DIY: Ornate Door Moldings
Assistant design editor Jennifer Koper upgrades bifold doors with foam ceiling medallions and trim.
Parisian apartments are known for their beautiful ornate moldings. While I don’t live in the City of Lights, I wondered if I could recreate the look on a pair of plain bifold closet doors using foam ceiling medallions, panel moldings and a few coats of paint. This project has high impact with minimal cost and commitment, so it’s perfect for renters, too!
You’ll need bifold doors, panel moldings, wooden doorknobs, mitre box, handsaw, measuring tape, paint and primer, paintbrush and roller, foam ceiling medallions, construction adhesive and sandpaper.
Bifold doors come in different heights and widths, so measure your door opening before buying any doors. Mark where your knobs will go on each door — 36″ from the floor is the norm. Now, mark where your panel molding will go on the doors (mine were inset 2 1⁄2″ from all edges) with enough space in the center for the medallions. You’ll paint over these marks, but they will help you measure your moldings for the next step. Drill a hole on each door for the knob.
You can get panel moldings in various thicknesses (mine were 3⁄4″ w.). Measure your moldings, and using a handsaw, miter the corners (cut them at a 45° angle), then lightly sand any rough edges. (A miter box is helpful for cutting these angles.) You’ll want the blunt edges of the moldings facing inward on your doors.
Paint the doors before attaching the moldings so you can use a roller for a smooth finish. Then paint the moldings with a brush. Paint the medallions and doorknobs (before attaching them) using a paintbrush. Even though most medallions and bifold doors are white or unfinished, you should prime before you paint or use 2 coats of a product with paint and primer combined for an even finish.
Once all the paint has dried, lay your doors flat. Use a measuring tape to ensure the trim panels are centered on the doors. Attach the trim and medallions using construction adhesive (I like LePage’s No More Nails). Screw the knobs into the doors using long screws (mine were 2 1⁄2″). Let glue dry overnight. Hang doors and enjoy!