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!
- Straight, flat bi-fold closet doors.
- Several feet of straight, flat casing, approx 2.5" wide.
- Wood glue
- DAP (white, paintable silicone)
- Primer & paint
- Door handles / pulls and extra-long screws
- Measuring tape
- Mitre saw
- Micro-pinner (brad-nailer) with 1" brads.
- An extra set of hands is useful!
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!