DIY Dutch Door

7 Materials
$20
2 Hours
Easy

In this tutorial and video I demonstrate how I cut my old wood door into a dutch door.

This is the door between my house and my workroom. I've been eyeing this door for years with the desire to cut it into a dutch door. I knew the door was solid wood, but I wasn't sure it would stay in tact if cut it in half.

First I took the door off the hinges and set it on two saw horses with 1x4's underneath for support from end to end.

I used a T-square to mark a line across the door evenly between the bottom of the glass windows and the hole for the door knob.

I used my cordless circular saw to cut the door in half, following the line drawn exactly.

I separated the door to inspect it for strength and stability. Fortunately, it's solid wood and is just as strong cut in half as it was whole.

I brought it back inside and hung it on the same hinges that were on it before, and added a fourth hinge because the bottom half of the door only had one hinge. Now the bottom and top both have two hinges.

Next I cut a small shelf for both sides of the bottom half of the door. I used my jig saw to cut curved corners and my circular saw for the straight cut.

I used my Kreg Jig to make pocket holes on the underside of the shelf, to fasten the shelf to the bottom half of the dutch door.

The pocket holes worked like a charm to hold the shelf securely. I wasn't sure it would be enough to support the shelf alone so bought L brackets, but they were totally unnecessary.

I painted the door and with some leftover charcoal paint from my hallway/foyer reno. I love how it turned out...

I wasn't sure this project would work from the start since I was unsure of the inside construction of the door and whether or not it would stay stable after being cut in half. And I wasn't sure it would still swing properly after re-hanging. It all worked out and I'm thrilled with the results.

It was quick and easy. Once again the painting and finish work took longer than the actual cutting and hanging.

Super fun, fast, and easy project. Of course one thing leads to another and now I need to paint the brick walls around the door.

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Mimzy lombardo

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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Have a question about this project?

7 questions
  • Dawn
    on Jun 21, 2019

    What is the shelf for?

    • Tinyshoes
      on Jun 21, 2019

      Dawn......I have been told over the years it was for cooling purposes (pies, etc.) as well as serving purposes. No ideas what she uses her's for!

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Jun 21, 2019

      I imagine it had/has a purpose ...I installed it because I think it's cute.

    • Catherine Bogue
      on Jun 29, 2019

      You did a great job Mimzy!! Been wanting one for years..gonna do it!!

      Thank u 🤓

  • Jordan Le Bouton
    on Jun 21, 2019

    Must see if one of the 8 doors in my new house I can do this too. First house I owned had one from the kitchen to the basement or out the back door. May I ask which jig you have? I want one but there are so many I am lost as to which I should buy. Thank you.

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Jun 21, 2019

      are you talking about the KReg jig I used for the pocket holes? Kreg products are at most home improvement stores.


  • Glenda
    on Jun 21, 2019

    How do u get the top half to stay closed if u decide to close both pieces ?

    • John p johnson
      on Jun 21, 2019

      I think I would just use a magnetic catch if it doesn't need to be secure...If it does, you would need to install another backset on the top half.

    • Doris
      on Jun 21, 2019

      What a beautiful idea! I’ve always loved the Dutch doors. You did a great job!

    • Allison
      on Jun 21, 2019

      I have seen dutch doors have a vertical “slide bar” attached to it. Half the slide goes on the top section, half goes on the bottom of the door. Visualize the lock on a stall door in a public restroom- just get a nice looking one.

    • Wendy Mills
      on Jun 21, 2019

      In the next to last picture you can see the slide bolt used to secure the top half to the casing. I've also seen dutch doors with the same mounted vertically securing top to bottom.

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Jun 21, 2019

      I installed a sliding lock.

    • Suzanne
      on Jul 13, 2019

      Usually held together with a vertical slide latch.

  • Allison
    on Jun 21, 2019

    How could I insulate between the top section and the bottom section of the door? I live in a colder climate, and the cut could make for a drafty room. If someone has a great idea, I’m going to have a dutch door!

    • Larry Pettijohn
      on Jun 21, 2019

      Guessing weather stripping like on the bottom of most exterior door would work for the bottom of the top half


      If this is a true exterior door (not leading to a secured porch) you will also need to install locking mechanisms for more security than a simple slide latch as suggested earlier.

