Help for Boring Doors
Use these simple tricks and common decorative trims to add style to hollow-core doors.
Mimic the architectural elegance of an old-time panel door by adding narrow moldings and a little paint to a nondescript door.
1. Paint the entire door a base color.
2. Mark and paint the "panel" color.
3. Measure placement and cut molding. Miter-cut the first molding to create the outer border of the panels; cut the second molding to fit 2 inches inside the first.
4. Paint and attach molding. Paint all the pieces of molding, then glue and nail them in place. Because the door's wood is thin, nails alone aren't strong enough for everyday wear and tear. Wood glue actually holds the trim in place, but the nails keep things from shifting while the glue dries.
5. Finish. Fill the nail holes with putty and touch up the paint.
Use the same wallpaper pattern on doors and cupboard fronts to unify a room's background when the walls are also papered. When the walls are painted, papering doors and cupboards draws attention to the room's architectural detail.
1. Measure the door for placement of paper and molding. Plan your panel so the doorknob falls outside the wallpapered area, saving the paper from soil. Mark the corners on the door with pencil.
2. Check the wallpaper design. Center the wallpaper design on the panel area and make any adjustments in panel size. For example, bold patterns should be centered, and checks or stripes should end evenly.
3. Paint the door, and let dry.
4. Attach the wallpaper according to manufacturer's instructions.
5. Cut, paint, and attach molding. Miter-cut narrow molding to create a border around the paper. Paint the molding, then glue and nail it in place. Fill nail holes and touch up the paint.
Pine tongue-and-groove paneling strips extend a room's casual welcome. If you're starting from scratch, buy a door without a pre-drilled doorknob hole.
1. Cut paneling to height. Using a radial or miter saw, cut the strips to fit the door's height.
2. Cut paneling to width. Lay out the strips, starting from the door's outside edge and working toward the hinge edge. On a table saw, rip the last strip to fit the door's width.
3. Mark diameter of doorknob hole on the edge of the door. Measure and note how far in to drill the hole
4. Attach panels to door. Glue and nail the first strip to the door. Apply glue to the back of the second strip. Glue the tongue-and-groove together, then nail the second strip in place. Repeat for each strip.
5. Drill doorknob hole through paneling or (if using an undrilled door) through paneling and door.
6. Finish. Fill the nail holes and apply a clear sanding sealer.
In a room that looks choppy because of multiple openings or doorways in awkward places, matching the door to the rest of the room creates visual unity.
1. Cut the chair rail trim slightly narrower than the door width. Bevel the end that faces the hinges, making sure the bevel is deep enough so that the door will open without binding. (Even under the best circumstances, the door may bind slightly when opened fully.)
2. Paint the door and chair rail to match the room. (Remember to paint the door's edges to match the room the door opens into.)
3. Attach chair rail to door. Glue, then nail the chair rail into place so it aligns with the wall rail.
4. Finish. Fill the nail holes and touch up the paint.