Updating old interior doors

It's an easy project with endless possibilities, since you can match the moldings to any existing ones and re-create the look of any panel style you like.

Follow along as contributor Christopher Beidel, owner of Pernt, a handmade-furniture company in Brooklyn, New York, leads us through the simple steps of adding character to a plain door.

It was crazy getting settled just in time to host our family’s Thanksgiving dinner. Tears came easily and our family time was just really sweet. I’ve been looking forward to sharing this cost effective way to update your kitchen cabinets. I noticed the green and knew there was copper under there. I bought a sheet of 1/4″ plywood and I had the guys at Lowe’s cut it into 3″ strips.

Then, I sanded with a fine sand paper until the wood was as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

The door hardware set came with all the parts needed to make the switch. To begin, I removed the existing interior door hardware so that only the hole of the door was left. Before installing the new hardware, it’s important to look at the edge of the door to determine if there is a ‘notched out’ section for a plate to sit in OR if there is simply a circle for the “guts”. Lastly, I removed the existing strike plate on the door jamb and changed it with the ORB style. After the hardware was taken off, it was the perfect time to slap a coat of fresh white paint on the door.

Schlage offers a universal door set to accommodate for both conditions, whereas many other door sets don’t come with hardware for both conditions. Here is an image with the plate for the “notched out”, recessed condition – Here is the condition with the plate removed – FYI: My door is the later condition. Put the “guts” of the hardware into the center hole. Before installing the door knob, you will need to remove the escutcheon (backplate) from the knob – check out the next three pictures. Since this is the door to the basement and is in the kitchen space, it gets “beaten up” alot. The door hardware by Schlage is really well-made, durable, and is a great classic style. Have you updated your hardware or thought of changing it?

I chose to do a nice and simple 4 box pattern inspired by a solid wood door in our kitchen.

Our newest project has been such a fun one..a huge improvement for very little cost.

Our house is chock full of those chinsy hollow core doors.

I rinsed the doors and drawers with water and let them dry completely.

Next, I used Goof-Off and steel wool to remove the grease residue.

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Initially, we were going to replace them with the nice white doors, but wanted to try and update the current ones first to see if we could live with what we have.

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