40+ Ways to Update Flat Doors and Bifold Doors

If you live in an older home, odds are that you have plenty of 70’s and 80’s style doors — nice and flat. 😉 And purchasing inexpensive new doors adds up — because you can’t replace just ONE door! So instead of replacing, how about refacing? We’ve got over 40 ways for you to update flat and bifold doors that are occupying your doorways and closets.

One thing to remember: many of these projects will add bulk and weight to the door, so you may need to adjust the casing and interior trim like Jenna showed in the middle of this post and if the door is heavier, you may also need to upgrade the hinges, like April shows you how to do here. And bifold doors can quickly and easily be turned into French doors — just follow the second half of this tutorial!

Ideas + Tutorials to Update Flat and Bifold Doors

Using Trim to Update Doors — Lots of Different Styles!

Using carved molding and/or flat trim to update doors makes for a fairly quick, simple, and inexpensive update to a flat door. And the style is limited only by your imagination!

The classic raised panel style will look wonderful in any home (tutorial from The Painted Drawerhere on Remodelaholic):

Paneled Door DIY by The Painted Drawer featured on @Remodelaholic

While more detailed configurations will match a more modern style (tutorial from Driven by Decor, here on Remodelaholic):

How to Add Moulding to Plain Closet Doors by Driven by Decor featured on Remodelaholic

But you can use any combination, any style… and you can test any of these out by using painter’s tape on the door to make sure it’s balanced and looks like you want!

And just a note… some of these are shown unfinished so you can easily see the design. Be sure to click over to each site for the finished look and details on how they did it!

6 panel design on bifold closet doors | Little Green Notebook

6 panel closet doors DIY update - Little Green Notebook

basic 4 panel style | Sunnyside Up-Stairs

basic 4 rectangle panel update on flat door - Sunnyside Upstairs

standard 6-panel layout | Home Made Modern 

flat to traditional raised panel door - Home Made Modern

craftsman style door and trim | Hammer Like A Girl
tutorial is for the trim, but the salvaged door style could be DIYed, too)

craftsman trim paneled door - Hammer Like a Girl

black 3 panel door | via Babble

3 panel door from flat door via Babble

evenly spaced rectangle 4-panel door | For the Love of It 

4 rectangle paneled door DIY update - For the Love of It

board and batten closet doors - Vintage Revivals

board and batten style, on extra tall doors | Vintage Revivals 

classic full 5-panel doors | Jenna Sue Design — featured here on Remodelaholic 

Make a DIY 5 panel door from a flat door - Jenna Sue Designs on @Remodelaholic

4-panel bifold closet doors | Burlap and Tin 

paneled bifold door - Burlap and Tin

5-panel bifold doors (turned French doors) | Wife in Progress featured here on Remodelaholic 

And any of these could be changed up by adding a second layer of trim for extra texture — via Our Old Abode

hollow core door makeover - 4 horizontal panels with double layer of trim - Our Old Abode

Adding Trim and More to Flat Doors

Take your door update to the next level by adding a little something else along with the trim and by getting a little more creative with your overlay patterns.

Combine the trim with textured wallpaper for a classic carved look | Frugal Home Designs for Remodelaholic

update flat closet doors with trim and textured wallpaper via @Remodelaholic

or try beadboard | Pretty Handy Girl

beadboard and trim panels to update flat hollow core door - Pretty Handy Girl

The beadboard panel can cover up a dated louvered door, too | Vintage Simple Home

louvered to beadboard closet doors - Vintage Simple Home

beadboard plus fancy hinges on a flat sliding closet door | via AKA Design

flat closet doors updated with beadboard and hinges via AKA Design

use mirrors | The Savvy Stylist on Remodelaholic

mirrored closet door transformation

and add trim around the edges or on top | Lilikoi Joy
(not a door, but easy enough to see how it would work)

x mirror overlay - Lilikoi Joy

add burlap or fabric for texture  | Beautifully Contained

burlap paneled door - Beautifully Contained

yellow square paneled door from flat door - Little Green Notebook

color!! painting a door black or a fun color gives such life to space | Little Green Notebook

And then some more alternative trim styles to give your door some extra style, too

barn door overlay | Blue Roof Cabin

flat door into barn door - Blue Roof Cabin

barn door wardrobe doors | Jenna Sue Design

barn door style IKEA pax wardrobe hack - Jenna Sue Designs
barn door overlay for pantry doors - The Painted Hive

bifold to barn door tutorial | The Painted Hive

full wood overlay barn door | Simpsonized Crafts

faux barn door overlay on paneled door - Simpsonized crafts

modern geometric (inspiration only) | via Better Homes and Gardens 

modern geometric door via BHG

modern square and circle door overlay update - Little Green Notebook

modern squares and circles | Little Green Notebook

greek key door overlay - Gorgeous Shiny Things

greek key door overlay | Gorgeous Shiny Things

chevron trim front door inspiration - This Old House

beautiful chevron detail (inspiration only) | This Old House

Update Flat Doors and Bifold Doors

and how about some inspiring colorful bling via Houzz?

DIY Painted Doors

Looking for an even easier update? Look no further than the paint section! Some of these are even done using contact paper or washi tape to be renter-friendly!

painting doors a solid dark color adds such drama! | Remodelaholic

painting-interior-doors-black-before-and-after (8)

paint and glaze closet doors and add some hardware | Batchelors Way on Remodelaholic

closet doors painted and glazed with hardware

black painted flat closet doors update via DesignSponge

use painter’s tape to fake the paneled molding look | via Design Sponge 

trompe l’oeil painted paneled door | via Redbook Mag

faux painted paneled door via Redbook Mag

two tone painted door | via DecorPad

two tone paneled door with trim via DecorPad

overlapping geometric design | via Bedford Brooks 

geometric painted flat door via Bedford Brooks

double V design using contact paper | Likainen Parketti

black striped contact paper door update, renter-friendly

polka dots (using removable vinyl) | Sarah Hearts 

renter-friendly polka dot door update - Sarah Hearts

striped sliding barn door | A Beautiful Mess

striped painted sliding door - A Beautiful Mess

painted frames, removable | via Curbly

renter-friendly removable trim closet door update via Curbly

painted chevron on a flat door | Camille Styles

painted chevron door - Camille Styles

color blocked chevron door - DIY ShowOff

chevron on a paneled door (sorry, not technically a flat door but I like it! 😉 | The DIY Showoff 

stenciled | Better Homes and Gardens

stenciled painted door via BHG

and this one is so creative without being kitschy — a phone booth closet door! from Polish the Stars

painted phonebooth closet door - Polish the Stars

Lots of ways to update flat panel/hollow core, bifold, and outdated doors @Remodelaholic
+ posts

Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

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  1. Just found your website.
    I find all kinds of ways to update flat doors but cannot find anything about updating doors that are not flat. Any suggestions? Thanks.

  2. I also hate mirror wardrobe doors so looked for a way to update them. I was beginning to think it was hopeless without a large budget, but then I found a tip: Remove one side strip and slide the mirrors out. Flip them over and re-insert with the mirror on the inside. Then you can paint the back any colour you like.