So you’ve decided to upgrade your Charlotte home’s curb appeal with a new Wayne Dalton garage door. Congrats! Not only will your garage look fantastic, it’ll be more secure, too. But what should you do with the old door? Leave it by the curbside and hope the garbage truck makes it disappear? Not a chance! Let the pros at NationServe walk you through a few far better ways to give your old garage door a new life.

Recycle it

Even if your old garage door is damaged beyond repair—trust us, people back into them more often than you might think—its materials can still be recycled and eventually find their way back into the supply chain. Here in Mecklenburg County, residents can bring bulky materials such as garage doors to one of four full-service recycling drop-off centers:

  •  Foxhole Recycling Center (17131 Lancaster Highway, Charlotte)
  • North Mecklenburg Recycling Center (12300 N. Statesville Road, Huntersville)
  • Hickory Grove Recycling Center (8007 Pence Road, Charlotte)
  • Compost Central and Recycling Center (140 Valleydale Road, Charlotte)

Depending on the size of your garage door, the county may request a fee for its disposal. It won’t cost you more than $25, though—a small price to pay, in our opinion, to free your home of a bulky item and divert salvageable materials from the landfill. For more information about recycling services in Mecklenburg County, visit the Solid Waste division’s website.

Give it a new home

Did you replace your garage door for purely cosmetic reasons? We get it—those Wayne Dalton doors are pretty irresistible. If your old garage door is still in good condition, consider donating it to a local nonprofit organization. You could, for instance, give Goodwill Industries of Southern Piedmont a call at (704) 393 6880 to find out if they’re currently accepting garage door donations. It’s tax deductible, eco-friendly, and will help fund Goodwill’s employment and training programs in your community. Everyone wins!

Keep in mind, however, that the donation needs of local charities tend to vary. If you aren’t able to give to an organization, why not ask around to find out if one of your acquaintances could use a garage door? It doesn’t even need to be for an actual garage—perhaps you have a crafty friend who’d love to turn your old door into an art-deco ottoman. Speaking of which…

Repurpose it

Here’s where the fun starts. If you have a handy streak and a hankering for all things DIY, roll up your sleeves and transform your old garage door into something new and useful. You’ll find countless ideas for upcycling garage doors online, but here are a few of our favorites to jump-start your inspiration:

Garage Door Headboard

  • Wall art: separate the panels of your solid wood garage door and strip the paint off of them. Then, sand the surface until it’s nice and smooth, and apply a few coats of stain or varnish. Hang the panels, evenly spaced, on a large wall, and voilà—you’ve got yourself a one-of-a-kind work of art that’s sure to be the focal point of your room’s design. Alternatively, use the panels as frames to showcase your favorite paintings or family photos.
  • Headboard: this is one of the most popular projects amongst DIY enthusiasts who find themselves with a garage door to repurpose. There are many ways you can transform your old door into a stylish headboard, so don’t be afraid to get creative with colors, fabrics, and finishes. Just make sure it’s properly secured to the wall.
  • Dinner table: create a majestic custom dining room table using one or more panels from your old wood garage door. You could even use the remaining panels to make a matching buffet or sideboard.
  • Shelves: you can never have too much storage! One of the easiest ways to reuse the wood from an old garage door is by cutting rectangular sections to the desired size and fixing them to a wall with shelf brackets.
  • Entrance organizer: paint a panel from your old garage door in a color that complements your entryway. Add a row of adhesive hooks along the bottom for keys, coats and handbags. Hang your creation in your entrance or mudroom as is, or add a small shelf, mirror or coat of chalkboard paint to make it even more practical.
  • Raised garden beds: a lot of the garage door upcycling projects you’ll come across online assume you have a wooden door to work with, but you still have many options for repurposing an old steel, aluminum or fiberglass garage door. These weatherproof, mold-resistant materials are perfect for building things to use around the yard, such as raised beds for gardening.

As you can see, you can teach an old garage door new tricks. And if you aren’t too keen on arts and crafts, you can always turn to your local charitable organizations and recycling centers to dispose of your old door in a meaningful manner. Need more ideas? For all your garage door repair, service, installation and inspiration needs in Charlotte (or near any one of our 16 locations across the nation), call America’s garage door specialists at NationServe.