Have you ever looked at the interior doors of your house and wished they were completely different? Did you wonder if you could do it yourself? I am here to tell you an interior door makeover is totally possible! I have added a window to an interior door and while a little bit tricky, it isn’t over complicated.
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This interior door makeover was originally done when remodeling the interior of an rv. The original post, RV Remodel…, included several other projects. Those builds aren’t only applicable to an RV or camper, so I will be breaking those out on their own later.
- simple slab interior door
- dremel rotary tool
- lattice moulding
- brad nailer
- square dowel
- underlayment or 1/4 plywood
- table saw
- paint and glazes
- frosted window film
- Cricut Air Express2 machine
- black vinyl
- circular saw
- utility knife
- glue/construction adhesive
- wood filler
The interior door I used was made of corrugated paper (yes, the more formal and official name of cardboard). This build would work in exactly the same way for a hollow core door though as well.
The first thing I did is use a pencil to trace out where I wanted the window location to be. Then I used a Dremel rotary tool to cut along that line.
For the other side of the door, I measured it all out and cut it again. An alternative would be to use a circular saw to cut through along the line you made on the first side. To avoid the tear out you see in the photo below, score your pencil line with a utility knife prior to cutting it. If you do have a tear out, it can be easily repaired with glue and wood filler.
Cut a piece of lattice moulding to fit the upper and lower parts of your opening, then the sides, accounting for the width of the top and bottom pieces. Install in place using glue or construction adhesive. I did it this way as it offered additional support to the top piece. You could miter all sides for a very polished look, though once you sand and paint the project, you won’t actually notice all that effort.
Then I used a square dowel along the front edges as a stop or support for the glass piece.
Adding 5mil flooring underlayment or even 1/4″ plywood strips I cut with a table saw, gives a more “vintage door” look and adds so much more character than a plain door. I accounted for hiding the glass support pieces in my measurements for the thin plywood pieces and used construction adhesive and my Ryobi brad nailer to attach it all together.
No pictures of the glass step, but it is pretty simple. I took the custom cut glass (if you don’t know how to cut glass, you can usually find a local hardware shop, craft store, or framing shop that will do it for you at a nominal fee) and placed a silicone caulk bead on the front side of the installed stop. This is to minimize vibration from opening and closing the door so your glass won’t break. I then placed another bead of caulk on the back edge and glued and nailed the second square dowel trim in place. The additional height on the trim pieces, helped hold everything together as it dried.
Once the adhesives and caulk were completely dry, I filled in holes (and made a new one for the door handle) then painted the entire piece. I used a splotchy, gloppy painting technique with a few colors of glaze to give that vintage appearance of multiple paint layers added over time.
Since this was to be used as an office door, the owner wanted a bit of privacy. That could have been done with frosted glass, but it was less expensive to use a glass film. Using a film also gave the option of removing it later if they chose to. The privacy film was placed on the back side of the door glass. Then on the front, I used my cutting machine and black vinyl to make an office sign for the glass front. A complete door makeover!
When it was all done, I hung it back in place.
This shot gives you a better idea of the entire room with the “new” door in place.
At the beginning of this post I promised makeovers as in more than one… I have gathered some of the fun ones I found around the world wide web and present them for your viewing pleasure:
Roundup of Interior Door Makeovers
A collection of blog posts on different ways to modify a door.
Washi Tape Door Borders - PMQ Friendly
PMQ for Two used washi tape and paint to make their doors more attractive- Simple and elegant.
Bi Fold Door Makeover
Charleston Crafted modified their bi fold closet doors to make them so much more interesting and fun.
The Easiest DIY Dutch Door Plans & Tutorial
Living Letter Home madeover their existing hollow-core door into a chic dutch door.
DIY Louvered Closet Door Makeover | Big Bang for Your Buck
Rain on a Tin Roof has a great way to modify a louvered door. Just make sure it isn't on a required space per code (like some utility closets etc).
How to Add Molding Panels to a Flat Door
Pretty Handy Girl used molding to create much more attractive interior doors for her space.
How to Convert Bi- Fold Closet Doors into Modern Farmhouse French Doors
Harbour Breeze Home converted boring bifold doors to swinging farmhouse inspired "french" doors.
How to Make a Barn Quilt Door
While this makeover by DIY Dreamer was technically an exterior door, it could easily be done on an interior door as well.
I hope you have been inspired to try your own interior door makeover. If you happen to take a stab at it, shoot me over a photo, I would love to see!
Michele @ Thistledown Domestic CreationsJanuary 27, 2020 at 7:15 PM
These are awesome, Scottie! What a great idea. I would never have thought about cutting an opening for a window! Your projects are always so inspiring. Thanks!
ScottieJanuary 27, 2020 at 10:36 PM
Thank you so much Michele, I am so glad you are excited. Please make sure you show me if you use any of these ideas- You know I would love to see!