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DIY French Doors – at home with Ashley

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DIY French Doors - at home with Ashley

I’ve been working on my bathroom and one thing it’s missing- is a door. To save space and to help showcase a focal point, I thought I’d use double doors. This post will be on how to DIY French doors for an interior space. I won’t be making my own, but repurposing old sidelights I found from an architectural salvage store. This would also work with bi-fold doors.

DIY French doors

Let’s start with the video tutorial so you get an overview on what I did. Then, I’ll dive in with more details below:


If the video doesn’t work here, you can watch it on YouTube here. It’d mean so much if you’d watch the video! I’m trying to get better at my video skills so I can grow my YouTube channel. If you have a few minutes to watch this and/or subscribe, I’d so appreciate it.




When we started work on the bathrooms, we had no doors and haven’t for months. This has become the emergency bathroom, but it’s so much less of a working room without doors! Time for that to change.

You can also see that we need a threshold, finish up the trim around the door, and get the cabinet door and drawers back in on the linen closet. They’re off so the new trim can go up.

how I found my doors

I’ve known for awhile I want to use double doors for my bathroom. So a few months ago, we headed to an architectural salvages store (we went to George’s Salvage in Salt Lake City).

We went prepared with our measurements of the door opening and luckily were able to find a pair of door sidelights that were the right width and just a little tall. Remember- it’s better to cut something down than trying to add to it.

They cost $225 for the set. Not cheap- but they are solid wood with glass.

I think this project will also work great with Bifold Doors that can be bought new or there’s always lots of bifold doors at Habitat for Humanity. Buying them used will save money and is better for the environment. Plus, they likely won’t have windows which is probably a better fit (at least for bathroom doors).

step 1- clean up the doors

Start by cleaning up the doors. For our doors, that meant removing the wood that encased the side lights.

If using bifold doors, remove the hinges.

Since our doors sat in a dirty warehouse, I also cleaned them so there wasn’t gunk and dust on them.

step 2- cut the doors so they’re the correct size

Next, measure the door opening and the doors and see if they need to be cut down to fit inside the door frame.

If needed, use a Miter Saw to cut the door down to the correct height. A table saw would be best for cutting a door to be skinnier if it’s too wide.

Note, on bifold doors, be careful of cutting the doors too much because the door might be hollow after a certain point. I’ve done that and then filled in the bottom or top with wood, but it is an extra step.

step 3- finish work

And now, decide on the color or finish that the doors will be. My doors are a little beat up so we started by sanding them down so we can decide what to do with them.

My little French doors are white on one side and wood on the other. For the painted side, I thought that’d look best facing the hall. All the doors on my first floor are pink, so I figure that will help it flow with the rest of the house.

Since the wood is so pretty, I’m leaving it the wood color for the inside of the bathroom. I think that’ll add some nice texture to the space. Plus wood doors are becoming less common! Might as well appreciate that luxury. I’m using wood filler to fill in any holes.

Once the wood filler is dry, it gets sanded smooth. Then I use Matte Wax Spray with a Wax Applicator Pad to give a subtle finish to the wood and protect it.

For the painted side, I’m starting with applying Liquid Masking to the window areas. Next, I’m using a brush and doing a SUPER thick first coat. If the Liquid Masking h20 gets on the sashes, I don’t worry about it (though I made sure it doesn’t puddle anywhere).

I let that dry for about 1 hour and apply. a second coat just around the edges. 

After the Liquid Masking h20 had dried for 3 hours (it dries clear), I start painting my French doors. I apply a few coats of paint. I’m using the same color here as is on the other door in the hall- Stolen Kiss. Let that fully set overnight.

step 4- make the curtains

Since my doors have glass on top, I’m adding in a curtain for privacy. When I was looking for the perfect doors at the architectural salvage shop I wanted them to have a lot of character. The glass definitely adds that, but I’d prefer all wood doors. What can you do when you find something that is pretty much perfect? You add curtains.

For the drape fabric, I choose a white satin option with textural lines through it. I wanted something that’ll look good from the hall and bathroom. Since they both have patterned wallpaper, something simple feels like a good idea! I found my fabric on clearance and paid $14 for a yard and a half. But I can’t find a link online, sorry!

Start by cutting 4 rectangles of fabric. I want mine double sided for as much privacy as possible. I cut mine to: 40″ long by 15″ wide. However, I wish I’d cut mine to 46″ long. Why? My windows are 38″ tall and if I would’ve made the covering bigger, I could’ve folded the ends to make pole pockets and made this much easier.

Iron the fabric so it’s flat. Technically, it’s best to iron before cutting. But I prefer ironing smaller pieces because it’s much faster.

Put the right sides of two of the pieces of fabric together and sew all the way around the perimeter, leaving a hole so it can be flipped right side out. Repeat for the second curtain.

