Master Makeover: DIY Plain to Paneled Door

Update: See the full room reveal here!

Checking another project off the to-do list today...



So, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do about our doors.

Here's an old shot from the hallway:


After I painted the walls an almost white/super light gray shade, it just turned into the hallway of no color. I knew I needed to do something with the cheap hollow core doors but didn't want to break the bank. In a perfect world, they would all be beautifully constructed and detailed solid wood, but there's no way I'm spending that much on all of the doors in the house.

Then I gave our foyer closet door a makeover...



And I loved the results. It was simple enough to do to the rest of the doors in the house.

I briefly considered making them all stained wood, but that requires veneer (which is quite costly), so I decided to go with paint instead. I ran through a few gray options but decided they would compete with the gray in the floors, and then I saw this from Dear Lillie and was absolutely sold on black:

Source

There's just something about black doors that brings character, richness and sophistication to a space. It's the perfect way to break up all the white and gray in our home. Plus, our kitchen and front doors were already painted black so it was an easy answer for me.


Fortunately, our bedroom door was completely smooth so I didn't need to apply veneer over it (our foyer door had that faux wood grain texture which I covered with veneer). That meant that all I'd need for this project is a $12 piece of 1/4" (actual thickness = 0.2") plywood from Lowe's. For the foyer I used the $30 cabinet-grade 1/4" plywood because I wanted to stain it. The $12 plywood is in the molding/paneling section (next to the beadboard) and it is pink toned on one side, which is perfect for painting.

I've already covered the basic method for installing the strips which you can read about in my foyer door post.

It's so easy though... just measure and cut, spacing your horizontal pieces out evenly, and secure with a nail gun.


Flip it over and repeat for the other side. You'll need an arbor to drill out a hole for the door handle.

Once all my pieces were attached, I sanded down the rough edges with my Mouse.



Then I spackled the nail holes and caulked where the boards met the door for a seamless look.



After drying overnight, I gave everything a nice thorough sanding with finer grit sandpaper (including the actual door panel).



Since I added almost 1/2" of depth onto the door, I had to remove the door stop casing or else it wouldn't close properly.

To do that, you must first cut a line with a sharp edge on all sides...



Then pry the pieces off. Luckily these ones came off really easily (you can see the three pieces in the hallway).



Some of the nails will stay in the door casing which you can just hammer back in, and break off the ones stuck in the molding.

Then clear the built up caulk from the door casing and the trim pieces so it's nice and clean for reinstallation:


I decided to hang the door back up first before painting it because 1) it was 100° in the garage, and 2) I could turn on the TV in our room to make it more enjoyable. It really doesn't matter either way, you just have to be slightly more careful to not paint the casing.



I used the same black that's on the kitchen and front doors, except in a satin finish—Valspar's Dark Kettle Black.

I haven't tried their new Reserve line yet, but I can't imagine needing anything better than their Signature. The coverage is amazing... here's after just one coat:


Of course the plywood took to it better than the painted white door—it almost covered in just one coat!

All it needed was two coats and a few touchups. Easy, fast paint job (excuse the poor lighting).

Black kitty approved.

Once the handle was back on, I shut the door and nailed the casing pieces back in place so the new door would shut properly.


Then I filled the nail holes and caulked it back in. (I still have to sand and touch up paint... that will be done tonight).


Ahhh... so rich.


It's a little difficult to see the detail through photos (I have to bump up the exposure a bit, hence the grainy-ish pics) but it's really lovely in person. Black doors are my new most favorite thing ever.


I love the way it ties into the wall paneling.


I'll be converting all of the doors eventually. This hallway needs some loving, I know. One step at a time.



Alright folks.... 3 more master bedroom posts until the big reveal! I'm trying to decided which task to tackle next. Either way, it's pretty much smooth sailing from here on out so I can relax for a couple weeks before moving onto the next big project.

Check back in a few days to see what happens!


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