Closet Door Refresh

Closet Door Refresh

Use Carpenter David Leon’s step-by-step instructions to refresh old closet doors.

5 col

Sliding mirror closet doors
(1) 1/4-inch thick pre-cut wood backing measured length and width of mirror in door
(2) 1/4-inch and 4-inch wide pre-cut wood framing measured to width of mirror in door and cut at 45 degree angle at both ends
(2) 1/4-inch thick and 4-inch wide pre-cut wood framing measured to length of mirror in door and cut at 45 degree angle at both ends
(2) 30” x 60” thin fabric window panels
Wood stain and sealer
(5) 2-part epoxy injectors (special glue to adhere glass and wood)
Interior/exterior semigloss spray paint
Surgeon’s mask (for fumes from paint)
Heavy books
Spray fabric glue
Wood glue
Tape measure
Sewing needle
Thread to match window panel
(4) 1/4-inch wood dowels measured to width of mirror doors minus 8 inches (these will sit between wood framing pieces at top and bottom to hold window panel in place)


Prep the Doors:

  1. Take sliding doors off track
  2. Put on surgeon’s mask and spray paint the existing metal frames on the mirrored doors. It’s OK if paint gets beyond the metal frame as you will cover with wood framing and backing pieces
  3. Allow paint to dry and repeat for 2 coats

Prep Wood Framing:

  1. Stain all (4) 1/4-inch thick wood framing pieces all over using wood stain and sealer and a rag. The rag will ensure the stain doesn’t leave drip marks and also helps get into the crevices of the wood

Tip: If your wood backing piece is a dramatic difference in color than your stain, then stain that piece as well for a more seamless look. It will ultimately be covered by fabric

  1. Allow stain to dry

Attach Wood Backing:

  1. Attach 1/4-inch wood backing piece using 2-part epoxy injector. Apply the epoxy by squeezing injector trigger and making an “S” pattern of glue on the mirror. Be sure to use plenty of glue

Tip: To tell if you need to use more glue: If you can put your palm down in any space on the mirror and not hit glue, you should add more.


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  1. Align 1/4-inch wood backing with bottom edge of metal frame and carefully place over entire mirror. Use clamps around edges to hold firmly in place and put heavy books on middle to hold while epoxy dries

Attach Wood Framing:

  1. Lay out wood framing pieces around the edges of the wood backing, just inside metal frame. The 45-degree angle ends will align together to make right angles at each corner
  2. Use wood glue to attach stained wood framing to wood backing around edges of door. Make an “S” pattern with the wood glue on the back of the wood framing and put in place
  3. Use clamps to hold firmly in place and allow to dry

Attach Dowels and Fabric:

  1. Ensure wood dowels are cut to proper length to fit horizontally across door inside of wood framing at top and bottom
  2. Slide wood dowel through the pocket on the end of the window panel. Scrunch so that the fabric sits in the middle of the dowel with wood showing on either end. The other end of the fabric will hang freely for now
  3. Position the dowel (with the fabric hanging off) horizontally between the wood framing pieces on the top end of the door and nail into the underside of the wood framing using 1/4-inch pin nails. Repeat for both left and right sides of door

  1. Slide material out to left and right to cover pin nail

  1. With door on its back, move to the bottom of the door with window panel resting flat. At bottom of the wood framing, measure just past this an additional 1 1/2 inch of fabric. Cut excess fabric off
  2. Use sewing needle and hemline stitch to create a 1-inch pocket for dowel on bottom end of window panel
  3. Repeat steps 10-13 for the bottom dowel of door to finish the treatment
  4. Put sliding doors back into tracks

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