From plain and hollow to paneled and regal: our door replacement project

January 17th, 2012 Posted by Uncategorized, Wellness 14 thoughts on “From plain and hollow to paneled and regal: our door replacement project”

The doors. The pièce de résistance of this mini home makeover project. When we decided to paint, we originally thought we’d just paint the front room. But then, where would we stop? So we decided to continue into the hallway…and then the eating area…and we might as well paint the kitchen.

It’s funny how once you update one part of your home, you realize how yucky the other parts look. So I broached the topic of replacing all our hollow, plain front doors with much more sophisticated and modern panel front doors. Since we were replacing all the bedroom doors, we might as well replace all those awful bifold doors with double doors. See how one project rolls into another and another and another project?


Anyway, these doors presented pros and cons. Pro: they are inexpensive. I think each door ran about $20. They are easy to paint. And once installed, they look fabulous. And…that’s about it for pros.

The downside? I hope you have a partner as handy as my poker-table building husband because these things are not easy to install. Well, maybe if the walls in your house are actually straight, you wouldn’t have as much difficulty. But working with a 1958 rambler presented many challenges.

It took several days to install these doors because Dan had to first fit them, then take them off for me to paint them, and then put them back on. This process resulted in much mess and gnashing of teeth. And swearing.

But, the result? Oh so lovely. These doors totally changed how I view this house. I didn’t realize how ugly our old doors looked until Dan installed the last door, and I saw the hallway completely transformed.


Swoon. These doors make me feel so regal. And now I am on a quest to erradicate all bifold doors from my life. Watch out, all you hunks of MDF, your days are numbered.

  • Wow, you weren’t kidding. It’s amazing what a difference those new paneled doors make. Really kicks the look and feel up a notch. Great job!!

    • Thanks! I love how it gives this-old-house a facelift.

  • BEAUTIFUL!!! It looks like a whole new house.

    • Thank you! We are in love. It makes the hallway feel so rich!

  • Hey that is lovely. Our RE agent said that the last thing we need to do to update is to change the doors in the front. The doors in the back are paneled doors. I love that you kept the clamshell moulding, though. What I am really interested in is why you have a vent in your attic trap door?

    • Who knows?! It was just like that. And it is completely adhered to the attic door. It can’t open. I suppose maybe one day we’ll switch out the attic entrance and remedy the situation. But one project at a time around here…

  • Oh, and just for kicks, our old doors are the original brown stain with BRASS knobs.

    • Oh yikes! I very much DISLIKE brass. Paneling + brass has to be one of the worst decorating looks of all time, in my opinion 🙂

  • Wow, what a transformation! Love it.

    • Thank you! We love it, too! Now I want to replace all the doors downstairs… 🙂

  • Mindy

    So nice! When we first moved into our house (eight years ago) my hubby and I said we should switch out all the doors. We never did, but now I’m going to put that back on our to-do list. They look great. I love the paint, too.

    • Thank you! If you don’t want to replacement them yourself, Home Depot is running a special – $199 to replace all doors. It might be worth looking into. We are so pleased with the result.

  • Kat

    I am officially diagnosing you with If You Give A Mouse A Cookie syndrome! But how beautiful do those doors look?! If you just find yourself gazing at them aimlessly, just know that I am totally okay with that.

    p.s. That decorative bit covering your vent is gorgeous. I just love it.

    • Ha ha! Just wait! If you think I have Give a Mouse a Cooke syndrome, now, well, it gets even more DIY up in here. Thank you, thank you, we just love our doors. Sometimes Dan and I do find ourselves just staring at them. They are so beautiful! 🙂

Hi! I’m Sarah, I am passionate about creating community, building deep connections, and the power of creativity. I live in Northern Virginia with my husband, our three kids, and our golden-lab mix.

I believe in leggings as pants, and I drink my coffee black. I love shopping at Costco, teaching group exercise classes, and, athleisure.

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