic sheets can be a rewarding DIY project. 

This personalized approach lets you incorporate symbols, favorite quotes, or any design with special meaning. Beyond stencils, consider turning the door into a canvas for your artwork. A hand-painted mural, whether it’s a landscape, a scene from nature, or an abstract composition, can turn the door into a standout piece of art. This approach showcases your painting skills and gives the screen door a second life as a decorative masterpiece.

Distressed Look

Achieving a distressed look on your screen door adds character and a sense of history to the piece. This technique is particularly effective for vintage, rustic, or shabby chic themes. Start by choosing two complementary paint colors that will work well together—one as a base coat and the other as the top coat. 

After the base coat is dry, apply the top coat. Once the top layer has fully dried, use sandpaper to gently remove parts of it, focusing on areas that would naturally experience wear over time, such as edges, corners, and raised details. This process reveals the base coat underneath, creating an appealing aged effect. 

For a more pronounced distressed look, you can use tools to lightly dent or scratch the door before painting. A finishing wax or sealant will protect your work and enhance the door’s antique appearance. This distressed finishing technique adds visual interest and imbues the door with a storied charm, making it a conversation piece in your home.

Add Fabric or Wallpaper

Enhancing your upcycled screen door with fabric or wallpaper is an excellent way to introduce texture and pattern into your interior design. This approach is particularly effective for doors that serve as room dividers, adding visual appeal and a measure of privacy. 

Start by selecting a fabric or wallpaper that matches or complements the existing decor in your room. Consider the color scheme, style, and scale of the pattern to ensure it enhances the overall look of the space. To attach fabric, you might use a staple gun or adhesive to secure it behind the screen areas, while wallpaper can be applied directly onto the flat surfaces of the door with wallpaper glue. 

This customization allows for various design possibilities, from elegant and sophisticated to bold and colorful. Additionally, this method can be easily changed or updated to match evolving decor styles, making your screen door a versatile and adaptable piece in your home.

Incorporate Nature

Incorporating elements of nature into your upcycled screen door can create a harmonious connection between your outdoor living space and the natural world. This is especially fitting for doors placed in garden or patio settings. Consider painting the door with designs inspired by nature, such as floral motifs, leaf patterns, or even a landscape scene. These can be stenciled on for precision or hand-painted for a more artistic touch. 

Adding three-dimensional elements like branches, driftwood, or flowers can also create an engaging tactile experience. These can be attached directly to the door frame or woven into the screen, offering the design a unique texture and depth. 

This method not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space but also invites a sense of calm and beauty, reflecting the tranquility of nature. Whether aiming for a subtle hint of nature or a bold statement piece, integrating natural elements into your screen door project can transform it into a captivating focal point in your garden or patio area.

Functional Accents

When repurposing a screen door, integrating functional accents enhances its aesthetic appeal and boosts its utility. Adding hooks and small shelves transforms the door into a practical piece for everyday use. Hooks can serve as a convenient spot for hanging keys, hats, or light outerwear, ensuring these items are easily accessible right when you enter or exit your home. 

On the other hand, small shelves provide a perfect display area for decorative items, small plants, or even daily essentials like mail and sunglasses. These functional accents play a crucial role when specifically adapting a screen door into a jewelry organizer. 

Strategically placed hooks and rods can organize necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, preventing tangles and making selection effortless. Mesh or wire sections of the door are ideal for hanging earrings, offering visibility and accessibility. 

The key to incorporating these functional accents is to do so in a way that feels intentional and cohesive with the overall design, ensuring that the door remains a visually appealing element in your space.


Incorporating lighting into an upcycled screen door can transform it from a simple decorative piece into a captivating feature that enhances the ambiance of any outdoor or indoor setting. For outdoor use, string or fairy lights can be intertwined with the screen or wrapped around the frame, casting a soft, inviting glow that adds charm to your garden, patio, or porch after sunset. 

This lighting illuminates the area and highlights the door’s design details, creating a magical and enchanting effect that elevates the overall atmosphere. For indoor doors, subtle LED strip lighting can be installed along the edges to frame the piece and draw attention to it, making it a focal point in the room. 

Consider energy-efficient options and appropriate weatherproofing measures for outdoor installations when choosing lighting. The addition of lighting to your upcycled screen door increases its functionality and enhances its beauty, making it a versatile and striking element in your decor.

FAQ on Upcycling Old Screen Doors

Can I upcycle any old screen door?

Yes, most old screen doors can be upcycled. However, the condition of the door will influence what projects are suitable. Doors in good structural condition are versatile, while those with more wear may be better suited for decorative purposes.

What tools will I need for upcycling a screen door?

Basic tools include a screwdriver, sandpaper, paintbrushes, a staple gun (for fabric projects), and a saw or drill if you plan to modify the door’s structure. The specific project will dictate any additional tools needed.

How do I choose the right paint for my screen door project?

Select outdoor paint for doors exposed to the elements, and indoor paint for interior projects. Consider using a primer for better adhesion and a sealant to protect your finished project.

Can I upcycle a screen door without any DIY experience?

Absolutely! Many projects are beginner-friendly, such as turning a door into a chalkboard or attaching hooks for a key holder. Start with simple modifications and progress to more complex ones as you gain confidence.

How can I make my upcycled screen door functional?

Incorporate elements like shelves, hooks, or lighting to add functionality. Consider your needs, such as storage or decoration, to determine which features to add.

What are some creative ways to decorate an upcycled screen door?

Use paint, stencils, fabric, or wallpaper to add visual interest. You can also attach decorative accents like vintage knobs, frames, or even planters.


Upcycling old screen doors offers a wonderful opportunity to unleash your creativity while enhancing your home’s functionality and aesthetic appeal. With a range of projects, from decorative art pieces to practical household items, there’s no limit to what you can achieve. Choosing the right project to match your skill level and decor style allows you to breathe new life into an old screen door.

We hope you find these ideas helpful and beautiful, just like we do. If you think we missed an idea, share it with us through the comments section below. 🙂



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