Updating Interior Doors

7 Materials
$61
1 Day
Easy

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)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 19 questions
  • Diane
    on May 25, 2020

    Beautiful! But I do have a question. Did you really use Marblewood, from South America? Its value is in the marbled color. Seems a shame to paint it. I don't know where you live, but here in the US I would have chosen a less expensive wood. But, I LOVE what you did!

    • Diane
      on May 28, 2020

      Thank you Leslie. Frankly, I have a love hate relationship with Hometalk, and knowing that they do this is tipping the scales. I love the ideas, and I appreciate the work that you all do to post your great projects. Thank you.

  • Cece
    on May 25, 2020

    Eryn (or any of you experience DIY),

    I am so new at these kind of thing. What tool(s) do you use to cut the angle trims?


    • Cece
      on May 30, 2020

      Eryn - thank you!


      Leslie - exactly what I needed visually. Thanks so much❣️

  • Robyn
    on May 31, 2020

    If anyone can help answer this for me, how would doing this and painting the doors but not the trim and baseboards look? I was thinking doors possibly painted to look like a darker stain? Suggestions or thoughts?

Join the conversation

3 of 164 comments
  • Lisa West
    on May 31, 2020

    Your hallway is so pretty and relaxing. Makes me want to bring a comfy chair over and a book and just sit and read in your hallway. Thank you for sharing. Look absolutely fantabulous.

  • Connie Eggen
    on Jun 23, 2020

    Looks great! Big improvement.

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