How to make a Dutch Split Door from an Existing Door

Have on old door waiting for something special? This is it! Come see how to transform it into an amazing Dutch Door.

No old door? See our tutorial on how to build your own a Dutch Barn Door or this one on how to build your own sliding barn door.

DIY Dutch door from existing door by It's the Little Things on Remodelaholic

Upcycled Door to Dutch Door

 written by Karla from It’s The Little Things

Last March I was lucky enough to spot a “Free Stuff” pile just outside of our neighborhood. And in it, was a solid wood, 8 panel door.

Junked Solid Wood Door Transformed Into Dutch Door By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic

I thought it was perfect.

Will thought I was crazy.

But he knew if he didn’t help me load it into the car that I would do whatever it took to get it in there myself. So, reluctantly, he helped me load the door, and it became mine!

You can read all about it, along with my original plan for the door, here:“Look What I Found”. And see all the readers’ opinions on the door here: “Your Opinions On The Door”

So what did we end up doing with it?

Related Reading: 100 Ways to ReUse Old Doors

Well, here she is…

DIY Dutch Door With Added Glass Panels By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 533x800

Not only did we cut out the top four panels and replace them with glass, but we turned it into a Dutch Door and I could not be happier with the end result!

The process was a bit tricky. We weren’t entirely sure how well the door would hold up to cutting out panels and sawing it in half, but luckily for us, it was in great condition.

How to Make a Dutch Door from an Old Door

DIY Dutch Door Step 1: Cut away the panels…

Since we wanted glass on top, we carefully removed the middle panels on the top half.

See also: How to Install a Glass Window in a Hollow Core Door

How To Remove Panels In A Door To Put In Glass By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x400

Adding Glass Panels To A Solid Wood Door By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x400

DIY Door Remodel Swapping Wood Panels For Glass By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x400

Thrifted Door Remade Into Rustic Dutch Door With Glass Panels By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 383x800

Dutch Door Step 2: Cut the door and new doorknob

We sawed the door in half to create the Dutch Door…

Transform An Old Beat Up Door Into A Dutch Door By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 443x800

…and also added a new doorknob.

DIY Dutch Door With Rustic Doorknob By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x478
Dutch Door Step 3: Add the Ledge

We added a ledge onto the bottom half of the door. The original door was a few inches shorter than the doors in our house, so we had to fill that gap. Nothing a simple 2×4 couldn’t fix…

Remake An Old Used Door Into A Dutch Door With Glass Panels By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 533x800
Dutch Door Step 5: Add Glass Panels

Originally, we thought we would use plexiglass to create the windows in the top half of the door, but the more we thought about it, we knew that we could find a piece of glass that not only suited our aesthetic, but one that would make the door that much more unique.

We headed to Tacoma and found the coolest glass shop. My only requirements for the glass were that it let every bit of possible light through and that it have texture.

We settled on a piece of glass called “Falling Rain”. You get the picture – a little streaky and bubbly.  I decided to flip the glass sideways so that the streaks run from side to side, instead of top to bottom.

The glass fit perfectly and we held it in place with a bead of silicone…

Silicone Used To Secure Glass Panels In Door Remodel By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x400
Will cut strips of wood to frame in and secure the glass on the back side of the door…

Frames Used When Adding Glass Panels To A Reclaimed Door By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x778
DIY Secure Backing For Glass Panels Added To Thrifted Door By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x427

Note: If you are working with a hollow core door instead of solid wood, read How to Install a Glass Window in a Hollow Core Door

Dutch Door Step 6: Finishing Touches

We stained the ledge on the bottom half to match the glass trim pieces and also re-positioned a small piece of hardware that was on the door when we first picked it up. I have no idea what it was used for, but it’s old and aged and I like it!
Rustic Hardware For Remodeling An Old Door Into A Dutch Door With Glass Panels By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelahol
We also added a sliding lock on the back of the door to keep the top and bottom together, when wanted.
Dutch Door With Artisan Glass Panels DIY By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 533x800

I was giddy when it was all said and done!

