Updating Interior Doors

7 Materials
1 Day

Want the look of expensive interior doors without the cost? This quick and easy DIY will have your doors looking classy and upgraded in a day. A little wood, glue, paint, and handles if needed, and you'll have people thinking you bought new doors.

  1. wood glue
  2. tape to hold the wood in place while drying
  3. 1/2″ flat moldings
  4. paint
  5. sandpaper (optional)
  6. caulking
  7. Handles (if needed)
updating interior doors

Here's what they look like before. Pretty plain. The first thing you'll want to do is add a design element - that's where molding comes in!

Trimming Out The Doors

We needed enough materials for four doors and ended up getting eight, 10 foot pieces of 1/2″ molding. They were 67 cents per foot. We used about two, 10 foot sticks per door for a total of $13 spent on wood for each one. This was just for the fronts of the doors, we didn’t apply the moldings to the back.

updating interior doors

Cutting The Moldings

Travis cut and measured the wood trim and taped them to the doors, and I came along after and glued them into place. I simply removed half of the tape, pulled the wood down, adhered the glue, and taped back into place. Make sure to wipe off any excess glue that shows around the moldings.

updating interior doors

Depending on your door size, your two molding squares will vary in size from the ones we used. We place the moldings 5" in from each side of the door and 5" apart in the middle of the two squares.

Let the glue set for 24 hours and then remove tape. Caulk any areas that you feel gap. Once that’s dried it’s time to paint.

updating interior doors

I went ahead and removed all the door knobs and threw them away since I knew we’d be replacing them anyhow. This also made it much easier to paint.

updating interior doors

Painting The Doors

Sherwin Williams is my go-to paint. My favorite color is reflective white. While Sherwin William is on the pricy side, I’ve used several other brands and nothing stands up to the quality. Plus, they always have good sales if you sign up for their emails!

I did not sand, except in a few areas where kids had previous placed stickers on the doors and left a sticky film. There was also a couple rough spots on the trim from being rammed into before.

updating interior doors

As for primer, I didn’t use it. I'm sure there's some out there who would disagree with that decision. Painters swear by Kilz It Primer, (and I’m no pro painter) honestly though, if my doors had been super glossy I might have used it. But since they weren’t, I saw it as an extra step that wasn’t needed, and went straight in with the paint. I had no stain bleeding into the white paint. It did however, take four coats over the dark wood doors. I had expected as much going into it though. If you’re in doubt, go ahead and use primer first.

Once the paint is dry, go ahead and replace your old handles, or install the new ones.

updating interior doors

That's it! A simple day project that can drastically change the look of your home! (This is after we also did our faux wainscoting and wallpaper as well)

These doors helped take this hallway from drab to eye catching! Love what a simple DIY can accomplish!

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Eryn | Eryn Whalen Online

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


Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • Terry
    7 days ago

    How did you add the chair railing? That plus the wallpaper and paint looks great.

  • Jacque Knighton
    7 days ago

    Great job!! The hall looks absolutely fabulous!!!

  • Shuganne
    3 days ago

    You threw out the old door knobs?? Were they totally trashed? I'm thinking someone at a thrift store might think they were a treasure.👼

    OK, get out my soap box... I totally agree with Michelle Linn that it is a shame to paint wood. Its timeless elegance beats the pants off paint, Sherwin Williams or not. A slightly darker, less orangey stain and some high-gloss polyurethane - with the door trim: what a brilliant low-cost touch - and high class wouldn't have begun to describe the look.

    Personal opinion, I loved the red wainscoting you had originally on the walls. Unless you needed lots of white to reflect limited lighting, I would have voted for a real chair rail and a fresh coat of that gorgeous Sherwin Williams red. Now you get to come over to my house and critique it.😝 It could use a complete re-do but I don't know if I'll have to be selling soon. The neighborhood is starting gentrification and I'm afraid to put too much into it, if it's going to be torn down for a McMansion.😣

    • Isn't it so fun that we all love different looks!? I wouldn't change a thing we did, and I'm sure the person that had our home before thought the same about their choices! Thankful homes can take on totally different looks depending on the owner.

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