Upcycling Doors, Doors, and More Doors

My house was  full of ugly closet doors. Old, painted over too many times, chipped and nicked. Ugly. It bothered me. Every time I looked at one of them, it offended my sense of  beauty. I thought about sprucing them up by yet again painting them. Still ugly. I also thought about buying new ones, but decently looking doors are so expensive! $300 for a closet door? No way!

Then one day it hit me – I have a few wooden blinds with broken tilting mechanisms stashed in storage. Stained in honey oak, huge in size (36 by 74 inch each), and a perfect material for refacing the pesky doors. Best of all, I will be upcycling both the doors and the blinds!

My beautiful Raya posing in front of my old and ugly closet door.

My beautiful Raya posing in front of my old and ugly closet door.

The refacing turned out to be a very easy project. I needed just a few things: a utility knife, a 4-feet long metal ruler, a couple of clumps, my Dremel Multi-max saw, and a good glue. I used PowerGrab which is sold at both Home Depot and Lowe’s and I was very happy with it. The grab was really strong, and it dried clear. I didn’t have to paint the first door because it was already painted dark brown, but the others were white, and I painted them dark brown so that the white doesn’t show through the gaps. Conceivably, the paint color could match the blinds’ stain but I didn’t go that route.

This is basically what you do after the door is taken out and painted. The first one I put right on the floor in the living room. All the others I upcycled were put on cheap sawhourses bought at Home Depot.

  • Cover the front of the door only. The sides remain painted or the door will not close!
  • Squeeze a thin strip of glue along a plank and glue it to the door. Glue one row at the time until the whole door is covered. Make sure to glue the planks as close to each other as possible to avoid large gaps between them.
  • Make sure the ends of your planks overlap each other (just like hardwood floors).
  • Let the planks stick out a 1/2 inch or so from the door’s top and bottom – you will cut them flush with the door later, when you finish gluing the planks. I found the easiest way to cut planks when you are at the end of each run is to just score them on both sides with the utility knife and snap.
  • Do take care not to let the planks stick out of the door sides, especially where the sides of a bi-fold door meet in the middle. If they do, you will need to rip the planks flush with the door side using the metal guide, clumps and an oscillating saw with the round saw attachment. Otherwise, the door will not close properly.
  • When you finished gluing, wait about 30 minutes for the glue to cure and then cut the planks flush with the door’s top and bottom again using the oscillating saw with the round saw attachment, the metal ruler as a guide, and the clumps to hold the guide in place.
  • Put the door back in place and put the handles on it. You will need a drill and a screwdriver for that because the old holes will be covered. You are done! 🙂

Here is how it turned out for me.

Upcycling closet doors and wooden blinds

Upcycling closet doors and wooden blinds

After I ran out of broken blinds, I used an old rug made of bamboo strips for upcycling closet doors in one of the bedrooms. They turned out nicely as well.

Upcycling closet doors and a bamboo rug

Upcycling closet doors and a bamboo rug

That rug was huge, and I had enough leftovers to do another upcycling project. Stay tuned for that one! Thanks for checking out my blog!

 

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