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Jun 21, 2019

      Some else said "this Old House " had a solution for that. they made the cut at and angle....I think it's called a scarf cut or scarf joint. that way the wind can't blow through the straight cut.

    • Allison
      on Jun 21, 2019

      For some reason I cannot reply to Mimzy. Thank you so much for getting back to me the scarf cut or scarf joint approach Is perfect I can actually see how that would work thank you thank you. The insulation question is what has kept me from getting at Dutch door for a very long period of time. Thanks again!

    • Gina
      on Jun 28, 2019

      If you put a small thin piece of 1/4 inch by one inch wide wood along the outside bottom of top door so it overhangs halfway, it’ll cover the break when closed.

    • Crystal Melancon
      on Jun 30, 2019

      If you can find the door sweeps that slide onto the bottom of an exterior door for insulation purposes, you could use that on the bottom of the top half. You can get them at a hardware store near the weather stripping

  • Marnie
    on Jun 21, 2019

    I don't see a handle on the top portion of the door. How do you open, close and lock that?

    • Larry Pettijohn
      on Jun 21, 2019

      Just add a pull handle or knob that goes with your other cabinetry or existing door hardware

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Jun 21, 2019

      I need to add a handle...right now I've been closing the top first by holding the bottom of the door and then close the bottom half. It's kind of a pain , I'll get a handle soon.


    • Lee
      on Jun 21, 2019

      Its between her workroom and another room so it maybe doesnt need to be locked. Or cause a draft between.

    • Spanky
      on Jun 22, 2019

      Love it! Looks great, you did a very nice job!

    • Patti Rueth
      on Jun 28, 2019

      You could add a slide bolt (vertically) to secure the two parts together

    • Sharon
      on Jun 28, 2019

      There appears to be a deadbolt pretty high up on the top half in one of the pics.

    • Sharon
      on Jun 28, 2019

      Oh, I see. It is a slide bolt on the on interior side.

    • Guinevere
      on Jul 4, 2019

      Maybe there is a latch that slides down on one side.

    • Suzanne
      on Jul 13, 2019

      You cant do that with the pie shelf on the bottom half of the door

    • Jae
      2 days ago

      A couple of the pictures show a sliding bolt about halfway up the upper leaf. I think that is what she is grabbing to pull the upper leaf close and to lock it.

  • Marlissa Gibbs
    on Jun 23, 2019

    I have metal doors that look just like your wooden door you started with. Really can't afford to buy another door. Do you think I could do this with a metal door?

    • Robyn Garner
      on Jun 25, 2019

      I doubt very much that your metal door has anything solid inside to keep the 2 halves intact.

    • Mimzy lombardo
      on Jun 25, 2019

      I don't think you could cut a metal door because the inside of the door is mostly hollow ...it probably only has cardboard or thin wood strips throughout the door keeping it sturdy. if you cut it it would need reinforcement at the open ends and my end up being more trouble than its worth. you can probably pick up a wood door at a salvage yard or a habitat for humanity store pretty cheap.

    • Jeanne Ann Neff
      on Jun 29, 2019

      Just put on Facebook that you’re looking for a door. I bet you’ll have one the same day! I love this idea!

    • Tom
      on Jul 19, 2019

      It could be done at a metal fabricating shop, but the cost would be more than buying a door.

    • Shalena
      on Sep 10, 2019

      Or you could find the nearest habitat for humanity restore they have tons of doors and I got the lower half of a dutch door for just a couple dollars.

    • Helga
      Yesterday

      I LoVE It! Really Nice Job!! I' ve wanted one for a long time, but my mobile home door is not wood........ and also wondered about this project with a metal door. OR... ? if there was a way to install a window in the top half that could be opened and closed. I live in a So California HOT (summer) desert

  • Candy Davidson
    on Jul 25, 2019

    How did you keep the glass on top from breaking from the vibration of the saw?

Join the conversation

2 of 47 comments
  • Heidi
    2 days ago

    Hi, it's wonderful. I thought the brick looks kinda rustic good like that too. I'm looking for a for a door to do now.

  • Mimzy lombardo
    Yesterday

    Omg!!! It’s soooo cute! What a great idea! Did you share a tutorial on Hometalk?

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