Welcome to Kelli's Olympic Nest's tale of how we are creating a home we love through thrifty DIY projects, crafty ideas, and a willingness to get dirty. In between, there's the stories reminding us to also live the life you love. 

How to turn boring bypass closet doors into farm style charm

How to turn boring bypass closet doors into farm style charm

Master Bedroom Part III: DIY bypass closet doors upgrade

In this five part master bedroom makeover,  the challenge was to turn a cluttered dark bedroom into a welcoming peaceful retreat. I dreamed about a master suite that was light, spacious, and inviting. A space to relax. A place that was simple so that all thoughts and ideas could just sigh in relief. Which probably explains why this project required more thought. In fact I actually created an inspiration board (crazy, right!?) and sketched out a plan which you can check out in Part 1 of the master bedroom here.

Like many, I love the farm style look. I also really like the cool coastal colors so I decided to embrace these two loves hence this very affordable diy closet door upgrade.

This post is all about upgrading boring bypass closet doors

how to upgrade bypass closet doors for cheap.jpg

The standard bypass doors were pretty dull. When I first created my Inspiration board I planned on some sort of barn door look. But as time went by, I began to think I wanted to do something different. Something like what Jenna at Rain on a Tin Roof did with hers.



Pretty awesome don't you think? Jenna's the one who turned me on to Navy blue which became our color of choice for this accent wall. But when we finished the bedroom planked wall, I had quite a bit of extra underlayment and that's when I knew I was going to figure out how to transform those doors into faux barn doors. Talk about coming full circle!

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Here are the Materials Needed:

  • underlayment plywood ripped 4"s wide

  • miter saw

  • tape measure

  • 120 grit sand paper

  • 1 tube Hard As Nails glue

  • painter's tape

  • c-clamps

  • caulk gun (used to dispense the glue)

  • spackle or wood filler (I used spackle)

  • 2" all-purpose paint brush

  • white paint (I used Behr's Pure White eggshell finish)

  • Decorative Door Hardware Kit-Dummy Hinges Pulls Carriage Door

  • hex screws, washers, and nuts

  • pliers and multi-bit electric screw driver

Since I already had everything but the hardware, the total cost for this project was... drum roll please... $20. 

How to turn construction grade bypass closet doors in faux barn doors.

Step 1: Cut and adhere underlayment boards

First measure how wide your bypass doors are and cut each board (I used a miter saw) accordingly. Then give each one a slight sanding with 120 grit paper. Once boards are cut and sanded, add some Hard as Nails adhesive glue to the back. I added a dot in each corner and then a squiggly line down the middle. Starting at the top place the board and stabilize it with painters tape. I used Frog tape to hold it in place. A lot of Frog tape. Continue this process until you reach the bottom.

Hard as nails adhesive and Frog tape used to attach underlayment plywood to bypass doors.

Hard as nails adhesive and Frog tape used to attach underlayment plywood to bypass doors.

Some of the boards didn't want to lay flat even with the Frog tape, so I pulled out some c-clamps. 

c-clamp helps set hard as nails adhesive

I left the glue to dry 24 hours before I removed the Frog tape. See the bottom right side? The board wasn't cut to the right width so wouldn't adhere to closet panel. Once I got the cut right (uh-hmm...thanks, Hubby) the board laid flat and I was able to get it to stick.

use underlayment plywood to update bypass doors

Step 2: Fill underlayment plywood seams 

Next I took some spackle (didn't have any wood putty and I actually liked how the white seam pop turned out) and filled in each seam with my fingers. You're right, it was pretty messy. Now I'm sure there is a better way to do this, but I have found I can control the material better than with a spackle knife.

fill in gaps of faux barn closet doors

Once it dried, I gently sanded it smooth and then prepared to paint the surface. 

Step 3: Whitewash underlayment plywood

At first I thought I was going to leave it natural but there were too many imperfections not to mention not all of the boards were cut vertically. But I wanted to show the grain somehow. This is when I decided to white wash the doors.

With a plastic container half filled with water, eggshell Pure White Behr paint, and a brush I was ready to paint. First, dab brush in paint then dip in water. Brush on and smooth out. You will get drips but if you quickly brush the drips outward, the drips are no longer a problem.

The first coat was pretty light. I just kept adding and spreading the paint. When they say wash that's pretty much what you are doing. Two coats later I was satisfied with the white wash treatment.

how to white wash for farm style look.jpg

Step 4: Attach dummy hinges and pulls

I found the hardware on Amazon for about $20. It's called Decorative Door Hardware Kit-Dummy Hinges Pulls Carriage Door. To attach first mark each hole with a pencil. Then use a small drill bit and drill holes for the hex screws. Once the hex screws were placed, anchor them with a washer followed by the nut. Hubby had a hex bolt kit so I was lucky there. I'm imagining going to the hardware store and asking for the screws with the flat ends and circles with holes in the know, those watchamacallits. Oh, I need nuts too. Um....where are they and what size will I need. Thank. You. Hubby.

DIY faux closet bypass barn doors

Let's take another look at the before just so you can really see the difference. 

boring closet bypass doors upgrade.jpg

to this...

dummy hinges and pulls faux barn doors

The faux bypass closet doors certainly are not dull! While this was a multi-step, multi-day project, I couldn't be happier with the results. The doors are heavier and they are no longer bypass doors due to the handles. I'm okay with that. 

diy upgrade closet bypass doors.jpg

If you have some pretty dull bypass doors, don't be afraid to give them life. This was an affordable upgrade and something anyone could do.

Want more affordable bedroom upgrades? See how two second hand dressers were given new life in Part IV of our bedroom makeover and in Part II how we planked the a wall here.

 Hop on over to Part IV Master Bedroom Reveal to get the full wow factor. 

What have you transformed lately? Did it turn out like you originally planned? 

Be sure to pin and share, thx.


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