We began by hunting everywhere in Austin for reclaimed wood to start the project. But I was surprised to learn just how expensive reclaimed wood can be! I know I didn't want to (nor could I) spend $2,000 just to have a door that will cover up my existing garage door, so I almost gave up on the idea altogether until my dad came across Mike Draper's This Old Wood. There I found an original barn door which was salvaged from the 1890's (it pays to be patient sometimes).
The door is amazing in that it had all its original hardware in place (rusty nails, bolts and hinges). I fell in love with it and Mike gave me a good deal. It wasn't in the best of shape--some wood rot and breakage--but my father hauled it back to my house in his trailer and then took an entire day deconstructing it by taking out the bad panels, rearranging the good ones and cutting off the bad bits.
Nothing new was purchased (except for the top railing area at the end). My father carefully took out every single nail (I think I counted 75) and every lag bolt, then cleaned them to re-use again.
Then my father hammered back in the old nails, re-bolted the bolts into one set of the hinges (for decorative flair). We still need to do the bottom hinge area, but I am still searching for some more square head lag bolts to do that with (they're hard to find as they don't make them anymore).
Next, we took an entire day and went to countless antique shops looking for the right "handle." We went to shops in 5 different cities looking for this special piece. No success. I was getting desperate and my vision was shifting as to what I could possibly use as the handle. Well, you know when what you are doing is kismet when you find your perfect handle on your iPhone in your eBay app while sitting in the back seat of the car. I was so lucky to find a woman back in New York selling it on eBay from an estate sale. It's also from the 1800's. How serendipitous can it get?
The last part was mounting a plank of wood to the wall and assembling the railing/sliding hardware to that. We ended up buying that at Tractor Supply because they were the cheapest. And we spray painting it with an espresso color paint. I wanted it to match my other curtain rods in the room. Besides, I like the contrast. :)
And, there you have it! Took about 4 full days and about $400. I'm left with something that I love, not to mention something I will always cherish because my father did it all for me. Thank you, dad! xo
Now I just need to finish painting those canvases!!