Hermia the Hallway: Old Door, New Tricks

Nothing quite “blahs” out a house faster than those cheap, faux-wood hollow core doors and we had more than enough to go around.

brown hollow core door
Original hollow core door

One day we’d love to replace all of our doors with these beauties but at $100 a pop for the door alone, it wasn’t happening last year… or this year.

white, 2 beadboard panel door
Our dream door

So we put our creative hats (read: logged on to Pinterest) and set our sights on a cheaper prize. The first idea we came across completely stole our hearts! Fiona at Just Paint it White transformed her boring and dated door into a masterpiece!

flat, brown door
Fiona’s door before


3 paneled white door with glass knob
Fiona’s door after!

As in love as we were with these doors, we ran into a deal breaker right off the bat. Panelling the front and back made the door hang improperly. Rectifying this would take quite a long time and we had 8 doors to do! With plans to panel a closet door or two like this, we continued our search. Our inspiration came from the Brittany, the Pretty Handy Girl.

Left: plain, brown door. Right: white, 2 beadboard trimmed panel, door
The balm for our eye sore of a door

With a cost of about $10 a door, we could create a dramatically more stylish door. We started by simply painting the doors.

We quickly realized skipping a few thin coats of Primer was a BAD IDEA. The semi-gloss paint loved to peel off at the slightest disturbance.

It was a painful lesson but we powered through. It is safe to say it was worth the tears! Even just painting doors made them look a million times better!



Once we had our doors primed and painted, we measured out our panels and cut pieces of beadboard wallpaper to size. Still not sure how we feel about the beadboard wallpaper. On the positive, it looks great and is easy to apply. We just slapped on some wallpaper primer waited for it to dry and then applied the wallpaper paste. We immediately put the wallpaper on and after smoothing out any bubbles, just let it dry.

Doors with wallpaper primer


On the down side, a scraggly fingernail can be its undoing. About a month after the doors were finished one of us (*cough* Finkus) stumbled against door and scratched the wallpaper and that scratch has graced our door ever since.

Other than a few bumps and bruises, the wallpaper has held up pretty well. Still, we may end up replacing it with pieces of beadboard in the end. Last but not least, we added the trim. This is a pretty basic trim profile. We were able to find it at Lowes and Home Depot in painted or primed options. We spent a few extra cents on the painted trim. Ah, life’s little luxuries.

Even Wicket came to help. Cone of shame and all.

Our brother Jake did simple 45 degree miter cuts to create a perfect frames with the trim. Using a thin squiggle of construction grade adhesive, we stuck the trim to the door and held it in place in place with the painter’s tape like Brittany suggested. Worked like a charm!

The last step was to caulk the nook and crannies. This made a HUGE difference.

And this was the finished project! We were very pleased with the results and can resoundly say all of the effort was worth it. We were especially grateful for our amazing family who came over to battle the doors with us!

Thanks for tuning in! Come back next week for the hallway reveal!