The last decorative project I wanted to do in my niece’s bedroom was address her flush (flat) hollow core doors. Neither my mom nor I wanted to spend the time or money replacing the doors, so I decided to dress up the existing doors with some simple moulding.
All of the doors on the second floor of my mom’s house are the original flush (flat panel) hollow core doors that my dad used when he added the second story just after I was born. They’re functional, but they’re not pretty.
But if you have these doors and want something fancier, you don’t have to replace them. You can just add some decorative moulding to dress them up.
I wanted to keep things simple and just add two concentric rectangles of moulding. For the outside rectangle, I measured and marked 4.5 inches from the sides and top of the door, and 7 inches from the bottom. (For some reason, it looks better if the bottom border is wider rather than the spacing being equidistant on all four sides.) And for the inside rectangle, I measured and marked 7 inches from the sides and top and 9.5 inches from the bottom.
And then I used those lines to measure and cut the moulding. For the outside rectangle, I used this medium sized cabinet mouding.
And for the inside rectangle, I used this small cabinet moulding.
I originally tried to attach the strips of moulding with just wood glue, held in place with painters tape. But the door was painted with semi-gloss paint, so the tape wouldn’t stick securely enough to hold the strips in place. Sometimes these strips are bowed a bit and need a little more force to hold them straight, so I ended up attaching them with wood glue and 3/4″ 18-gauge finishing nails.
I finished the door by using wood filler in all of the nail holes, sanding the wood filler smooth, and then priming the moulding. Then I did some spot caulking to fill in any cracks where the moulding didn’t sit perfectly flush against the door. And then I gave the entire door and door facing a new coat of paint (Behr Polar Bear).
This easy update only required two pieces of each size of moulding which cost just over $18. That’s far easier and less expensive than replacing the whole door, which would have cost $64 for a standard prehung 6-panel door, about $20 for new door casings, and a lot more time and effort for installation. And the thing I like about this option is that you can go beyond the ubiquitous 6-panel door and create a unique look for your house. I’ve gathered a few more ideas for you on this Pinterest board showing different configurations of moulding that can be used on flush doors, or you can create your own unique look.
This room should be finished today, and I can’t wait to show you the complete before and after on Monday! My one remaining project is to replace the original ivory colored light switch and outlets with new white ones. My mom still needs to install the window blinds. And I think that’s it! It’s taken us a long time to get it finished, but this room has come a long way. It’s so cute and cheerful and colorful, and my niece loves it.