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3 Easy Folding Screens

Hollow-core doors or shutters purchased from a home improvement center easily become stylish floor screens that create privacy, hide clutter, or add architecture.

If you can't find a shaped horizontal border, make your own by cutting around shapes in a standard border. Coordinate the positions of the stripes with the horizontal border design.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image Decorate your screen to hide or highlight a corner.
  • 3 hollow-core doors
  • 4 coordinating wallpaper coverings, including a horizontal border and a narrow border that can be applied as stripes
  • Primer
  • Wallpaper adhesive (optional)
  • Vinyl-to-vinyl adhesive
  • 6 double-acting hinges with hardware
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Crafts knife
  • Straightedge or ruler
  • Awl
  • Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bit

Instructions:

1. Sand and prime doors. Sand doors and wipe clean. Apply two coats of primer, sanding lightly between coats.

2. Add main wallpaper. Cover entire door with main paper (in this example, solid blue), following manufacturer's directions. Fold corners gift-wrap style and wrap to back. Cut piece exact same size as door and apply to back, covering wrapped edges. Repeat with the other two doors.

3. Add contrasting border. Cover top 8 to 10 inches in same manner using contrasting paper. Cut border to be used as stripes to fit from bottom of top border to bottom of door. Apply to door with vinyl-to-vinyl adhesive. Add horizontal border to cover joint between top border and stripes. Repeat for the other two doors.

4. Add hinges. Set screens on floor in upright position with right sides facing same direction. Use paint cans, concrete blocks, or other heavy items to keep the screens upright. Mark positions of hinges, spacing them evenly. Install three hinges on each pair of doors according to package directions, making sure screen sits level.

5. If necessary, plane door bottoms so they are perfectly level.

A smaller version of this project can function as a screen to hide a fireplace opening, garbage cans, a recycling bin, or a stash of tools or toys.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image These three panels are 6, 6-1/2, and 7 feet high to add visual interest.
  • 3 unfinished plantation-style shutters
  • Clear polyurethane
  • 6 double-acting hinges with hardware
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Awl
  • Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bit

Instructions:

1. Apply clear polyurethane to the shutters. As the polyurethane dries, periodically move the louvers so they don't dry in one position. When dry, sand lightly.

2. Attach hinges. Set screens on floor in upright position with right sides facing same direction. Use paint cans, concrete blocks, or other heavy items to keep screens upright. Mark positions of hinges, spacing them evenly. Install three hinges per pair of shutters according to package directions, making sure screen sits level.

3. If necessary, plane bottoms of shutters so they are perfectly level.

You can make this screen wider simply by adding more doors or panels. To keep a wide screen steady, screw 2x4-inch wedges to the bottom of every other panel, alternating the side you attach the wedge to. Plain purchased doorstops can also be used to stabilize a screen. To make the braces less obtrusive, paint them to match the doors.

What You Need:

+ enlarge image For narrower panels, look for raised-panel closet doors.
  • 3 hollow-core doors with raised panels
  • Primer
  • White latex paint
  • Red latex paint
  • 9 double-acting hinges with hardware
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Cheesecloth
  • Paintbrushes
  • Screwdriver or drill with screwdriver bit

Instructions:

1. Prepare the doors. Fill any gouges or dents in doors with wood putty. Sand doors so they are perfectly smooth. Wipe clean.

2. Prime and paint. Prime doors, then paint white. Sand lightly and wipe with tack cloth. Paint doors red. While paint is still wet, wipe over surface with pad of cheesecloth, leaving enough paint to create a grained look. For interest, keep slightly more paint in recesses around raised panels.

3. Attach hinges. Set screens on floor in upright position, with right sides facing same direction. Use paint cans, concrete blocks, or other heavy items to keep screens upright. Mark positions of hinges, spacing them evenly. Install 3 hinges on each pair of doors according to package directions, making sure screen sits level.

4. If necessary, plane door bottoms so they are perfectly level.