Thursday, May 5, 2011

DIY Custom Door

When we re-configured our kitchen, our plan originally was to re-use the door to the pantry/cellar entrance. Upon further inspection, we realized that a) the door was crap underneath b) the previous owners had already attempted half heartedly to strip it, so it was all bubbly/warty and c) a new door would be way too expensive! So off we went to the hardware store because my husband had a brilliant idea...
Yes, that's plywood! We would make our own door; this process took my husband (not including paint) less than an hour...
1. He first cut 1 sheet of "one side good" plywood into two equal pieces the size of the original door (we used two so that the door would have some weight, it now weighs slightly more than the original).  Make sure to face the good side out on both sides then sand smooth for a nicer finish.

2. He then screwed the two pieces together back to back, making sure they were even, making sure only to screw along the edges so they would be hidden by the panel detailing. Make sure to use flush head screws so the panels will sit flat on the plywood.

3. Using 4 inch by 1/2 inch pine strips, he measured and cut detailing for the perimeter of the door first, then cut two extra strips to create a shaker-style detail. How you complete this step is up to you, use your imagination to create any molding detail you please!

4. We then borrowed a nail gun to affix the boards to the plywood already looks way nicer than the original, don't you think?
5. A few coats of paint (from a previous project, we used heavy duty primer to cover the imperfections in the wood), and voila! a shiny new door! We used the original hinges and frame, and are going to put matching kitchen hardware and magnetic latches since it is technically a pantry door. The frame still needs trim, but I think it looks excellent so far...
So there you have it! This project cost 30 for plywood, 4.25 for each strip of pine, and 4 for a box of screws, totaling approximately 60 for a new door including taxes. I can't even imagine what a custom door would have cost us!


  1. Hello, thats a nice door:)

    Question: were the studs placed only for design purposes or do they make for a better attachment for the screws of the hinges?

    Could the hinges be screwed directly on the plywood, cause that looks like a heavy door.

  2. They are there for two reasons. To Hide the screws holding the boards together and for looks. We used lightweight pine strapping to help keep the weight down. It really doesn't weigh more than a real wood door.

  3. What thickness of ply did you use?

    thanks for posting this. Awesome possum