A DIY Update to 70s Style Bi-Fold Doors

published Feb 7, 2016
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(Image credit: Submitted by Monica)

I think nearly anyone who buys a 1970s ranch home will likely end up with those dark wood, hollow core bi-fold doors. We ended up with them in two of our three bedrooms. Replacing them with more modern, up-to-date bi-fold doors can run over $150 per pair, so why not put in some elbow grease to bring those doors to life and save yourself about $100?

Skill Level: Moderate
Time Required: 4-6 Hours
Project Cost: $40-60
(Image credit: Submitted by Monica)

What You Need


  • Set of bi-fold closet doors
  • Medium & fine grit sanding blocks
  • Tack cloth
  • Painter’s tape
  • Zinsser primer
  • Paint in color of your choice
  • Moldings
  • Liquid nails for small projects
  • Caulk
  • Door knobs/hardware
  • Non-Mortise hinges
  • Cabinet hardware installation template (optional)


  • Screwdriver
  • Paint brush
  • Foam rollers and paint roller
  • Paint tray and liner
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
(Image credit: Submitted by Monica)
(Image credit: Submitted by Monica)
(Image credit: Submitted by Monica)
(Image credit: Submitted by Monica)


  1. Take off the hinges and hardware from your bi-fold doors to prep for sanding
  2. Using your medium grit sanding block, sand all of your doors, including the sides. Use a tack cloth to remove all dust to prep for priming.
  3. Apply primer to all your doors using a roller. Allow the primer to dry a few hours before moving on.
  4. Up next, make your cuts for your moldings. I measured my doors and subtracted 2-inches from each side to leave a border around my doors. This part is totally up to you. Just make sure your moldings won’t cover up the hole where the knob would go. Adhere the moldings using a nail gun or liquid nails.
  5. Caulk will give your DIY project a flawless, professional finish, so make sure to caulk all the sides and mitered corners.
  6. Paint your doors! Use a small roller for the larger areas of your closet doors, and a small angled brush for your moldings. Sand in between coats with a fine grit sanding block for a smooth finish.
  7. Attach your new hinges, knob/pull, and reinstall your bi-fold doors. It’s easiest to get the top part into/onto the track, and then make adjustments to the little screw on the bottom for height.

Enjoy your new bi-fold doors knowing they’re custom made just for your home! You can see more of this project on Monica’s blog Monica Wants It.

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