How to Add Trim to Plain Bifold Doors

Remember the doors we DIY’ed in April & Mike’s bedroom for the fall home makeoverEasy DIY bi-fold door transformation

They turned out soooooo good & really inspired me to take a look at the bi-fold doors in my own home.

I showed you guys the new doors in yesterday’s post, but today I’m ready to break down the DIY project for ya so you can DIY closet doors like these in your own home. My laundry doors- before

Here are the louvered doors that hide our laundry unit, HVAC, and hot water heater. They’re so dang crappy and I’ve been meaning to spruce them up ever since we moved in.

The old doors, before the makeoverNot only are they a bit of an eyesore, but they also allow a lot of noise to escape into the main room. Whenever the hot water heater kicks on, or we have laundry going, you can really hear it in the main room. Not the best when you’re trying to enjoy dinner or watch TV.

When we got our HVAC & hot water heater serviced, I specifically asked the technician if we would be able to remove the louvered door and instead put in flat panel doors that are a bit thicker. That way some of the noise would be muffled and it would look a heck of a lot better. He surveyed the entire area, and to my delight he said we could go for it! Yes! Bye, bye, ugly cheap doors.

Detail of the laundry door before the make overWith our new laundry, I knew it was time to get to this DIY project and spruce up the doors. While we did a blog post about the doors for the Lowe’s home makeover, we didn’t do a fully fledged tutorial. If you’re looking to recreate this project at home, I figured it might be helpful to give you a step-by-step for how I DIY’ed my bifold doors. Paint brush ready to go

Supplies

  • New Flat Panel Doors
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush, Tray, & Small Roller
  • Miter Saw
  • Nail Gun & 1″ nails
  • Liquid Nails
  • Sanding Block
  • Caulk & Caulk Gun
  • Painter’s Putty
  • White Paint
  • Black Handles
  • Drop Cloths
  • Saw Horses
  • Lattice
  • Tape Measure & Pencil
  • Safety Glasses
  • Laser Level

How to Add Trim to Plain Bifold Doors

Step 1

Plain bi-fold doors before the project begins The first thing I did was order new flat panel doors. I ended up getting these oak ones and they were shipped within a week. Once they arrived, I removed the old ones and hung the new. I simply followed the directions to get the new ones up and secure. The doors came with a new track and hardware, so it wasn’t too difficult. I wanted to make sure the doors fit perfectly before I painted & added the trim. So once I ensured that they were good to go, I removed them and took them to the garage for painting.

Step 2 

Bi-fold doors, being painted

With the help of some sawhorses, I laid out the doors and got to priming. A small roller & tray got the job done, and I used my favorite primer. I put 2 coats on each side and also got the edges & creases.

Step 3The primer for the project

With the doors drying, I put a thin coat of primer on every side of each piece of lattice. The mini roller came in handy to get these done very quickly.

Step 4DeWalt Miter Saw

With the lattice & doors all primed and ready, it was time to get cutting. I started with the long vertical pieces and I measured 1/2 inch off of each edge of the door. For each bi-fold, I cut all 4 vertical pieces at once to make sure that they were all even. Then I attached them to the actual door, still leaving the 1/2 inch on each edge (so the door can easily open & close). Detail- wood trim on bi-fold door

To attached each piece, I used liquid nails as well as our pneumatic nail gun. Liquid nails

This combo will keep any piece of wood on there very securely.

Step 5Adding wood trim to the doors

With all of the vertical pieces attached, I went ahead and cut the horizontal pieces of lattice. This took some trial & error to make each piece fit exactly between the verticals. Updated doorsI decided on a design with 3 rectangular boxes on each 1/2 of the door, so I ended up cutting 8 pieces for each. As I cut each one, I attached it to the door…until all of the wood was on there!

Rookie Tip: I ended up doing the laundry doors & the other 2 doors on different days, so my laundry door was done before the other 2. For the other 2 doors, I waited to add the horizontal lattice until I actually hung the doors up. I didn’t want the horizontal pieces to not line up perfectly, so I found it easiest to hang the doors up and then attach. I definitely recommend this route if you have more than 1 door to DIY, and use a laser level to make sure they’re perfect aligned. 

Step 6Painter's Putty

Now it was time to make my work look seamless. I filled the nail holes with Painter’s Putty (be sure to just ball it up and use it like an eraser on each little hole), and waited for that to dry. Caulk gun

Then, I used caulk along every single seam of the wood to make it look that much more polished.

Rookie Tip: Keep a wet paper towel or rag nearby as you caulk, and clean up your lines as you go. We always use the method where you drag your finger behind your line of caulk. It gets messy on the hands, but you come away with a nice neat line of caulk on your piece. Sanding block and wood trim

With the caulk & putty dry, I went around and sanded everything down to ensure it was smooth and ready for paint! Make sure you also use a rag to get rid of any dust & debris before you move onto the next step.

Step 7Bi-fold doors reinstalled

I decided to hang my doors and then paint them. But you could always paint the doors at your work station, let them fully cure, and then hang them back up. Totally up to you!Painting the doors

Using a roller & brush combo, I got to work painting the bi-folds with a white semi-gloss paint. Behr paint

After 3 coats, my doors were looking good with even coverage!

Step 8

Black handles on the closet doorsFor the finishing touch, I added these sleek black handles to each door. Just use a drill and pilot bit to create your hole, and then secure the handle right on there.Updated bi-fold doors in the laundry room

They look 100x better than our old doors and I’m in love! Finished product- gorgeous and updatedFinished look- perfect!

It’s crazy how big of a difference the doors make in the entire space. I can’t believe I didn’t do this project sooner!This easy bi-fold door project updated the whole roomHow to add trim to bi-fold doors

Next DIY for me? Add trim around the perimeter of these closet doors so I can officially cross this area off our home’s to-do list!

 

Casey