Antique Door Hack

February 23, 2015


For as long as I can remember I have loathed flat, hollow doors! My mom has had them in her home for the 22 years she has live there. It is something that she has always talked about replacing but has never gotten around to.

While reading one of my favorite bloggers Jenna Sue Design, I came across a post on a salvaged antique door her and her husband installed. Five paneled antique doors just so happen to be very easy to recreate on your own. Instead of replacing all the doors in my mom’s house, we’ve been slowing changing them into antique door look a likes!

Here is the before.


Can you say ugly! Doors and the hardware that goes with them can be very costly to replace. When cost isn’t the issue, time is. Hanging doors can be one of the most annoying diy projects in my opinion. So this is an easier, inexpensive option.

J and I went up and down the Home Depot isles looking for plywood that would be thin enough to work with. We settled on tri-ply under layment (or cabinet backing). It’s about $12 for a 4’x8′ sheet.Ā  That’s less than $10 a door, score!

We cut our sheets into 4″ strips using the table saw. You can get Home Depot to cut these for you if you do not have a table saw. Just remind them to take the blade into account so your strips are all actually 4″.


Going off Jenna’s door, we made 5 panels. Ours measures 11″ apart from one another. We glued and nailed the strips into the door. Remember, these doors are hollow, you must use glue along with your nails in the middle for the strips to stick! If you have the right drill bit you can use it to cut out the holes for the door knobs. We did not have one big enough, so we used our jig saw. It worked great!


J notched out the strip closest to the hinges. He used a jig saw to get a snug fit around them.

Have you noticed those terrible brass knobs? If you’re like me, I’m sure you have!


With the plan to replace all the hardware, I didn’t think too much about them at first. Once we finished paneling our first door, I just knew there had to be a way to reuse them. I love using what I already have when I can.


After a little research, I settled on this guy. You can purchase this at Home Depot, Lowes, Wal-Mart, etc. I cleaned the knobs with a degreaser and secured them upright in a box and sprayed them.


Make sure to wait about 24 hours before reinstalling them on your door. Everything I have read suggest that the paint holds up great on door knobs and hardware. It’s only been a week and so far so good! This is one of the most used doors in my mom’s house and I’m happy to report, no paint has come off!

After I gave the door two coats of paint, here it is now.


You may need to adjust your door jam once the door is reinstalled. We took the jam off before we screwed the door back on. Once the door was back on, we closed it to place our jams where they needed to be. This may require you to do some touch up paint on the door jam as well.



We are slowing making this change to all the doors in the house. It’s very easy to do, however it does take some time. I couldn’t do these projects without my man behind the curtain, J. He did an amazing job, which he always does when I come to him with these crazy ideas!

Hopefully this post will inspire you to find a way to use what you have when you can. As the cheesy saying goes, “A penny saved, it a penny earned!”

Have a wonderful week everyone!

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  • Reply Suzanne February 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Lovely! What a quick fix for such an ugly door. I did a similar thing to our bathroom vanity. It is amazing what a bit of trim and patience can make.

    • Reply TheTaleofanUglyHouse February 23, 2015 at 1:07 pm

      It really is amazing Suzanne! It completely changes the look of the room as well. What was once an eye soar is really pretty now. I’m sure your vanity looks great too!

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