Closer To The Finish Line – Hallway Doors Trimmed Out

It’s hard to imagine a project going slower than my hallway project. I look at what I’ve accomplished in the amount of time it’s taken me (I started on September 11th) and can’t help but ask, “What the heck is taking so long?!” 😀

I know some of you are going to say I’m being too hard on myself. I’m really not. I promise. l’m not beating myself up over the fact that I’ve been working on a hallway for a month-and-a-half. I’m just genuinely surprised. I expected the whole thing to take maybe two weeks.

But anyway, I crossed a huge hurdle yesterday. All of the doors are trimmed. And wow, what a difference it makes in this hallway. At the end of last week, they were still looking like this…

new door color - 2

And now they look like this…

hallway doors trimmed out - 2

Our bedroom door (far right) still needs one more coat of paint on it, and I got some drywall dust on the guest bedroom door (center), but at least the trim is installed! It’s still far from finished, though. The trim still needs wood filler, sanding, caulk, primer (just in spots) and painting. But even unfinished, it still looks way better than it did with the original doors and trim…

Hallway with original hardwood floors hidden under green carpet

I generally don’t paint doors before I get all of the trim installed, but I did things backwards this time because of the wall paint treatment I had planned to do. Remember that blended ombre design that I shared here? I had planned to do that until about two days ago, and I thought it would be so much easier to do before the trim was installed. And I wanted my doors painted before starting on the walls so that I could be sure the wall colors were turning out right and complemented the door color.

But a couple of days ago, I finally decided to abandon that idea for the walls. It just seemed a bit grand for a hallway. I think I’d like it better in a bedroom, so I might bring that idea out again after we build our new master bedroom, or I might be on to some other grand idea by then. 😀

I shared the step-by-step details of my door trim back in this post during my 2014 kitchen remodel.

Wow, that seems like a lifetime ago! Look at that kitchen with the painted floor. And the music room in the foreground with the polystyrene tiles still on the ceiling. And the untouched breakfast room. Pictures like that make me realize just how far this house has come!

Anyway, you can click on the picture above or the link just above that to see the details of my door trim. I love this trim because it looks fancy without looking too grand for an old ranch-style house like mine. Plus, it’s super simple to install since it’s all straight cuts. There are no mitered cuts at all.

I did have a bit of a challenge on my hallway doors, though. I made the mistake of purchasing prehung doors for the three bedroom doors. The problem is that the jambs on in-stock prehung doors are the perfect width for walls with 2″ x 4″ studs and 1/2″ drywall on each side. But my walls are 2″ x 4″ studs, 3/4″ shiplap on each side, and then 3/8″ drywall on top of the shiplap on both sides. So my walls are something like 1.5″ thicker than standard walls.

I figured I could install the doors, and then extend the jambs by cutting strips of 1″ boards and attaching them to the edges of the jambs to make them wider. But then I ran into the problem of not being able to make them flush with each other. So my philosophy is that if you can’t make something perfect, make it imperfect enough so that it looks intentional, like you meant for it to be part of the design. So I offset the extension by 1/8″ and then attached the casing to the edge of the jamb extension.

hallway doors trimmed out - 1

I can’t say that I love how it looks, but in the whole scheme of things, when everything is caulked and painted and the hallway is finished, I don’t think people are going to hone in on that detail.

But if it bothers me too much, I’ll have them redone by pros when we do our addition since that addition will include one of the doors (our current master bedroom) being removed completely and that doorway walled off, and I’m thinking that the entire wall with the current master bedroom and guest bedroom doors will have to be moved back about a foot anyway to accommodate the new hallway that will wrap around the side and the back of the current hallway bathroom. This floor plan isn’t exactly right and needs some updating, but I’m including it so you can visualize the new hallway I’m talking about…

floor plan - long term goal

So at that time, I’ll probably not only correct my mistake of using prehung doors with the wrong size jambs, but I’ll probably also upgrade to solid core doors. I bought hollow core prehung doors for these bedrooms because that’s what we had in the condo and it never bothered me. But this house had solid wood doors, and I’ve gotten used to those heavy doors since moving to this house. I replaced the original doors because I couldn’t find doors to match, and I needed (and will need) additional doors for the hallway bathroom and the addition, but replacing them with hollow core doors was a mistake. It’s a mistake that I’m okay living with for now, but I do eventually want them replaced with solid core doors.

But for now, I press on. I don’t know when we’ll be able to do the addition, so for now, I just want to get the current hallway finished and presentable. And it’s getting there! I hope to get the rest of the trim installed today (baseboards, base cap, shoe moulding and crown), and then maybe tomorrow I can get started on the wood filling, sanding, and caulking. I’m really hoping to have a finished hallway by next week.



