DIwYatt: More Than Doors

By | April 18, 2013

As spring has slowly started to arrive, we have been thinking about our garden plans and realized that there are a lot of animals that will likely want to snack on out plants. (We have moles, rabbits, and even a groundhog…)

So, we were thinking about trying to make some raised beds.  The only problem is that this could be expensive depending on the materials we use to build them. Then we had a genius idea… Remember these hollow-core doors that we replaced last summer? (Here’s the post about that project.)

Well, they have been sitting in the garage taking up space, much to  our dismay. IMG_3158

They have been used for work benches and painting tables, as seen by the smears of stain on the one behind the tomato cages:

Home depot project pic

But we came up with a new idea for them—raised garden beds. We had six 24-inch wide doors, three 34-inch doors, and one 36-inch door.  We removed all of the hardware from the doors and set those aside to try to sell at the spring garage sale.

removing door hardware

I used the 24 inch doors for the long sides of each box, and then cut 24 inches off of the top and bottom of the three 34 inch doors for the ends of the boxes.

cutting doors

Now, because these are wooden, and not built for outdoor use, and because we want these to last for several years without breaking down, we are taking a couple of steps to prevent the wood from rotting. One of which is to paint the inside and outside of the raised beds with exterior paint as a coating to protect against water seeping into the wood.

Before you paint, make sure to wipe them down to get rid of the saw dust.

wiping garden beds

As for painting, we figured exterior paint would be the most waterproof.

garden bed paint

We used Glidden Brilliance Collection Exterior Paint, 2 in 1 primer, in a mis-tinted pastel-army green color (because it was half off and we figure the color doesn’t matter that much outside, right?) We’re all for getting a good deal.

garden bed paint 2

Melissa had the foresight to paint one side of the doors so that we didn’t have to fight with painting inside the boxes once assembled. Genius.

painting garden beds 3

Next I pre-drilled the three screw holes on each corner so that I didn’t split the doors when I screwed them together.

building garden beds 4

I used the left-over screws from the workbench I built last summer. (You can see it on our home tour page.)


Once I put the four sides together, we set the boxes up on the saw horses for Melissa to paint the outsides.

painting garden beds

She was a lot faster at painting the boxes than I was at assembling them. This was mostly because neither of the batteries to my drill were charged to start with. (Something to always check ahead of time!) So, they would only charge up enough to drill the holes and put in one or two screws.

building garden beds 3

So I had to screw them together by hand. Being the first big project after winter break, I was out of working shape and had a dead arm at the end of the day.

building garden beds

After drying for a bit, the storm started to roll in and it began to rain. With the chance of golf ball sized hail, we worked fast to stack the boxes up so we could pull the cars into the garage. It was quite a tight fit, but we didn’t want to damage Rhonda this close to the end goal of 300,000 miles.

finished garden beds in garage

The next step will be to finish water/weather proofing the boxes before setting them in the ground. Unfortunately, the ground’s pretty wet so I’m not sure when it will be dry enough to do any dirt work without really tearing up the year. Melissa’s pretty impatient to get the garden planted, but we still have plenty of time.

More to come on this project, so stay tuned. Have you started to prep for your garden plans?

And for a (sad) update on how our seedlings are fairing, check out this post

8 thoughts on “DIwYatt: More Than Doors

  1. 4elizabeth

    You guys are going to have REALLY raised beds … ours is only raised 6 inches or so. I’ve never seen any that high, but that might look cool and it should certainly keep out rabbits.

    1. Melissa

      Yea, everything I read online said we’d need at least 18 inches to keep out rabbits so we went for the taller ones to hopefully protect from the moles, too. And to avoid having to make more cuts in the doors. I’m excited to see yours, too, though!

  2. Donita

    They look great! Should keep out the critters. I look forward to a meal out of the “fruits of your labor”, hopefully we will get invited up this summer.

    1. Melissa

      Of course you’ll be invited up for a meal…if we ever have vegetables…and if we ever have a kitchen table big enough for everyone!

  3. Heidi

    Great idea! I have been thinking about making a chicken wire fence once we get our plants outside

  4. scott willingham

    Hi there, great idea I have been thinking about it for a while now. The one question-which I haven’t researched yet, and I see you used paint which raises another question; what about contamination from the paint. And if you don’t paint them there is the question of the lacquers used on the doors? Thanks, keep on growin.

    1. Wyatt Post author

      Hi Scott! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. We actually used a lining that will serve as a barrier. I will be posting about it later this week so be sure to check back!


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