Friday, June 8, 2012

Bi-Fold Closet Door Makeover:


One of the many things that I really loathed about our house when we moved into it was the nasty old, plain, flat wood bi-fold closet doors.  I have had my heart set on replacing them ever since we moved in; however, when I priced it out - I just couldn't afford what I wanted! 

5-panel Shaker bi-fold closet door I wanted at over $200 each!

So as usual, the wheels in my head started turning: how could I get the look I wanted at a price I could afford???  Do it myself of course!  I formulated a plan and decided to try it out as part of my home studio renovation, before I tackled all the closets in the house!


MATERIALS:

- Straight, flat bi-fold closet doors.
- Several feet of straight, flat casing, approx 2.5" wide.
- Wood glue
- DAP (white, paintable silicone)
- Sand-paper
- Primer & paint
- Door handles / pulls and extra-long screws


TOOLS:

- Pencil
- Measuring tape
- Mitre saw
- Micro-pinner (brad-nailer) with 1" brads.
- An extra set of hands is useful!
- Drill


PROCEDURE:

1) Lightly sand front surface of closet doors.  Wipe clean with a damp rag.


2) Measure length of closet door and subtract the width of your casing from the bottom and top (length of closet - 5" in this case).  Cut as many lengths of casing as you will need for each side of each bi-fold door according to your measurements (in this case, 8).

3) Leaving closet doors in place and working from right to left, place first length of casing in position on the left side of the first bi-fold door (leaving 2.5" at the top, and 2.5" at the bottom).  This first one is a little tricky, because you will need to place it slightly away from the left edge of the bi-fold door so that it will not inhibit the movement of the door when it opens and closes (in this case, we placed it .5" in from the left edge of the bi-fold door).  When you are confident that you have it in the right position, apply a thin strip of wood glue to the back of the length of casing, and secure it in place on the bi-fold door with your micro-pinner.



4) Your going to do the same thing with your next length of casing on the right side of the first bi-fold door, but this time, you can bring the length of casing right flush to the right edge of the bi-fold door, and secure in place with wood glue and micro-pinner.

5) Start on the left side of the 2nd bi-fold door with your next length of casing, bringing the casing flush to the left edge of the 2nd bi-fold door, and secure in place.

6) Place the next length of casing in position on the right side of the 2nd bi-fold door (flush to the edge) and secure in place.

7) Repeat this process for each bi-fold door, until you reach the right side of the last bi-fold door.  Here, you will want to position the last length of casing slightly in from the right edge of the bi-fold door so that it does not inhibit the movement of the door when it opens and closes (again in this case, .5").  When you are confident that you have it in the right position, secure the length of casing to the bi-fold door with wood glue and micro-pinner.


8) Measure the top and bottom widths of each bi-fold door, and cut lengths of casing for the top and bottom of each door according to your measurements.  Secure top and bottom pieces of casing to each bi-fold door (making sure ends are flush with edges of vertical casing pieces) with wood glue and micro-pinner.



9) Take the length of your vertical pieces of casing and divide by 5 to find the measurements of where to mark the interior space of each bi-fold door into 5 equal sections.  Measure the width of each section, cut a piece of casing according to your measurement and secure to bi-fold door with wood glue and micro-pinner on your marks (you will want these to be in the same place for every door so that they all align properly).

10) Use DAP to fill all cracks and gaps. (See here for more information if you haven't done this before.)

11) Paint all closet doors with 1 coat of primer.  Allow to dry.


12) Paint all closet doors with 2 coats of paint. Allow to dry.


13) Mark and drill coordinating holes for handles, and install handles (you will probably need to pick up some screws for your handles that are longer than the ones they came with, I used 1 3/4" machine screws)

My DIY 5 Panel Shaker-style bi-fold closet doors for about $30 each!

Enjoy your "new," very affordable closet doors!

71 comments:

  1. I wonder how well this would/could work with sliding closet doors....?? the problem i could see would be to make sure they're not bulky so the doors could still slide past one another Hmm...

    Love this though I never would have thought to do this!! I love giving things a facelift makes a HUGE difference Great Job!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. probably wouldn't work so well with sliding doors unless you could move the tracks to be further apart to accomodate the added thickness of the doors.

      Delete
    2. It would probably be too thick to work on sliding doors but maybe not. Lowes (and probably home depot) carry an item in their mill work section that might work. It's very thin boards but not so thin as veneer-maybe 1/8-1/4"thick. Another idea would be too use textured wallpaper on the doors. They make that stuff that's supposed to resemble tin ceiling panels and it's meant to be painted. Dunno whether that would look good, just an idea that popped into my mind just now. I'm thinking if you did that, it would still need some kind of framing out to look not stupid.

