< back to workshop
faux door makeover Feb '06
b e f o r e
a f t e r
the problem: cheap hollow-core doors that didn't match the style of the house

the solution: Add some wood trim to give the appearance of 4-panel doors.

step 1: remove the doors

step 2: remove the hardware
TIP: Notice how much of the hinge is on the "before" door (below left). I cleaned & degreased the hinges, masked them off with tape and spray painted the flat part of the hinge that is on the door (& also sprayed the screw heads). Now the big hinge blends into the nice white door.

step 3: Go outside and sand both sides of the door with an orbital sander. You don't have to take it all the way back to bare wood; you want a surface that your paint will adhere to. I use a med/rough & then a fine sandpaper on each side. (wipe off dust between sanding)

This piece of trim is actually called a "mullion."

I just looked through the trim selection until I found something I liked & would give the look I wanted.

It actually took eight pieces of 8-foot trim to do both sides (yes, I wasted some...).

It was less than $5 per piece at Lowes.
$40 for a new door ain't bad ;-)
All you have to do is make 4 rectangles out of trim by cutting them at 45 degree angles.

You can see how I set up a "jig" by clamping a piece of scrap wood to the workbench to ensure all the long pieces were exactly the same length.

I used a similar jig for the shorter pieces.

You must cut your pieces consistently for your rectangles to go together snugly.

You can see I ran a line down the center of the door to be the guide for the 4 rectangles.

Here I laid it out until it was appealing to my eye. Then, wrote down how many inches the rectangles would be from the center line & from the top of the door.

From here, I used wood glue and nails to fasten the trim.

TIP: Always pre-drill small pieces of wood as to avoid splitting when driving nails through them.

You can see the lines I used as a guide.

I first placed the top piece of the ractangle with glue & nails.

The 2nd piece was always the vertical side closest to the middle of the door.  This process kept the 4 rectangles symmetrical.
Carefully use a nail set (left) & hammer to drive the nails below the surface of the trim (center).

Put a little spackle or putty in the holes. Wait for it to dry, then sand it flush & no one will know about the nails.

You can see the corner joint isn't perfect. That's ok--that's why God made sandpaper and caulk ;-)

Next, get to painting, reattach the hardware & hang 'er back up!
This is the look from inside the bathroom.
This turned out to be a great project. Sandra and I were stunned at the striking difference this made.

And it's only a one-day project.!

Need to borrow my saw? Give me a call ;-)

email morgan

top o'page

to workshop

Suzanne's favorite part of our bathroom ;-)