With our boys’ closet makeover reveal reveal a couple weeks ago, I promised I would share how I converted flush bifold closet doors into Craftsman Style 5 Panel Closet Doors. It is super simple and makes a huge difference in the way the doors look.
We previously had sliding mirror doors which only leaves half the closet accessible at a time. Bi-folds were the way to go, but the 6 panels doors carried at most home improvement stores was lacking style in my opinion. I wanted something Craftsman style. So I bought the cheapest doors available, the flat panel bi-folds, and made my own!
FYI, my closet was 1/4 inch shy of the standard 6 foot width opening, but two of these standard 3′ wide doors fit perfect with plenty of room on each side. I was worried the standard doors wouldn’t fit and I would have to buy custom, but I took a gamble and bought them anyway. I was surprised how perfect they were and I would say these would even fit in a 71 1/2″ opening. If you are still really close to that, you could even shave off a 1/4″ on each door if you really needed to, with a circular saw. I also installed them completely in the closet, getting the position right before I made them over, because I wanted to make sure I wasn’t messing with the fit after I had the paint job all perfect.
Supplies you will need for a standard 6′ wide closet:
2- 3′ wide bi-fold flat panel hollow core closet doors (found at most home improvement stores)
1- 4’x8′ sheets of 1/4″ underlayment plywood
Liquid nails adhesive
1″ nails, 18 gauge
White interior caulk
220 grit sandpaper
Step 1: Rip Plywood and Cut Strips
Cut down plywood into 8′ long strips that are 3 1/2″ wide. You should have a total of 13 strips. Cut 8 strips @ 78 7/8″. Then cut 24 – 10 3/4″ pieces (3 strips).
Step 2: Dry Fit Strips on Door
Working on one side of the door at a time, lay out 2 of the long strips on either side of the door. Place a short strip at the very top and bottom, sitting flush with the edge.
If you measure between the top and bottom strips, you will see the distance is 71 7/8″. Divide that by 5 to get the center marks of where each horizontal strip will go to create the 5 panels. Measure and mark from between the top and bottom strips, every 14 3/8″. Place the remaining 4 horizontal strips in between the top and bottom strips, making sure the center lines up with the marks made. Trace the outline of each piece with a pencil.
Step 3: Glue & Nails Strips Down
Remove one side strip at a time and apply liquid nails to the door where the strip would sit. Place the side strip back into place and secure with 1″ nails. Repeat with the other side, then the top and bottom strips, then the middle strips.
Step 4: Fill Holes & Edges, Then Paint
Fill nail holes and seams with wood filler. Let dry and sand smooth. Run a thin bead of caulk along all the edges of the inside panels (where the strips mean the door) and smooth out with a damp finger. Let dry completely, then paint the front and back of the door with 2 coats of paint. I used a color nearly identical to BM Kendall Charcoal in Matte.
These turned out like everything I wanted and I love how they have a bit of a vintage look, but the clean lines are still a bit modern– exactly the style of the boys’ room.
Just so you know, I spent about $100 on 2 bi-fold doors, $12 on the underlayment, and around $10 for liquid nails and wood filler. I already had the nails, caulk and paint, so that put both of these doors at $120. Pretty good deal, no?
If you liked this tutorial, be sure to pin it! 🙂