We had bi-fold closet doors in all of the kids rooms in our Florida house. Little fingers were pinched, doors came off the tracks and they weren’t the cutest to look at. Did you know that bi-fold closet doors can be converted in French doors with a few minor modifications? Want to learn how?
Exhibit A. The bi-fold door before.
So, what are the steps? Unbelievably simple.
1. Use a flat head and push down on the piece of hardware holding the bi-fold in the track at the top. Pry that out of the top of the door and throw it away. It looks like this if you need a visual https://m.lowes.com/pd/Prime-Line-2-Piece-Bifold-Closet-Door-Hardware-Kit/3014211
2. Repeat the process with the piece in the corner holding the door on track and remove the doors. Leave this in place.
3. Remove the knobs to open doors.
4. Flip the door so that the back of the door is facing up. Use 3 straight brackets (3-4 inches long) and screw into the top, middle and bottom of each set of doors. This will brace the door so it opens as one piece.
5. Flip the bracketed door over carefully. I used liquid nails and finishing nails to attach 13 *faux shiplap* boards that I cut to length. The shiplap hides the decorative insets of the doors as well as the gap between them. It strengthens the door so it can act as one French door without feeling flimsy.
*Shiplap tip-You can get a 4×8 sheet of plywood ripped at Lowe’s horizontally to create the shiplap boards. Sand and paint it white. Measure the width of the bifold and trim boards to fit.
You could get away with just glue if you let it dry overnight. I’m way too into instant gratification so I tapped nails into each end and rehung them.
Rehanging the doors slipping into the floor notch and attaching the pin back into the upper hardware takes a little patience since they are heavier with the shiplap. I attached gate pulls from Lowe’s. These are inexpensive, come in a 2 pack and I love how they finish it off for a farmhouse feel.
Like our mock french closet doors? Give this DIY a try if you have those annoying bi-folds!
Happy reimagining- Kristen
Love these doors! Is there another option to use on the front side without the shiplap look?
Of course! You could bracket them in the back and leave them as is. I did that in our basement here and just puttied the original knob hole and swapped for large gate pulls . Now they open wide as 2 French doors. The brackets maintain the French door style but it’s a little wobbly. If I do not do anything to the fronts I will probably simply nail down three boards across the back over the brackets😊. Give it a try!!!!!
Great idea! I love your new blog.
Shari, I’m happy to hear that you are enjoying the blog!!!
What a great idea! I am putting this on my spring to do list. Thank you so much for sharing all your great ideas 🙂
Glad you are going to give the closet doors a refresh! Good luck- you will love the results.
[…] See blog for details on shiplap doors over at http://desperatecraftwife.com/2018/03/13/french-closet-doors/ […]