Hello friends, hope you all had a great weekend. Mine was pretty darned good.  I put my newly made over beautiful doors back up and I’m LOVING them.   If you’re new to The Striped House, you’ve missed out on me hinting about this big door project that I’ve been working on.



This makeover was a long time coming.  My house was built in 1986 with the standard horribly ugly hollow core doors, antique brass hardware, and oak trim.  The hallway going back to the bedrooms was so dark.  Since I’m already dealing with natural light issues in my house (direction of my house, big trees in front of windows), I wanted to do something that would make a dramatic impact in this hallway, both for brightening and style.  Here is the dreaded ‘before’ shot…



I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at pictures of gorgeous doors.  In fact, I started a board aptly named “DOORS” if you want to check them out.  Since budget is almost always a factor, buying news doors was out of the question.  I must have been feeling pretty ambitious because I started sketching out designs for decorative moulding on the door.  I went through three or four drafts before I settled on the final design.


This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.  You can read my full disclosure policy here.  

I went shopping for moulding, looking for one that would be easy to work with when putting two 45 degree cut pieces together to make a 90 degree angle.  Here is the exact wood moulding I purchased.  I think I purchased ten 8-foot pieces in the beginning to see how far it would get me.  In the end, I think there are 6 whole pieces on each door side.  I could feel the budget slowly going out the door… *that’s a little DIY humor for ya*

TIP:  You can order as much moulding as you need online through Home Depot and it will be shipped to the store for FREE if it’s more than $45 in product.  This will keep you from driving all over town to buy out moulding from every Home Depot in town 😉

One of the most challenging parts of the projects was mapping out the design, to scale, on the doors.  I made sure to keep the width of the trim in mind when laying it out.  I have three different size doors in my hallway, which means three different blueprints for the design.

  • Bedroom Doors – 29 3/4″ wide
  • Linen Closet Door – 17 3/4″ wide
  • Coat Closet and Main Bathroom Doors – 29 3/4″ wide

*NOTE: These measurements are my preliminary measurements.  If you’d like to know the exact measurements, please comment below and I’ll add them into the post.  

img_6930 img_6931 Once I was pretty sure I had the measurements to scale, I tried it out with painters tape on one of the doors I would be using.  I made sure to use tape that was the same width as the moulding I purchased.


Next, we did one door (with moulding) first to see if I still liked the design.  I made one adjustment, and then we started cutting wood like crazy.  We used an older miter saw, but you could use a smaller one like this and it would work great.

I used a variety of rulers, squares, and yard sticks to line up the pieces just right.  You can’t see them, but there are pencil marks (more like a grid) on the door so the pieces don’t get off kilter.  I always started from one corner and worked my way around in a circle.  We used Elmer’s Wood Glue (they’re my favorite because they don’t test on animals) under each piece before using a nail gun to keep the pieces in place.

I would do one half of the door (top or bottom) and then do the other half.  Always starting at one corner, and then working my way in a circle, but still doing one half at a time.  I was always double checking to make sure that pieces that should line up horizontally or vertically, did indeed line up.  Occasionally I would get a section going slightly off angle, so I’d pull it off, pull the nails out and re-do it.  Cheap wood yardsticks will be your friend.  I didn’t use them to measure, but to hold next to pieces making sure that they were “in line” with other pieces in that same vertical or horizontal line.

I have a large table on wheels in my garage/wood shop.  I laid each door on it’s back while I pieced the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle.  It made assembly so much easier.

Before each piece went down, I used a wood file to smooth off the edges from where the miter saw cut.  Looking back, I wish I would have sanded down the entire surface of the moulding (with a fine sand paper) to give it a super sleek finish.

After everything was in place, I went in with wood filler.  I learned a valuable lesson.  Don’t go overboard with wood filler.  Especially when working with moulding that has a lot of crevices and grooves.    *groan*    I busted out my new Dremel and bought a special tip to do sanding in tight spots.


I started this project back in March.  I utterly underestimated how long it would take to get it started.  And then the gross, humid as h*ll summer hit, and there was no way I was painting these doors in the Nebraska summer heat.  I’ve painted furniture before in this weather, and the paint never fully cured and it got so messed up when I moved it, that the project was a waste.  Turned out summer stuck around until a week ago.  So when the temps hit 75, I turned into a painting machine.  Every day, I was painting in my garage and in my hallway.

Here’s the low down on the paint situation.  I couldn’t decide between three Benjamin Moore colors:  Decorators White, White, or Super White.  I bought samples of each and painted big sheets of poster board, each color on it’s own board.  In the end, I went with my gut and chose Decorators White for everything.  It was absolutely the right choice.  If you’ve read my favorite White & Black Paints post, you know that picking a white is not as easy as it seems.

