Ugly Door Makeover

8 Materials
7 Days

I gave my ugly builder basic hollow core doors a makeover on the cheap! This project was a little time-consuming but on a scale of 1 to 10, I would rate the difficulty of about a 2 or 3. The hardest part was rehanging the doors by myself! It was a bit of a balancing act but doable. I used construction adhesive and brads to hold the moulding in place, then caulked, painted and added new hinges and knobs.
I left the bifold doors to the laundry room on and glued and used brads to hold the picture frame molding in place. You can see the knobs are still on in the photo so I could open and close the doors easily but I removed them before painting.
For the linen closet, I took the doors off and added the molding and painted them outside.
Inside of linen closet.
All of the doors to the rooms I hauled to the garage. I laid them flat on the floor when adding the trim. Then stood them up to paint them. This picture is with the first coat of primer. Everything got two coats of primer and two coats of paint.
Hallway before.
Hallway after. I did The linen closet, the laundry room closet doors, and six room doors for a little over $300 total. Approximately $38.00 per door.
Here is the picture frame moulding I used. It comes in different widths styles.
I used rectangles.
Laundry closet doors.

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Suggested materials:

  • <a href="" class="href-bb-tag" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Ever True picture frame moulding.</a>  (Lowes)
  • <a href="" class="href-bb-tag" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Valspar stain blocking, bonding latex primer.</a>  (Lowes or Amazon)
  • <a href="" class="href-bb-tag" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Valspar latex semi gloss paint in white.</a>  (Lowes or Amazon)
See all materials

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Gail Nooe Randall
    Gail Nooe Randall
    on Sep 22, 2017

    My doors are polyurethane and I'm wondering did you do any sanding before you painted? Did you use a brush or roller? They look amazing.
    • Angela
      on Sep 22, 2017

      I did no sanding initially. I just used the Valspar stain blocking bonding primer. It's formulated for shiny surfaces. It provides grip for the paint. Initially I used a roller but wasn't real happy with the finish. I switched to a 3 inch good quality brush that stated it was for smooth finishes. I did sand very lightly and quickly between the primer coats and the paint coat just to knock down any dust or debris that may have got on the paint from being in the garage. Again, I think the key to this project turning out as well as it did was the bonding primer. Just putting regular primer on and then painting I don't believe it would've adhered as well as it did. The finish is now had as a rock. My original plan was to let the paint cure for several weeks and then put on a protective clear topcoat but I don't feel like I need it at this point.
  • Diane Mulgrue
    Diane Mulgrue
    on Sep 22, 2017

    Did you have to prime and then paint the framework and trim for the doors too?

    • Angela
      on May 24, 2018

      Yes, I did prime and paint the trim and door frames. That was included in the 7 days it took me to complete the entire project.

  • Mimi H.
    Mimi H.
    on Sep 23, 2017

    did you add molding on both sides of the doors?

    • Angela
      on Sep 23, 2017

      Only two. My spare bedroom and office. I didn't do the closets or door to garage because the back side isn't really seen. I have a shoe rack on the back of my bedroom door that would cover the moulding so I didn't do that one as well. All doors were painted on both sides though.

Join the conversation

2 of 41 comments
  • Nancy Ciolek
    Nancy Ciolek
    on Nov 20, 2017

    That is a big improvement. I would additionally take out the table to make it look less cluttered. Maybe just leave the mirror or put a picture up instead.
  • Betteanne
    on Dec 27, 2017

    I would but have all new doors. You did a fabulous job. Be proud
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