Inside: Transform a drab bifold closet door to give a modern look for less than $50 using 1/4 inch plywood.
It’s amazing what a 1/4 inch piece of plywood can do!
I transformed this hallway closet bifold door into a barn door. In this post, I will show you how to makeover a double bifold door with a modern style.
What to do with awkward spaces…
When we remodeled our master bathroom we also did a few updates to our master bedroom. We had a black hole of a wall on the south side of our bedroom. We thought what a perfect place for my husband’s closet. He gets his own closet and I get him out of the master closet. A win-win for both.
Here is the black hole and the before master bath and bedroom remodel.
After the remodel with new double bifold closet doors. Better but still drab and boring.
And now voila!
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*Before you get started make sure you have your Safety Gear. For this project, I recommend safety goggles, ear protection and N95 mask for staining.
If you are excited about the opportunity to update your boring bi-fold door but don’t know what look you want then check out this post on 10 bifold door makeovers.
This tutorial is for a double closet door or two bifold doors. Adjust your materials to fit your specific closet door(s).
TOOLS FOR DIY BIFOLD CLOSET DOOR MAKEOVER
- Measuring tape
- Table saw – I use the Rigid Table Saw or you can also use a circular saw
- Saw – I use this miter saw
- Pin nailer – I use the Ryobi 23G Pin Nailer. You can also use a brad nailer. I have used one in the past with this bifold to barndoor
- Carpenter’s square
- Sander/sandpaper – I use the Ryobi Orbital Sander
- Drill – I use this drill
SUPPLIES FOR DIY BIFOLD CLOSET DOOR MAKEOVER
- Bifold door – we purchased two of these bifold doors – make sure to buy the correct bifold door and size for your closet opening.
- 2 – 1/4 inch 4 x 8 ft sheets of plywood
- Liquid nails
- Wood glue (I ended up using some because I ran out of liquid nails)
- 1″ 23 G pin nails
- White caulk
- Wood filler
- White primer
- White latex paint
- Foam roller
- Polyurethane sealer – I used Rust-oleum Triple Thick
- Door handle – I used these handles
CUTS FOR DIY BIFOLD CLOSET DOOR MAKEOVER
*A few things to note. If you don’t own a saw have your local hardware store cut them for you. Your cuts will vary depending on the size of your particular bifold door. I have included my cuts below for reference. Adjust your measurements according to your sizing preference. Due to variances in the thickness of wood, errors in measurements and cuts, I recommend cutting your pieces as you progress through the build. Remember measure twice, cut once.
Each bifold door measured 79 x 24 inches.
I ripped cut my pieces down to 11 3/4 inches and 3 inches wide using a table saw. Then I cut to size with a miter saw.
Vertical Pieces – First Layer
- 4 – 79 x 11 3/4 inches
Vertical Pieces – Second Layer
- 4 – 79 x 3 inches
Horizontal Pieces – Second Layer
*Measure these last after the second layer of vertical pieces are applied for more precise cuts.
- 16 – 8 5/8 x 3 inches
STEPS TO COMPLETE DIY BIFOLD CLOSET DOOR MAKEOVER
Step 1) Lay your bifold doors flat. Sawhorses are a good option for this. Add your first vertical layer of 1/4″ thick plywood. To do this apply liquid nails and place the first vertical piece on top of the bifold door. I used popsicle sticks in the fold to keep the piece from shifting towards the middle. Use clamps to hold in place. Insert several 1″ 23G pin nails to hold in place until the glue dries. Repeat for each side of the bifold door.
Step 2) Add the second vertical layer. To do this repeat the process you did in step one by using liquid nails and inserting a few 1″ 23G pin nails. Before inserting the nails use a scrap piece to check for square.
Step 3) Add the second layer of horizontal pieces. I cut these to size after I had added the second layer of vertical pieces for more precise cuts. I started out by adding the top and bottom horizontal pieces. Glue and nail as you did in the first two steps. Make sure to check for square.
If you are doing two doors I recommend situating the two doors side by side to check alignment with the horizontal pieces.
For the remaining horizontal pieces measure and mark for placement. Once I measured for my spots I marked two lines the width of a horizontal piece.
Then glue, square it and nail in place.
Repeat for the rest of the horizontal pieces.
Step 4) Apply wood filler and caulk. I added wood filler to any gaps and nail holes and caulk to any gaps from the second layer.
Step 5) Add a primer and your choice of paint color. I applied one coat of white Kilz 2 primer using a foam roller and a paintbrush. Then I applied two coats of white latex paint. I used the same white paint on this closet door that I use on my house trim. You can definitely add more character to your closet by adding a different color or staining instead of painting. I was going for more plain as I didn’t want to draw attention to the doors.
Step 6) Apply a sealer. Because a closet gets a lot of wear and tear I applied two coats of a triple-thick poly. Finally, add your choice of door handles. I added my handles directly in the vertical center of each bifold door and about 39 1/2 inches on center of the handle from the bottom of the door.
Because the closet opening is wider than the bifold doors I plan to add some trim. In the meantime see this post on DIY Trim for Bifold Doors to add a finishing touch.
I conquered the black hole!