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  1. Just love the look. Wish I had the courage to paint the doors like yours they are amazing. Like what you said about the door jam make it be part of the intended finish and it is just great. Halls are usually boring but yours will be a pleasure to walk through.

    1. I’ve never done anything with pocket doors myself. The guys who worked on my garage-to-studio conversion added a pre-made pocket door frame to the new half bathroom, but so far, it’s still just the frame. And I’ll be adding a pocket door between the breakfast room and studio. For that one, I’ll be using a 15-lite door, which is pretty heavy since it’s all wood and glass, so I purchased a heavy duty pocket door frame. Unlike the pre-assembled one on the bathroom, this heavy duty one is made of wood and metal, and it has to be assembled. My brother and I are going to do that sometime in the next couple of weeks. But so far, I still have no personal pocket door installation experience.

  2. Good job! Do you have a wall color picked yet? If so, wouldn’t it be easier to paint the walls before adding the rest of the trim? I usually paint the trim edges before installation. then it’s easy to just paint the front after it’s installed and not mess up my painted wall. Love your blog!

    1. I think my system is pretty non-standard. It seems like most people paint the walls, then paint the trim, and then install the trim. Since I always like everything caulked (i.e., the little spaces between the walls and trim), I find it easier to install the trim, wood fill the nail holes, sand the nail holes, caulk the gaps between the trim and wall, paint the trim after installation, and then finally paint the walls.

  3. The finish on the doors looks superb! Did you use a brush or your awesome sprayer? I’m looking at updating all of our interior doors this winter and want my doors to look that amazing when I’m done painting them.

    1. I actually used a brush. On my doors, I use satin finish paint, and I add paint conditioner (Floetrol) to the paint so that it goes on smoothly. Having the kind of doors with the fake wood grain texture also helps to hide any brush strokes.

  4. Solid doors are SO much nicer, better sound control, and somehow they just “look better”. Lovely job on the casings, you always figure out how to make things work.

  5. I actually like the offset . It gives the jams a more detailed look that new homes cannot have due to time and cost for craftsmanship. Beautiful hall. Most people lack detail when it gets to the less show stopper parts of a home. Well you have a showstopper hall!!!

  6. Those doors really look nice. Nice color, too. It never occurred to me to treat interior doors like an exterior door, i.e. painting it a color other than white.

  7. I am always stunned with each transformation in your house. Even the hallway is unrecognizable. I really like the new blue color.

  8. What color and brand of pain on doors? Did you brush roll or spray. I just painted my doors Calle do “inkwell” and I see brush strokes. Driving me crazy. I used a semi gloss.

    1. The color is one that I custom mixed myself, so I don’t have a name or even a formula for the color. The brand is Behr, and I used a satin finish. I brushed it on, but I also added paint conditioner (Floetrol) to the paint so that it went on smoothly. And I’m pretty sure that the fake wood grain texture of the doors helps to hide brush strokes as well.

      1. Wonderful. I have fake wood grain too. I will try adding the floetrol to see if that helps. Thanks your site Ian awesome. Great ideas.

  9. Kristi,
    Thank you for posting! I haven’t seen your blog for awhile and I missed it. I wish I had your vision. I look at your posts and am constantly amazed by what you do. Sometimes things take longer than you expect but I don’t care. I think it’s worth it.

  10. I absolutely love this new “Kristi” paint color! It is so deep and rich. So you have a salvage store where you might find solid wood doors to match yours? I’d like to know, too, whether you used your sprayer, a brush or a roller on the doors.

    1. I gave up on looking for solid doors to match my own. Any time I did find a matching door at the local ReStore, it was always the wrong size or it was badly damaged. I used a brush on my doors, and I painted them with Behr in a satin finish with paint conditioner (Floetrol) mixed into the paint.

  11. Are both sides of your hall doors the same color? If so, does that restrict how you decorate/paint the rooms behind the doors?

    1. They aren’t yet, but they will be. And it won’t necessarily restrict my decorating since teal is my favorite color, and it’s a color I’d use in every single room of my house anyway, at least in a very small dose. I’m a big believer in continuity and flow of colors throughout a house, so since teal is such a dominant part of my decorating in the kitchen, breakfast room, and hallway, I’d want the decorating I do in the adjacent rooms to either have teal or complement the teal.

  12. Don’t be discouraged from doing something “grand” in your hallway! My favorite homes are those which treat each area with care and detail. If you want to do the ombre effect in your hallway, I think you should go for it! It will be good practice for doing it in a larger space later on. You can always paint the hallway again with a different technique if you choose to do the ombre effect in a bedroom. (Btw, I have a bold technique in my hallway because I wanted to try it and was nervous about doing it in a large scale in another room. I don’t regret it at all!)

  13. I really like the trim on the doors. I liked the other blue color but that is me. If you are happy with the new color, that’s great! Can’t wait to see the paint color and finished hallway.