Turn the curtains right side out. Iron the curtains flat.

If you cut your’s 8″ longer than the windows, flip both ends over 3″ and sew the pole pocket in place.

Since I cut mine to barely fit over the window, I cut two pieces of fabric that are 3″ long by 15″ wide.

Iron the edges down 1/2″. Sew over the edges.

Iron the long sides over 1/2″.

Sew the pole pocket on the ends of each curtain. This completes the sewing portion of this blog post.

step 5- hinges

Finally, it’s time to install the hardware. I had a hard time finding information online about the hardware I should use. Here’s what is working great for me.

Hinges. First, attach the hinges to the doors. Put two on each door. Measure 1′ from the top and bottom and screw the two hinges in place on the door. Then, use the level and put the door in place so it’s easy to mark where the hinges need to be mounted to the door frame.

Note, we found using an Air Shim makes this project much easier since it holds the door off the floor. It’s adjustable so it can perfectly adjust to the necessary height. Whenever we install doors we use this tools and are so happy we have it!

Attach the hinges to the door frame. Then use the level and see how straight the door is swinging. If the door isn’t level, it’ll open or close on it’s own (which is annoying). For our door, the top of the door came out too far. To bring it in, the hinges came off and a router is used to recess the hinges inside the wood on the door and frame.

Once that is fixed, the door hangs straight. It’s also important that the doors are plumb or else they’ll hit each other when they open and close. We didn’t change the width on our doors and there is a small gap between them. Without it, they wouldn’t open properly so it’s a good thing. We’ll close that gap with some trim in the next step.

For the hinges, if they’re too close to the door trim they’ll squeak when they open and close. That was happening to us. So we removed the hinges and used a Dremel to cut away just a bit of the trim to prevent squeaking.

step 6- hardware

Door Knobs. For the double doors, we choose dummy door knobs. Most door knobs have the latch bolt that comes out when the handle is turned. Two of those next to each other won’t work, so we choose dummy door knobs which means they don’t turn. Attach the knob to both sides of each door with the screws that come with the knobs.

Swivel Sash Curtain Rods. Next, attach the curtains to the door. For that I’m using small sash curtain rods that are made for French doors. I’m putting one at the top and bottom of the curtains to hold them tightly in place. 

Sliding Lock. Since this is a bathroom, it’s important that it has a lock. If a child wasn’t using this bathroom, I’d add a surface bolt to the top of the door. But since I share this bathroom with a 9 year old, we’re adding a sliding lock between the two doors right under the door handles.

The surface bolt is better because it doesn’t get in the way when opening and closing the doors, but. the sliding lock we choose isn’t too bad.


Ball Catch Latch. And finally, let’s add the ball catch latch. This is what goes between the doors so something catches when closing the door. This will help with privacy and having the door securely closed. Use a drill and a Dremel to create a space for it and then use screws to put it in place.

step 7- door stop trim

Lastly, there’s two types of stop trim that need to be applied to finish off the double doors.

Let’s beginning by adding Trim for the Frame to Stop Doors. This is simple casing trim and it’s put where the doors should stop  when the door is closed. This trim will stop the doors and prevent them from closing too far and ruining the hinges. Cut it with a miter saw and then use a nail gun to attach it to the door frame so it’s positioned where the doors need to stop.

Next, the trim needs to go up for between the doors. This Stop Trim for Between Doors will cover the gap (which is important for privacy). Cut it to the same height as the doors and nail it in place. We also used a few screws to secure it to be extra cautious.

Finish up the trim work by using wood filler to fill any nail holes. Caulk along all seams. Sand the wood filler. And where needed, paint the caulk and nail holes once they are dry.


And here are the DIY French doors! Aren’t they lovely?!

I love how you open them and they really showcase the view of the tub and chandelier.

The warmth of the inside wood really is lovely. 

I’m also really happy with the pink outside. How was I ever considering another color?! Pink is always the answer 😉.

The only think I’m not convinced on is the curtains. They feel a little bulky on the wood side of the door. Maybe I should’ve tried privacy window film? What do you think?

I was surprised at how much work this project is. But it absolutely was worth it! And besides being lovely, it adds a very key element to the bathroom.

price breakdown

I like to add up the costs when doing my projects. Here’s how much the DIY French doors cost-

Total- $378

Which, in hind sight is a lot when you think about the fact that I could just have put on the old door we already had and be done with it. But I really wanted to try the double door look, so what can you do? It’s expensive, but I’m glad we tried it because the look is so good! 

In conclusion, I’m so glad we did this project. It’s really fun to try something new. I know French doors for a bathroom are unexpected, but it’s fun to play around and try something new out. We use the cabinet outside the bathroom and part of it is now accessible because of the smaller doors. What do you think of the doors? I’d love to hear in the comments.

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