So, our new bedroom has a bit of a problem. It’s a fine room. It’s just, well, boring. It doesn’t have giant picturesque windows or beams in the ceiling or a fireplace or well, much of anything that can give a room some personality. It’s kind of just four walls and a few small windows that are weirdly high in the style of a midcentury modern house. That being said, I’ve made it my mission to add things into the room that give it some more personality, and I thought that customizing the double closet doors would be a great way to do that. I love all the trimmed closets and doors in Parisian apartments that make the room look so chic and expensive. So I thought it would be fun to add some trim details to our closet and bring a little of that vibe to the space.
Since we had metal doors on the closets, I had to first swap them out with flat front wooden doors the same size so I could build the trim on top of the doors. I couldn’t find a link to the doors I bought, but I got them from Lowes so I would try your local home improvement place or door store if you need flat front doors. Each door will probably be installed a little differently, so just follow the directions for the doors you get.
Once those were in, I used a tape about the same width as my trim pieces to decide what type of trim pattern I wanted to do. Since this is my first go at adding trim to doors like this and the trim I picked is already a pattern, I thought I would keep the design fairly simple. Once I had the tape estimate where I wanted it, I used a miter power saw to cut all the pieces to the right length. You can cut and fit trim pieces together at a 45 degree angle, but since I had the patterned trim with the squares, it seemed better to cut the ends off straight instead since it didn’t seem like the pattern would line up as well on an angle. Trim wood can be pretty easy to cut by hand as well (especially the pieces that are made of softer wood like mine were). So you can also just use a hand saw and a miter box if you don’t have a power saw. For this design I ended up using about 2 8′ trim strips per door panel.
Once I had the pieces cut, I used masking tape to hold each piece in place so I could make sure they all fit and so I could center the design. Once I was happy with it, I removed the tape on one piece at a time, used wood glue on the back of each strip, and nailed the trim in place with very small nails. It takes a bit of time to do all that. But remember…you’re making your doors awesome, so quit whining and get back to work!
SIDE NOTE: Make sure to check and see if your doors fully open once you tape your trim pieces in place. It may sound like a no-brainer, buuuuut I totally forgot to do that, nailed and glued the whole door set in place, and then couldn’t open the doors the whole way because the trim was in the way. D’oh! I had to rip off all the trim pieces, switch the door hardware the opposite way so the bad side was on the back, make a few cuts, and redo the whole thing on the other side. No fun at all!!!
Once the glue has dried, you can fill any gaps where the trim pieces come together with wood filler and lightly sand those parts smooth. I really wouldn’t skip this step if you can. It helps make the separate pieces all look like one unit. If you get really fancy, you can even fill gaps between the crease where the trim hits the door front (kind of like you would with trim around doors or windows and the wall).
Once your wood is looking good, pull the doors off and use a semi-gloss paint to paint the doors (I chose Beach Blanket by Valspar). Then put your doors back on when dry. I would suggest using painter’s tape over the hardware where the doors come together when you paint so the metal doesn’t stick together once you close the doors.
Drill a hole and install a door pull if there isn’t one already on your doors, and your closet is back in business!
I. Love. These. DOORS! They add SO much to the room and look so custom compared to the basic doors that were there before. The trim looks sophisticated, but the color adds a pop of fun that modernizes a classic idea. The first few days of waking up to the new minty doors made me so happy. So even though it was a bit tedious of a project (especially with my big, stupid mistake), it was totally worth it, and I’m so happy with how they turned out. Looks like a good start to de-borifying our room if you ask me! xo. Laura
Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.