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Filed in PROJECTS & DIY — March 27, 2022

A couple weeks ago I tackled a simple and quick refresh in our main hallway that you can see from every angle. It sticks out like a sore thumb to the rest of our updated home. So, it was time! We have a bifold closet system at the end of the hallway, not my favorite. Many times, I thought about ripping it out, and converting it to a built-in, but we really use the storage it provides in this area of the home.

I brainstormed ways to transform bifold doors when we refresh nearly every bedroom in our home. Each one has those builder grade lackluster doors. There’s barn door track hardware that is meant to bypass so you don’t need extra wall space on each side of the closet. It gets a little expensive for just the hardware, but it’s an option. Another idea is adding hinges and making doors to open outward like French Doors. I didn’t love either idea for the hallway, so I found a way to fancy up our existing bifold doors and make them not only work for us in this space but look so much better! I’ve had this idea for quite some time and I’m so excited to finally have tackled it!

I used ¼” MDF because it was leftover material I had, but thin ¼” plywood would work better as it’s even lighter material. I simply nailed up pieces along the top and bottom to create an edge or border. Then, filled in the centers nailing up boards vertically to look like shiplap.

It would go even faster had I taken the doors off, but I wanted to be sure I wouldn’t hit any of the track and be able to open/close freely. It really was so simple and pretty quick. Be careful to watch the sides – do not make boards flush with the sides needs to be about 1/8” gap so the door can fold itself without the wood hindering it. Also, along the top, bottom and middle watch for natural gaps in the bifold doors – do not cover those as it’s needed to freely open/close.

Once the boards were all up, I filled nail holes with wood filler and caulked the seams along the top, bottom, and where my boards met up along the center where I had a second row of boards meet. You could definitely create a design or run boards the entire length (I just didn’t have long enough boards using MDF). So many possibilities. I painted the doors and trim Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter.

For the hardware I used 1 1/8” poplar dowel rods and 1” Copper Plated Split Ring Tubing Hangers to create big barn door handles. We had used these copper ring hangers before, and I like how it looked like metal hardware once spray painted matte black. Then, stained the dowels my favorite custom mix. I really think the bigger the better with these handles, you want them to make a statement just like barn door handles. We made ours 24” and could have gone a bit bigger too.

To attach the handles, determine where you want them to be and drill screw through center of the half piece of ring tubing. Then, add the dowel and add the top ring tubing piece over top of the dowel adding two screws on each side in their holes that reach the bottom piece.

It looks a hundred times better and I love the doors! I hope this inspires you to tackle those old ugly bifold closets in your home! If you do share with me on IG – love to share in stories.

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  1. Makayla says:

    Hello. I love this idea so I have been redoing my closet door following your post. I’m getting close to attaching the handles but wondering how it works opening the door when you attach them on the end of the doors rather than in the middle like they normally do with bi fold doors. I’m worried it will make it hard to open and nervous about screwing into the door without knowing. I just don’t think it will look as good though if I mount them in center of doors.

  2. Jackie Kurtz says:

    Love this look and I’m redoing my house. I was wondering where you bought the wood handles?

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I created Grace Oaks Designs based on a need for attainable design. I kept coming back to my signature style time after time and realized, this is it! We bridge the gap creating attainable design for the modern family. Home tells our stories. It's the cornerstone of where we're going and where we've been. Where beautiful style meets comfort and functionality. For an elevated everyday. It's our safe haven. Which is why I'm so passionate about creating refined casual interiors. Elevated yet livable. Because I want you to love coming home. 

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