5 Panel Door from a Flat Hollow Core Door

Plain Flat Hollow Core Door to 5-Panel Black Door

(click here to jump back to see the DIY faux salvaged wood door tutorial)

DIY Paneled Door on a Budget by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

This is the door to our master bedroom, which used to look like this:

How to Create a Painted Paneled Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

After I painted our walls an almost white/super light gray shade, this space turned into the hallway of no color. Black was the answer! I headed to Lowe’s and bought a $12 piece of 1/4″ (actual thickness = 0.2″) 4×8′ sheet of plywood. It’s in the molding/paneling section (next to the beadboard) and it is pink toned on one side, which is perfect for painting. The price has recently increased to $14, but still a great deal!

Since the door surface is smooth (unlike our original foyer door), I didn’t need to cover it with anything (whew!)

You’ll need a table saw to rip the pieces down to your desired width or you can have Lowe’s or Home Depot do it for free—just tell them to cut carefully 🙂

On this door I also used a nail gun (with 1/2″ 18 gauge finish nails) to secure the pieces, but again you can use liquid nails with clamps held on overnight since the plywood is so lightweight.

How to DIY a 5 Panel Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

Flip it over and repeat for the other side. Again, you’ll need an arbor to drill out a hole for the door handle.

Once all my pieces were attached, I sanded down the rough edges with my Mouse.

5 Panel Painted Door DIY by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

Then I spackled the nail holes and caulked where the boards met the door for a seamless look.

How to Turn a Plain Door into a 5 Panel Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

After drying overnight, I gave everything a nice thorough sanding with finer grit sandpaper (including the actual door panel).

How to Upgrade a Plain Door into a 5 Panel Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

Just like the foyer door, the casing had to be adjusted so it would close properly, since I added almost 1/2″ of depth onto the door.

First I cut a line with a sharp edge on all sides…

Plain Door Upcycle into 5 Paneled Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

Then pried the pieces off. Luckily these ones came off really easily (you can see the three pieces in the hallway).

Redesign an Old Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

Some of the nails will stay in the door casing which you can just hammer back in, and break off the ones stuck in the molding.

Then I cleared the built up caulk from the door casing and the trim pieces so it was nice and clean for reinstallation:

How to Reuse an Old Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

I decided to hang the door back up first before painting it because 1) it was 100° in the garage, and 2) I could turn on the TV in our room to make it more enjoyable. It really doesn’t matter either way, you just have to be slightly more careful to not paint the casing.

Add Style to a Plain Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

I used Valspar’s Signature Dark Kettle Black in a satin finish. The coverage is amazing… here’s after just one coat:

Add Style to an Old Door with Panels and Paint by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

Of course the plywood took to it better than the painted white door—it almost covered in just one coat!

All it needed was two coats and a few touch ups. Easy, fast paint job (excuse the poor lighting).

 

Create a Custom 5 Panel Painted Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic
Black kitty approved.

Once the knob was back on, I shut the door and nailed the casing pieces back in place so the new door would close properly.

Add Style to an Old Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

Then I filled the nail holes and caulked it back in, sanded and painted.
Ahhh… so rich.

How to Create a Stylish 5 Panel Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

It’s a little difficult to see the detail through photos (I have to bump up the exposure a bit, hence the grainy-ish pics) but it’s really lovely in person.

How to Create a Stylish 5 Panelled Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

I love the way it ties into the wall paneling.

How to Create a Painted 5 Panel Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

I’ll be converting all of the doors eventually. This hallway needs some loving, I know. One step at a time.

How to Add Style to an Plain Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

It’s extra lovely dressed up for the holidays…

How to Create a Custom 5 Panel Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

 

How to Create a 5 Panel Door from a Hollow Core Door by Jenna Sue Design Co featured on @Remodelaholic

What do you think? If you have $14 lying around and a free afternoon, I promise you can tackle this yourself! No helper needed. And if you don’t have old flat doors to start with, they are readily available at places like ReStore, thrift stores, Craigslist or your local Facebook buy & sell groups (people often give them away). So worth the effort for something you can enjoy in your home forever.

 

I hope this tutorial can help inspire and motivate those of you out there who feel stuck with your existing outdated doors. There is hope, and it’s so much cheaper and easier than you think!

Head over to my blog for lots more DIY inspiration and projects—and make sure to stop by the DIY Projects page for all of my tutorials, ranging from easy wall paneling to an inexpensive fabric tufted headboard, a rustic sliding barn door and more!

5 Panel Door from a Flat Hollow Core Door

And as always, catch me over on instagram, Facebook and Pinterest to see what we’re currently up to!

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Thanks for sharing with us, Jenna! Such amazing style from humble beginnings.

Click over to Jenna Sue Designs to see Jenna’s beautiful homes (all 3 are lovely!) and her awesome DIY skills on projects big and small, like clever and easy bedside shelves and a beautiful kitchen ceiling.

Coming up first thing tomorrow in #ShutTheFrontDoorDIY:

(be sure to subscribe by RSS or email to get updates for every post of Shut The Front Door DIY week)

Add closet or cabinet storage by building a shelf on the back of the door @Remodelaholic

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40 Comments

  1. What recommendations would you have to do something like this with an exterior/entry door? I’ve seen a lot of tutorials for interior hollow doors, but our 1950s ranch remodel has flat hollow doors throughout, including the three exterior doors. Would you recommend creating panels like this (or other designs) on exterior doors?

  2. I recently did this to 10 doors in a house I’m renovating. I want to warn anyone doing it that the door stop molding may be part of the door frame which makes it a huge pain to separate and move. Took me a week to do 10 doors and I’m no slouch when it comes to diy and being handy. Don’t get me wrong I love the look though just not worth saving a little bit of money.

  3. Love this! But I don’t understand why you had to remove the casing and put it back on afterward… I know you made the door thicker, but can you explain why you had to adjust the casing?

    1. more details on HOW what u did to make the door casing work. Remove and put back on tells us nothing did u replace trim with something else, if so what thanks.

      1. the door is thicker with the material making the panels. the door will not close with the stops in the same location.

  4. Did you have to move the placement of the hinges or did they go in the places on the door and the jam?

  5. You have to move the door stop (the piece of molding that runs the vertical distance on the door jamb. It is what the door shuts up against. If you dont move it, your door wont shut.

  6. I know you must be sick of answering questions about this. I am getting ready to try this. I understand your instructions well. My question is regarding the other side of the door. Did you also apply the same pattern to that side? Did you have to make any adjustments there to accommodate the extra width of that side of the door?
    Thanks …

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