Door Transformation: Flat Panel => Shaker Style
Who doesn’t hate those cheap looking flat doors? In my last post about Installing Pocket Doors, you may have seen a glimpse of our new shaker style doors. I transformed some cheap flat panel doors into shaker style paneled doors with just some plywood strips and paint…
- 1/4″ Plywood ($14 for one sheet that will do about 3 door sides or 1 1/2 doors)
- Caulk (latex, paintable type)
- Construction adhesive and/or 1/2″ crown staples (for pneumatic stapler)
Total Cost ~$20 per door.
Yes, I use Pinterest! It’s not just for the girls. 😉 I actually combined a few ideas that I found on Pinterest to create these doors…
I ripped the plywood on my table saw to (3) dimensions: 4″ wide, 3″ wide, and 8″ wide. Each side of a door requires (2) 4″ strips for the stiles, (1) 4″ top rail, (1) 3″ strip for the middle rail and stile, and (1) 8″ rail for the bottom. The width will vary depending on your door size. A picture is worth 1000 words here…
I used my pneumatic crown stapler to attach the plywood to the doors, but you can also use wood glue or construction adhesive.
Spackle and Caulk
Spackle and caulk are the key part of this project. Everything looks a little rough around the edges unless you do a quality job of caulking all the seams and spackling all the staple holes. I caulked around the inside of all the “panels” to seal them to the door. One quick round of sanding with 220 grit sand paper after that, and you are ready for paint.
Holes for the Handles
I used my router with a bearing guided bit to re-cut the holes for the handles. This way, you can just drill a hole somewhere in the middle of the door handle, plunge the router through the hole, and follow the edge of the existing hole with the bearing.
If you don’t own a router, another easy way would be to finish one side of the door at a time. Then, use a drill with the correct size hole saw to re-cut the hole from the back side.
Primer and Paint
I used my airless Graco Magnum Project Painter to paint the doors, but there are many other ways to get it done. I like the airless sprayer because it is super fast and the result is a very smooth finish. I used a piece of scrap wood to attach two doors together at the top and some scrap 2×4’s underneath to space them off of the ground.
Install the Door
After the paint is dry, it is time to install the hinges and handles and hang the door back up. You will need to remove and re-install the door stop on the door frame to accommodate the new thicker door also… which will probably lead to more sanding and painting. All good things take time, I guess!
The finished product is a total game changer for the look of a room. I’ve re-finished 14 doors so far in our house and the difference is amazing. There are still 5 more to do downstairs too… 19 doors… wow! I never counted them up until I wrote this. There is no way I could have afforded to replace all of those doors!
Leslie was skeptical at first about my choice of gray for the doors, but she is totally sold now. What’s not to like?
Till next time…