You can mimic the architectural elegance of an old-time paneled door by adding narrow moldings and a little paint to a nondescript door of today.
See instructions below for this project.
- Start with a plain unfinished hollow-core interior door, or use an existing door in your home. Lay the door on supports and remove all hardware.
- Prepare, prime, and paint the entire surface with a base color.
- Next, mark and paint the "panel" color. We used a cream color for the base and a warm beige for the panel; using a slightly darker color for the panel helps it recede, enhancing the illusion of depth.
- Measure for moldings and purchase enough for one or both sides of the door. We chose two moldings for our door, a wide one for the outside border and a narrower molding for the inside border. Any molding that creates the look of a picture frame is ideal for this project.
- Miter-cut the outer molding to create the outer border of the panels.
- Miter-cut the second molding to fit 2 inches inside the first.
- Paint all molding pieces with the base color, then use wood glue and brads to attach the molding.
- Fill the nail holes with putty and touch up the paint.