How to Make Artist Display Walls for Cheap

By Prev Info - January 23, 2023

Old doors make an interesting background for hanging art.

Hanging paintings, photos and other two dimensional art for display can be something of a challenge. Framed art takes a lot of wall space. In many cases, there are limitations on what can be done on the walls in the space being used. An easy, inexpensive and flexible system of walls for art display can be made from old doors. In many cases, salvaged doors can be found for free from remodeling contractors. Working with paneled doors adds another layer of detail to your walls, giving added interest to the pieces on it.

Things You'll Need

  •     Doors
  •     Semigloss latex paint
  •     Paintbrush
  •     Standard door hinges
  •     1 inch wood screws
  •     Drill
  •     Screwdriver
  •     Hammer



  1. Lay out the pieces to be hung on a drop cloth and arrange them as you will on the display walls. Remember that with doors, you are limited to a space 36 inches wide in most cases, unless a pair of double doors are matched together for large pieces. Determine how many doors you will need for your display.

  2. Select doors for your display, following the layout you did on the drop cloth. Keep the width of the pieces in mind, since doors vary from 24 to 36 inches in width. Group your doors in twos or threes to build triangular and T-shaped display units.

  3. Paint your doors with semigloss latex paint and a paint brush to create a uniform effect, or leave the original patinas if you find them interesting. Remove any knobs that distract from the look of the display with a screwdriver, leaving knobs that add interest.

T Units

  1. Stand two doors of the same height together with one door's edge in the center of the other door's face to form a "T". Fit a hinge at the top of the joint between the doors. 

  2. Attach the hinge to both doors by driving 1-inch wood screws through each hole in each plate of the hinge. Fit a second hinge at the bottom in the same way. The doors will stand on their own.
  3. Disassemble a T display section by removing the hinge pins, driving a screwdriver, or cold chisel up through the bottom of the hinge to pop the pin out. For older hinges, set the edge of the chisel under the lip of the pin head and drive it up with a hammer. Reassemble by aligning the hinges and driving the pins back in.

Triangle Units

  1. Lay two doors edge to edge, laying them flat on the floor. Fit a hinge at the top and bottom of the seam, driving screws through each hole. Lay a third door edge to edge with the right edge of the right door and attach it in the same way. These three doors will form a triangle display.

  2. Stand the three doors upright, folding the hinged doors in to form a triangle so that the hinges are on the inside of the triangle.

  3. Attach an eye-hook between the right edge of the third door and the left edge of the first. Attach the hook half of the latch to one and the eye to the other. Fit the hook into the eye to latch the unit.