How to Convert Bifold Doors Into Swinging Cafe Doors

by Lindsey
6 Materials
3 Hours

Nothing screams the 1970’s and 1980’s like good old bifold doors. Am I right? I remember living with bifold doors growing up. I also remember they never stayed on their track! We were lucky enough to inherit a few sets when we moved into our rustic beach cottage. In an effort to transform these old things, I’m going to show you how to convert bifold doors into swinging cafe doors for our master bedroom closet.

The best idea I could think of was to replace the bifold door hardware and install cafe door hardware (some call it saloon door or butler door hardware). This puts the doors on a swinging hinge that stays shut when not in use.

Before I get ahead of myself with the bifold door makeover and cafe door hardware, let me show you these 1980’s bifold doors.

Bifold doors before the makeover

Cut moulding for the doors

Use a miter saw to make 45 degree cuts to create picture moulding for the front of the door that will face the bathroom. I’ll leave the backside (the side that faces the closet) without moulding.

Glue Moulding to the doors

Use Gorilla Glue to glue the moulding to the doors. You can also use a finishing nailer.

After the glue dried and the moulding was secure on the doors, it was time to paint!

Paint the doors

Choose a paint and paint the doors!

Install Cafe Door Hardware

Follow the instructions that came with the hardware.

Installing cafe doors hardware
Install doors on their tracks!

I'm not going to lie, getting the top hardware to fit was a bit of a headache. I've shared some tips in my video of how I was able to make it work.

My new doors!

Don't they look so much better now? They are more functional too!

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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 6 questions
  • Cardinal Cardinal on Nov 16, 2020

    I hadn't thought about changing bifold doors. But when I bought my home 33 yrs ago, i remodeled and had the contractor build me what i called..."old western swinging bar doors" that went into the kitchen. Everyone has always loved them. They swing both ways and can stay open on either side. I want to build another set but can't find the same hardware. Where did you get the swinging door hardware you used? It is similar to my old doors but not all of them allow the doors to stay open.

  • Linda Linda on Nov 18, 2020

    How to make the doors swing or pull out instead of swing in

    Also what if you have 4 panels instead of 2 like a double bifold and you want them to swing/pull out as pairs

  • Marlene Marlene on Oct 23, 2022

    So these swing into the closet???

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2 of 5 comments
  • Jill H Jill H on Oct 25, 2020

    The tiny gap at the top would probably bother me too so I would just attach a small piece of moulding across the top (& down the sides) to cover it up for an even more finished look! Since they swing IN to the closet, the moulding shouldn’t hinder them from closing.

  • Betsey Betsey on Oct 23, 2022

    I did the same thing for my 1/2 bathroom storage and in my kitchen. I love them cause I hate bi-fold doors!