My 1910 era home has a ton of doors. Obviously, the bedrooms, bathrooms, and closets all have doors.
But the kitchen also has a door. The dining room has a door. The stairwell has a door. The living room and sunroom each have a gorgeous set of a french doors. On top of all of this, I keep finding extra doors in weird places – like in the garage and attic. So many doors.
With the exception of the french doors, most of the doors are identical. They all have a thick wood frame with a 1/4″ plywood panel in the center.
They’re also a very sticky brown. I know that sounds weird. Sticky. But they are. Every time I hang clothing or a towel or something on the door, it sticks (and leaves a bunch of fuzzballs behind) when I try to take it off.
I suspect that once upon a time, someone went around gel-staining all the doors in the house. That’s the best explanation I can come up with. Regardless, I don’t love these doors, so when I decided to makeover the bedroom, I thought that the closet door could use a nice makeover as well.
I settled on a faux french door look. There are so many french doors in the house, I didn’t think it would look out of place at all! Plus, I figured it would be easy to do – adding some trim to the center panel seemed like a simple task – and it was!
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DIY Faux French Door
- Old Door – The door I used had an indented panel in the middle, making it easy to add trim. I have no idea how common doors are like that, but if that’s hard to find, keep in mind you might be able to get a similar look in other ways.
- Trim – I used two 8 ft lengths of this trim from Lowes.
- Primer– My go-to heavy duty primer is this Zinsser Primer. I use it anytime I’m worried about the paint adhering to the surface of my piece, and it hasn’t failed me yet!
- Two Colors of Paint – I went with a creamy color for the “window” part, primarily because I’m more of a “cream and navy” fan than a “white and navy” fan.
- Miter Saw – Preferably one with that does beveled cuts.
- Wood Glue
Step 1: Cut the Trim Pieces
After I took the door off the hinges and dragged it out to the sawhorses, I measured the inside panel and determined how long I needed each of the trim pieces to be.
I took the pieces over to my miter saw, and cut them to size, beveling each side 45 degrees so that the ends of the trim angled over the routered edges of the door.
Step 2: Prime the Door
Then I primed the piece. I did sand with my orbital sander (180 grit sandpaper) for a little bit first, but this was mostly because my door was sticky and had cat hair and lint and all other sorts of crap stuck on it.
Step 3: Paint the Frame and Trim
So, my original plan was to paint the inside panel first, then put down painters tape and paint the frame and routered edges.
However, I realized as I was painting that because of the way the edges were routered, it was easy for me to to paint a perfect edge from the inside panel. Therefore, on the second coat I painted the frame first, then the inside panel, and that worked well.
Step 4: Paint the Inside Panel
I was using typical latex wall paint for the entire door – Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Grey for the frame, and Gentle Cream for the panel. This was the exact paint I used on the walls, so everything matched!
Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for a Second Coat
I have nothing to say about this. Painting isn’t complicated – no matter what the DIY bloggers of the world want you to think.
Step 6: Attach the Trim
I attached the trim to the panel with wood glue, using old textbooks to hold everything in place while the glue dried.
If the original door panel had been thicker, I might have added some brad nails. But because it was so thin, I was concerned that any nails I used would go right through to the other side.
Step 7: Caulk and Touch Up the Door
The trim I used wasn’t identical to routered edges of the door, so anywhere there were gaps I added caulk. This made everything look a whole lot more professional, and made it a lot less obvious that the door was an afternoon DIY.
Once the caulk was dry, I carefully touched up the paint with an angled paintbrush so that it it blended right in.
This project took about a day and half, although most of that was waiting for the paint/primer/glue/caulk to dry. It was a lot of stop and go, but a pretty painless project in the long run.
I love how the faux french door turned out! The door looks so much better this way. Plus, it’s not sticky anymore, which is a definite plus!
If you like this faux french door too, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so you can find it again later!