      Delete
    3. ...the thin boards I mentioned are not casino, btw. The one I bought (for a different project) was maybe 10 or 12" wide. They would need to be cut to the proper width but the store would probably be happy to do that for you if you don't want to/can't. I bought oak but I'm pretty sure they have something cheaper like pine.

      Delete
  2. A brilliant solution to a rampant problem! Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm staring at my ugly flat kitchen cabinet doors and drawers. Thinking this could just work with smaller casing. Hmmmmm

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love this! I have the same type of ugly bi-fold doors (4 sets...ugh...), now i have a stylish solution - thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Amazing! Love it, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awesome! But the handle placement looks very off, you should have put them in the middle :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I initially thought too - but you can't open the doors if the handles are placed in the middle. With a bi-fold door, the handles need to be placed at the hinge, or they won't pull open!

      Delete
    2. I think the handles look great just where they are, you really don't have any choice anyway.

      Delete
  7. This sounds like a silly question, but what exactly is casing and where can I get it for about how much? I'm a new DIYer and moving into my first house and the master bedroom has those exact same doors and I've been trying to find a way to fix it and this is perfect!
    Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "casing" is just a term used for the trim that you usually find around windows and doors. Typically it's made of wood or MDF (I used MDF). You can find it at any Home-Depot / building supply type of store. Where I am in Canada, the plain casing material I used costs about $0.50 to $1 per linear foot depending on where you buy it - it's probably cheaper in the US.

      Delete
  8. What was the cost of adding the trim to the doors?

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a fabulous idea!! Thanks for sharing

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow! This is so beautiful!!! Perfect :)

    I'm a new follower from pinterest! yay! Excited to check out your blog

    Brie @ Breezy Pink Daisies

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love this...found you through Pinterest. Your newest follower.
    Anissa from Chasing Hailey
    http://chasinghailey.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  12. Love your blog! you have a new follower from Spain waiting for more brilliant ideas :D

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi my husband and I are looking forward to using your tutorial to update our closet doors. We are having a difficult time finding casing that is less than 1/2 in thick. Can you tell me the thickness of the casing that you used? I think the 1/2in will look good but he is hell bent on finding 1/4 in which I do not believe exists. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used 1/2" casing, I don't think 1/4" casing is very common, though it might exist somewhere. The only problem I had with 1/2" casing is that I had to buy some longer screws for my handles to accommodate the extra width in the door, but otherwise it has been great!

      Delete
    2. Catherine,

      I've looked at using lattice for some cabinet doors. HD has some that is 1/4". Not sure if it's wide enough for you or not, but here it is. http://www.homedepot.com/Lumber-Composites-Moulding-Millwork/h_d1/N-25ecodZ5yc1vZ25ecodZbrdu/R-203461891/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=lattice&storeId=10051#.UH7RHcUUWSo

      Delete
  14. Cute!! I found these doors for 29.99 at our ace on sale though! I'm sure these were cheaper, and look just as nice, I might add.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, Nice post thanks for sharing. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back.

    Thanks!

    Randy
    randydavis387@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Nice job on your doors - they turned out gorgeous! I have this linked to my closet doors post too today, well done!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Love this look! Well done with this project :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Years ago I did this to my kitchen cupboards, I have doors like this in my home, not sure why I had not thought of this for them..thanks

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello
    I absolutely love the your doors! I wanted to know if you glued the trim on first then secured it with nails.Or can the trim be just glued on? What's a micro pinner? Is that a nail gun?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I glued them with wood glue and then pinned them to secure them in place. A micro-pinner is a small, light-duty brad-nailer (nail gun) that uses tiny 18 gauge "pins" instead of nails. You can use a regular nail-gun, but the beauty of using a micro-pinner for finishing work is that the holes left behind are teensy-tiny - and often don't require filling before painting.

      Delete
  20. Classy and elegant - I love it! I just don't know if I'd be able to cut the boards just so exactly that the result would turn out like this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I loooooove this idea!! I have wanted 5 panel shaker doors forEVER, this is a perfect solution :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Hi! I'm here from 'Better After'.

    I like your rendition better than your inspiration piece. Good for you for improving on the original idea!

    Thank you for posting and appearing on Lindsey's site! I've added your blog to my A-List!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What a great job!!! WIsh I had thought of this at our last house which had several of these doors!

