When my husband and I were looking at buying homes, one thing the old homes that I loved usually had were these amazing, paneled, solid wood doors. They were swoon worthy! And even though the newer (i.e. 60’s-80’s) homes were more updated in the places it mattered, insulation, electric, etc., one thing I could never get over were those darn flat, hollow core doors. But as you know, we went with one of those newer, flat doored homes.
I have lived with them for 3 years now, but now I am on a mission to change that... on the cheap. First, let me tell you how I got to the solution I did, because on the surface, there seems to be some better options.
In our last home, my dad replaced all those hollow core doors with real, old, paneled doors. They were amazing, but it isn’t easy fitting old doors to new door jams, and he is busy on other projects. So this task was up to me.
Next option, and the one I thought I would do when I started out, was to rip plywood down in strips and fake a 5 paneled door look. But here is the issue with that, this only works when the “front” of your doors opens out of the door jam. Like a closet door would. The reason being is that you can’t add a 1/4” of thickness to the door and expect it to close against the current door stop the same. It won’t line up. You could move the door stop, but mine are manufactured as part of the doors jam. I would have to basically rip the whole thing off and then replace it with a whole new one. (Some doors have nailed in stops that can be pried up and moved.) Next fix for this was to move all the trim in a 1/2” so the door would shut and look good closed. But ours are open 90% of the time and I didn’t like this idea either.
So in came the next plan, I swear I will get to the actual how to soon, I just want you to understand why so you don’t have to rack your brain on all the options and spend hours in the store like I did. The next option was to add trim to the inner part of the door, and fake large panels. This looks fine, it’s not my favorite, but it was the next best option. So I set my sights on trim at Lowe’s. That stuff is pricey! Even with the cheapest littlest piece of trim, and needing about three pieces per side of the door, I was looking at roughly $30 in trim per door. Yes I know that I could’ve only done one side of the door, but my OCD also would not have let that happen! So in the very cheapest option I’m looking at $30 of trim on a door, to make an OK looking update. Well, for $40 a door you can buy a panel hollow core door. If I’m going to spend that much money I would rather just replace the doors.
Yes, so now I set my sights on trying to find the cheapest option for wood that I didn’t have to rip down into teeny little strips because although I can cut miter edges easily, I’m not very good at ripping wood down. And the people at our hardware stores seem less than pleased to do that, and sometimes flat out tell me they won’t. So, I ended up finding the perfect size trim, for the perfect price, in the lattice section.