I feel like if I start this post with a ‘before’ picture, I won’t have to say anything else to explain why this DIY was so necessary.  These hollow doors needed a makeover, and they needed it fast.  So here it goes, the ‘before picture’…

We have 8 of these ugly, organgy-wood tone doors that just look and feel cheap.  There’s no way around it, they are a low-budget door…and it shows.  This is not our forever home, so investing hundreds of dollars into our doors is just not in our budget – so this was an easy way to fix this problem.  Bonus – it costs less than $20 per door, plus the cost of new handles/hardware if you need it (which we did).

First, you’ll need these tools/supplies which we either already had or got at Home Depot:

Start by taking the door of the hinges, and removing all hardware + knobs.

Step 1

Use your tape measure and level to measure out and draw the squares you will create with the molding.  I wanted to keep it pretty standard, so we chose to do 3″ all the way around, and 6″ in between the two squares, where the door handle would be.  We used pencil to physically draw out these squares on the door, as we will be covering it with the molding anyways.  Because you can’t see our pencil marks very well in photos, here’s a drawing of what we mapped out on paper.

Step 2

This is where I passed the project off to my husband, but he assures me I could have done it myself (hello fear of power tools).  He measured and cut our trim pieces, making sure that each end was cut to 45 degree angles, so they would match up with the perpendicular piece, creating a 90″ angle.  We used a carpenter square to make sure they were exactly 90 degrees.

For those of you that are scared of power tools like me – you can also use a miter box and saw!

Step 3

Once you have all of the trim pieces measured and cut, secure them in place with wood glue over the lines you drew on the door.

I’m sure you could stop after this step if you use a strong enough wood glue, but we chose to use a nail gun and finishing nails in addition to make sure the trim was never going to fall off!

Step 4

Fill in the nail holes with wood filler and you’re ready to paint!  It took us about 4 coats of paint + primer to cover this door the way we liked it.  Had we used just a primer first, it probably would have went a little quicker, but we used what we already had for paint.  We made sure to use the same paint as the trim that was already painted around each door so that they would match.

Update – after our first door, we decided it was easier to paint the plain door white first, and then add the trim.  Then paint the trim again once it’s on the pained door.

Step 5

Once the paint has dried, we put the door handles back on and hung the door back up!  We chose to purchase new door handles (optional) because ours were an ugly brass color, and they were very old and tarnished.

Holy moly!  What a friggin’ difference!  This project cost us under $20 per door for the paint & trim, and about $40 per door including the new door knobs.  Little cost, big impact!

This is an easy-peasy DIY (just like our faux-shiplap DIY).  If you have ugly hollow doors, this is the perfect weekend project for you.