    ReplyDelete
  24. AHHHHHHHHH!!! I HAVE THOSE DOORS! I was going to just paint them white to match our freshly painted trim. But I am in. Love. with. your. doors!! Thank you so much, this is the best idea I've seen in a long time. YES!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow! This totally makes me wish I had ugly closet doors to make over. :) You did an AWESOME job with this. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I am pinning this and hopefully doing it! Thanks for the amazing inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh my gosh, this is AWESOME!! Found you via Pinterest, and I just have to say that the outcome is amazing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. I love talking about Pantry Doors, I really don't know why.

    ReplyDelete
  29. THIS IS UTTER GENIUS! I will be following your blog from now on!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Absolutely beautiful!!! I hope to try and recreate them very soon. Thanks for sharing your talents!

    ReplyDelete
  31. This is an excellent post, I am very interested by reading this.. Its very helpful yo us..keep posting such an interesting things.
    Sliding Wardrobe Doors

    ReplyDelete
  32. Keep up the good work, the whole makeover is just great and in much greater detail. Cool work.
    sliding doors interior

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love pantry doors because it maximize the space for short that's not just a door you may use the back part of it. Such a nice idea right? what do you think...

    ReplyDelete
  34. OMG I love you! I just discovered this tutorial on pinterest. I have been looking at those ugly doors for 14 years but could never convince hubby to fork out the money for new ones. I don't care what it takes, I am going to try this! Thank you so much!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I commend your creativity and ideas with this door by taking easy to obtain materials. That's amazing! Hopefully, I can do this in my Pantry Doors for my kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
  36. This is EXACTLY what I've been wanting to do to my ugly bifold doors for a long time. I'm now inspired! This is a MUST DO!!!! Thanks so much for the tut!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hello! You have a very nice blog! I invite you to visit my blog and / or follow you, hope you like it froted glass Greetings and ... congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thanks so much for this project! I did this to all my closets - five 8 foot floor to ceiling BEASTS! Let me tell you, they look awesome and transformed my condo! I just love them! I hired someone to do the carpentry and I did the finishing and painting. For about $1000.00 I did all the doors. Replacing them would have cost several times that amount. Thanks again for sharing your creativity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, this makes me so happy to hear! :D

      Delete
  39. We just bought our first house as a married couple.....and we have the same horrendous closet doors. I am definitely doing this! Who would have thought a little trim and some paint could make such an amazing change!
    Thanks so much for sharing and inspiring!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I’m definitely coming again to see these articles and blogs.http://e-sosa.com/

    ReplyDelete
  41. I would have loathed those old doors if I had them in our house. You certainly did an amazing job with this project. Your new closet doors really look fabulous and expensive! This will surely inspire cabinets NJ lovers out there. How DIY can really save so much! Thank you for this inspiring post!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Wow! Those look unbelievable! I'd love to do this to my bifold doors in Melbourne Victoria. I bet the materials were pretty cheap, too, huh? Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  43. I love your all the creative ideas you are doing an inspiring works for us. Your all post shows how much is your visionary thinking. Me and my mom is an big fan of your blog and if want to renovate something in our home we will get all the concept and ideas from this amazing blog...Thanks for making these articles for us.

    closets NYC

    ReplyDelete
  44. Do you think i can do this if the doors are not all wood? My doors are not hard wood, any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as they're not metal I think you should be ok.

      Delete
  45. I cannot wait to try this I bought a great 1875 house that at some point went through a hideous 50's 60's reno..all doors are like the before pics ugly wood veneer, luan maybe. To replace them all in a 2400sq foot house I'd need a fourth job!

    ReplyDelete
  46. You guys present there are performing an excellent job.
    is bubblegum casting legitimate

    ReplyDelete
  47. I jumped on this as soon as I saw it and already have my doors sanded! I'm having a hard time envisioning the proportions on my own bi-folds though. Please tell me the width of each of your panels and/or the total opening of your doorway?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Each panel is 1' wide and the total closet opening is 4'

      Delete
  48. Those panels look so classy! I love the French door look it has. Great transformation! Thanks for the instructions. MUST try this now! :)

    Thanks,
    Liz Ellsworth | http://amjwindows.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  49. I want to find a way to give my closet a makeover. I just finished decorating my room and now the doors are sort of an eye sore. Would anyone happen to know where I can find nice looking bifold doors in Melbourne? http://www.amjbifolds.com.au/bi-fold-doors

    ReplyDelete
  50. This turned out great! I want to get bi-fold doors just like this for my closets in my house. We have sliding doors right now, but I like the way this looks better. You are able to see your whole closet at once with bi-fold doors. Thanks for this inspiration.
    Gary Puntman | http://www.amjbifolds.com.au

    ReplyDelete