And 8 months later…I still am!

Thrifted Door Remodel Tutorial By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 474x800
It lets light into our hallway, which was what I had always wanted. What is the point of having a window in a bright, light-filled laundry room if you never, ever see it anyway?

Now, we see the light!

Artisan Glass Transforms Reclaimed Solid Wood Door Into Light Giving Pathway By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic

Hand Crafted Falling Rain Glass Used In Door Remodel By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 600x400

DIY Dutch Door With Glass Panels Tutorial By Its The Little Things Featured On @Remodelaholic 533x800

I definitely owe Will a big, huge Thank You for helping me make this happen!

And, for the record, he loves it too. 🙂


What a great project! Find more from Remodelaholic by following us on Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Facebook.

And we have more door update ideas you won’t want to miss:

plus 100 Ideas for Old Doors to reuse and upcycle doors!

Upcycle An Old Door Into A Dutch Door

Originally published 12.28.2010 // Updated 04.18.2020


Website | + posts

Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. >That is amazing. I love the double door look. Makes me want to let the light out of my laundry room!

  2. >Wow that is so cool, I have been wondering how hard that would be to do that. I bet I know what cool glass shop you were in…was it in Lakewood? Spent quite a bit of time there while my sister was doing a leaded glass door for my entry with German Antique glass..anyway what a marvelous job!

  3. >Wow..that really is a neat door. Good call on snagging it from the side of the road. I'd love to change all the doors in my house and I'd love to change a couple of them to be something unique and different like this. Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. >Very cool! A friend of mine had a dutch door going into her kitchen from outside (in her last home). It was always fun to have it half open while we were inside. Something comforting about it!


  5. >I thought the ledge between the doors was on purpose. It looks great and a perfect solution for a door that wasn't perfect for the size. I picture your children hanging on the ledge while you do laundry and say..Mom, have you seen my blue socks? lol

    When I told my dad I broke a frame he told me to go to a stained glass door store. I told him it was a Dollar Tree frame so it's no biggie. 🙂

  6. >Beautiful job, well done. It looks like an original Dutch door 🙂 I think the piece of hardware was originally used to keep the door open a little, with a hook so it would stay open a crack. No idea at the moment how to call it duh.

    Happy new year from the Netherlands

  7. Looks like this was posted quite a while ago. I hope you’re still reading the comments. Hubby & I are working on a similar project however we are replacing the ENTIRE center of a door with glass. If it works, we plan to do all the interior doors the same way. I love the glass you chose and I’d really like to compare notes. So far, we’ve only cut out the center panel and are working on the getting 100 years of paint off the beautiful oak door. My designer friend is skeptical and thinks we need to take it to a professional installer.

  8. A quick question; what did you use to keep the top part shut? Hubbers and I have been talking of getting Dutch doors for the boys and our room, but if we can DIY it…. well, it would be wonderful!

    1. One of those surface bolts. There is a hole drilled into the base of the door, and the surface bolt just gets pushed down into the hole and it is nice and solid. Here is a link to the kind of lock I am talking about ( I had to search a few times to find the proper name! ) Good luck!

  9. Love this! The idea to trunk the glass, perfection! It reminds me of waves are the beach or even the spin cycle doing laundry!
    Custom, unique, details, this is what I want to see and read on this site.

  10. I know this is an old post, but if you still read the comments for it I would like to know what you did about the hinges. Does the door still just swing on 3 hinges or did you add a 4th so there would be 2 on top and 2 on the bottom? How is it holding up all these years later?

    1. Laurel, you always need to have 2 hinges on each part, so yes, 2 on top and 2 on the bottom. Good luck — I’m thinking about doing the same thing!

  11. Loved the article and great how-to instruction!! The door I would love to transform- the upper half is glass. How do you think this will look and function?

  12. The glasses and color you have used in Dutch door is looking very nice. I first thought it will look odd to but in the last picture it looks great. Good Job!! Thanks for sharing!!