Frugalicious Closet Door Makeover, Monthly Contributor

Welcome Fawn, of Frugal Home Design, one of our new monthly contributors!!!  She sent in this wonderful project that I think is genius!  What do you all think?

Isn’t that a nightmare! Not only is the vanity IN OUR BEDROOM, but look at those closet doors. I am not sure at what point in building it became a great idea to put the sink/mirror/closet right in the bedroom, but I know it was happening in the 90’s.

Several months ago I scored some paintable vinyl wall paper at Lowes for $3.62 for a whole roll.

At the time I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it, but one morning it hit me–CHANGE THE CLOSET DOORS!

There are a lot of steps to this project so I thought it might be easier for me to list the steps and then explain the steps.

1. Remove closet doors
2. Sand and wipe with deglosser
3. Prime
4. Put wall paper on
5. Install trim
6. Caulk trim
7. Hang doors back up
8. Paint

1. REMOVE THE CLOSET DOORS The doors are on a track with a wheel that rolls. You can lift them off the the track, but I always have a hard time with that so I chose to unscrew the hardware from the back of the door. This is the best shot I could get of the hardware on the door. You can see there are 2 screws that I simply unscrewed.

2. Sand Doors. I took the doors out to the garage and took my Mouse Sander to them. After I sanded them and wiped them down. I took an extra step and used Klean-Strip Liquid Sander Deglosser to make sure the paint and wallpaper would stick.

3. Prime Doors I used Glidden Gripper Primer, I only primed around the outer edges.

4. Put Wallpaper On. For this step I followed the directions on the wallpaper, but it was basically wet, fold, relax. The hardest part about this step is determining where you want the wallpaper on your door. For me I knew I wanted it to be centered on the door. I already knew what the margin would be on the sides because the width of the wallpaper. I used the same distance on the top and bottom that was a given on the side.
I used my speed square to draw straight lines and make a corner at my designated measurements. When I put the wallpaper on I lined it up in all four corners to keep it straight and level. I know that sounds confusing, but here is picture to help explain.

Can you see where I drew the arrow–that corner is where I lined the wallpaper up. I measured a corner like that on all four sides.

5. Install Trim. I got my trim at Home Depot in the Veranda department. One word of caution is make sure the profile of your trim isn’t too high–the doors have to be able to slide past each other.
To cut the trim I used my miter saw.
To get started with your trim you are going to need a 45 degree angle so I just cut of enough of my trim piece to give me the angle

Measure the length of the wallpaper, then transfer that measurement to your trim. ALWAYS MEASURE THE SHORT SIDE or INSIDE MEASUREMENT on the trim.

Here is my first piece. You can see what I mean by the inside measurement.

Do this for all sides. I would recommend getting a scrap and practicing just to get the hang of it. Make sure you use a level to get the trim level and plumb (vertically level). Here is my assistant demonstrating how to measure for plumb.

I used my nailgun and liquid nails to attach the trim. I think it would have been easier to do with two people. I had a hard time holding the trim, measuring for level and plumb and using the nailgun. So I would recommend help with this stage. My assistant couldn’t hold the level still enough to get a measurement.

6. Caulk Trim. Now that you have the trim on it is time to caulk it to give a seamless look. I caulked the inside and outside edges and the corner angels.

Cut the tip of the caulk to 1/8th inch and run a thin bead along the trim where it is attached to the door. Then with a wet rag smooth out the bead of caulk.

Here are the before caulk and after caulk close up. You can see how it changes the look.

7. Hang Doors Back Up. I had the hubby come and help with this step. He held the doors up while I screwed the screws back in. I found the easiest way to do this was to put the hardware back on the door and lightly tighten the screws then put it in back on the track and tighten all the way. You do have to be in the closet in the dark to do this. I used my book light clipped on a shelf to light my way.
8. Paint Wallpaper and Doors. I used a semi-gloss paint and a paintbrush. If you are going to paint your wallpaper a different color than your trim, I would recommend painting it before you put your trim on. Then you don’t have to worry about cutting in.

AAHHH So much better. I don’t know if I will leave the insert white or not. It might need a little something to make the texture pop, but for now I like it.

You can see a peek of the dresser that needs some love and the trim I still have left to paint, but for now–look at those doors.

A side by side comparison

Come vist my blog Frugal Home Designs to see what other fun DIY projects I have been up to.
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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. >Awesome idea!!! I may try that with the doors in the girls' room!! Woohoo!! Thank you for the inspiration. 🙂

  2. What a great idea…wonderful, thank you.
    I was planning on buying new closet doors but will give this a try first. Have to change these instructions a bit. Admit not very good at cutting trim, but will use 2 plain picture frames in the centre instead for each door. Just remove backing and glass, instant ready made trim. The frames then would be glued on because the closet doors I have in the one spare bedroom ,which is my computer room are not solid wood, press board or whatever you call it. Cannot use a nail gun. Then follow the rest of instructions.

  3. I have dry brushed copper paint over the high gloss enamel on my embossed wallpaper. Really makes the texture pop and gives a nice antique look.