Walls – Benjamin Moore ULTRA SPEC 500  in Decorator’s White (eggshell)

Trim and Doors – Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer (two coats), and Benjamin Moore ADVANCE Decorator’s White (semi-gloss).  Their ADVANCE paint replaced the Satin Impervo, the formula I used on my kitchen cabinets.

During a momentary lapse of judgement, I purchased a $50 gallon of fancy primer, and it was a total bust.  WHY did I buy that?!!!  *sigh*  So I went back to my beloved Zinsser Bulls Eye water-based primer and it worked wonderfully.

FYI – Another reason to love Benjamin Moore paints:  They don’t test on animals.  So they get the gold star from me and my two four-legged fur kids.  Speaking of fur and paint, if you don’t already follow me on Instagram, you can click that link and see what happened when a black cat found wet white paint.

Oh, and I used some awesome new paint tools that I’ll do a post about soon.

I originally attempted to spray the doors.  It was a bad choice.  Because I had to get paint on three sides of moulding, there was no way for me to spray and get adequate coverage everywhere without drenching some areas with too much paint.  I’m not one to be afraid of painting anything with a brush.  I’ve kinda mastered the process after brush painting all of my kitchen cabinets and my built-ins and fireplace.  I’ve learned a thing or two about primers, paints, and polyurethanes – read about those here.  For these doors and the baseboards/trim, I used this fun angled square brush that is designed for moulding.


Below is my absurdly small linen closet and the main bathroom door on the right.  You can see that the design is different on the top.  Well, I tried for a long time to make the other design work on this door.  But it’s such a narrow door that it wouldn’t work.  But the width and length of the pieces are the same as so many others on the bigger doors that I think it works.


I’m going to do a post on the hardware for the project.  I learned so much that is worth sharing.  Special thanks to Sean at Ace Hardware for helping me with my archaic door knobs.

Remember that dark hallway?  Well that is a distant memory now.


What I wasn’t expecting was how the view from my dining room changed.  Suddenly there was something pretty to look through that doorway instead of a dark ugly door.


Since I’m doing more doors like this, I’ll add in more step-by-step photos specifically about the building.  If there is anything confusing, please leave your questions below.  I hope you found this interesting and possibly inspiring to do something interesting with that eye-sore in your own house.  It was a lot of time invested in this, but it turned out exactly how I hoped – and it was 100% worth it.

xo Jen signature




Changing out your door hardware makes such a difference! What to know beforehand so you can successfully makeover your own doors.


Changing out your door hardware makes such a difference! What to know beforehand so you can successfully makeover your own doors.

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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    October 3, 2016 at 10:43 am

    Love Love Love the doors

    1. Reply
      Jen @ The Striped House
      October 3, 2016 at 4:44 pm

      Thanks Mom. I love you, too 🙂

  2. Reply
    October 3, 2016 at 11:37 am

    These turned out SO amazing! GORGEOUS!!

    1. Reply
      Jen @ The Striped House
      October 3, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      Thanks lady! I’m pretty dang excited about them 🙂

  3. Reply
    Jen @ Fresh Crush
    October 3, 2016 at 4:28 pm

    These are gorgeous! I love this idea!

    1. Reply
      Jen @ The Striped House
      October 3, 2016 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Jen! Aww, thank you so much for the kind words! I’m so glad you stopped by 🙂

  4. Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 7:14 pm

    Great job! Definitely a labor of love. I’m attempting to do the same thing in my home. Yes, it takes a long time to lay everything gout. Thanks for this encouraging article though.

  5. Reply
    October 5, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    This looks so good and I love the patterns you chose!

  6. […] how I feel about door knobs and hardware.   Yep, you read that right.  When I was wrapping up my mega door makeover in October, I got up close and personal with my door knobs and hinges.  I had never shopped for […]

  7. […] This.  THIS!  This is my shining gold star on 2016.  My upstairs hallway looked so depressing before I started on this 6 month long project.  Now when I walk down the hall, it’s beaming!  It’s like the happiest hallway in the history of hallways!  Check out how I created the doors.   […]

  8. […] This closet is in the main hall in my house.  It’s the smallest door you can see in my interior door makeover post. […]

  9. […] Moulding.  Oo la la.  This bay gets me every time. I bought the moulding for my big door makeover project from this […]

  10. […] These two beauties are on one of the walls in my upstairs hallway where I made over my interior doors. […]

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