Small home improvement projects often involve changing up the décor, storage upgrades, or making over entire rooms. One thing that’s used frequently, is dressed down, and really doesn’t get much love in the home makeover department is the interior door.

Hollow core doors to be exact, and there are many. They are basic and hang silently on closets, bathrooms, and bedrooms. Secretly, some of them are yearning to be pretty too, just like the rest of your house. It’s a good thing you can work with what you have to do an update!

Blogger Sherri over at Thrifty Artsy Girl was so over her standard slab doors with their flat, bland, wood-colored veneers. She wanted to modernize them without emptying the piggy bank to buy new ones, so she came up with this DIY project. Sherri gives her blank plank doors some dimension by adding trim and panels. You won’t believe how much it cost— no more than $20!

To get started, Sherri painted the door white. That was her first step and there was no sanding involved. We’ll lay out some of the other steps in this easy project, and you just may be inspired to go out and buy a miter box and saw. (Psst— you can grab the tool for around $10)!

DIY Paneled Doors


  • Miter box and saw
  • Carpenter’s square
  • Liquid nails
  • Trim
  • Tape measure


  1. Outline and Mark

    Outline where you want to place your panels and trim.

  2. Measure and Cut

    Using the miter and saw, measure and cut your trim to fit the markings.

  3. Glue and Dry

    Glue the trim to the door with the liquid nails. Wipe off any excess. Allow liquid nails to dry.

  4. Paint and Rehang

    Once dry, paint the trim to match the rest of the door. Rehang and add doorknobs.

Visit Sherri’s blog, Thrifty Artsy Girl for her step-by-step tutorial and to see more pictures of her finished doors! She purchased most of her raw materials at a local Home Depot, where she was able to choose from an assortment of decorative trim for a few bucks.

Thrifty Artsy Girl

If you have hollow core doors throughout your house like Sherri, the cost of replacing them can add up. With her easy instructions you can be on your way to doing your own update. One of the great things about using this door type as a blank slate is that you can easily customize your design. For those of you who are handy with tools like nail guns, you can even skip the glue for a quicker process.

Paint it a neutral color like white or go out of the box with a color like black. Get creative with the trim or molding and go vertical. Double up to give it a framed look. Come up with your own patterns! By the time you finish, the old door will hardly be recognizable. Throw in a fancy doorknob and you’ve got a spanking new door. Out with the slab and in with the fab!

What do you think of Sherri’s door makeover? Would you try your hand at this project?