This simple DIY panel door project will transform your flat doors into stylish 6-panel doors with cheap moulding! Don’t replace your old, ugly doors – give them an interior door makeover instead!
Don’t you just love the look of high-end interior doors with all their fancy trim and details? They add a lot of style to a home!
But they’re also quite expensive and it’s hard to replace just one door at a time, so saving up to replace ALL your doors can take quite a long time!
Which is why, I’m a huge advocate for giving your old, outdated interior doors a simple DIY door update. Even if it’s just to style them up until you can afford to replace them – a DIY panel door can look amazing!
Plus, as I always say, DIY means you can fully customize the moulding. When you add moulding to a flat door, you can choose if it looks like a 6-panel or some other style of door!
I’ve transformed both the interior garage door in my home and the one in my in-laws home (as shown here) from plain doors to panel doors with the easy DIY door makeover method I’m sharing with you today.
Seriously friends, it’s my favorite cheap way to make your boring doors look nice and expensive!
I hope this tutorial helps you add some low-cost style to your flat panel doors!
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DIY INTERIOR DOOR MAKEOVER WITH TRIM PANELS
For a printable copy of the materials and instructions, scroll down.
Flat Panel Door Makeover Instructions:
STEP 1: PREP THE DOOR
The first thing you want to do is clean the door really well. Use a multi-purpose cleaner and wipe the entire thing down.
Then, remove the door hardware and tape the hinges with painter’s tape.
STEP 2: DECIDE ON PANEL TYPE
Next, you need to decide which type of paneling you want your door to have.
I did the 6-panel style on my in-laws’ door (shown in this post,) and a 2-panel style on our garage door. The beauty of DIY is that you can do any style you want!
I you aren’t a fan of the 6-panel, you could try a more modern shaker style like this one:
Or, you could do one with beadboard inside the trim for more of a country style like this:
Whatever style you end up going with, spend some time drawing it out on paper and figuring out the measurements for each piece of the details.
STEP 3: DRAW TEMPLATE FOR THE MOULDING
After you’ve decided what type of moulding you want to install, use a pencil and ruler to draw a template of your moulding on the door.
I used a 6-panel door from elsewhere in the home to determine the spacing of my panels and if I could go back and re-do it, I’d be sure there’s a 4″ gap between all of them so the 4″ paint roller could fit through each of them.
What dimensions you use really depend on the size of your door and the style of moulding you decide to do, so I’m not going to give you measurements here.
STEP 4: GLUE ON THE WOOD TRIM
Once you have your pencil template all drawn on the door, use your chop saw to cut wood trim pieces for each part of the moulding.
I ended up cutting 12 short pieces (for the horizontals) all at the same length and then 12 at varying lengths for the verticals. We also used a miter (45 degree) cut on all our corners because of the style we were going for.
To install the moulding, apply liquid nails to the back of your trim piece, press it against the door within your penciled-on template, and use 2-3 pieces of painter’s tape to hold it in place.
Don’t hesitate to use a lot of tape – it’s critical that the trim stays where it should while the liquid nails dry!
Work your way down the door installing each piece of trim within your template.
Once you have all the trim installed, let it dry (with the tape ON) for 24 hours.
STEP 5: CAULK AND PAINT
After you’ve let the glue dry, remove all the painter’s tape and caulk every edge where the trim meets the door.
Let this dry for 24 hours and then prime and paint your entire door with high-quality interior paint.
Even if your door is a cheap hollow core door, you can paint it!
I recommend removing the handle hardware to make painting easier too.
And that’s it! Re-install the hardware and you have a beautiful, expensive-looking faux 6-panel door!
I mean, check out the difference in this before/after comparison…
It looks like a completely different door!
Printable Interior Door Makeover Instructions
- Clean the door with multi-purpose cleaner.
- Sketch out the measurements and trim pieces for your door depending on size.
- Measure and mark a template for the trim moulding on the door using a pencil.
- Use a chop saw to cut your trim pieces and then glue them on with liquid nails. Use painter's tape to hold the trim in place while the glue dries for 24 hours.
- Caulk every seam between the trim and the door and let dry for 24 hours.
- Prime and paint the door.
I hope these flat panel door ideas make it easier for you to do a plain door makeover in your home!
As always, let me know if you have any questions. 🙂