Turn a crappy bi-fold door into a glowing damask enchantment

Guestpost by Jax on Feb 23rd

I installed this door over our laundry room after we dumpster-dove it, so I wasn't surprised that a panel popped out before long. I took this fixit project as an opportunity to improve our already FREE curb acquirement with some paint and fabric.

First, Matt took the doors downstairs for me and I removed the hardware and slats. Those slats will make either good firewood, paint stirrers, or other small project helper. Then I lightly sanded all the surfaces so the paint would stick better. We bought a small can of Glidden Bright White High-Gloss Enamel Door and Trim paint. I already had a brush.

I also purchanced fabric for the doors which I will measure and cut. I used a staple gun for most of the work after cutting the fabric with pinking sheers. I used the screw driver and pliers to remove staples which went askew. Nothing is ever perfect.

  • Start by cutting your fabric a half inch larger than the opening on all sides. You don't need to use pinking sheers — this just helps it from fraying. Be sure to check your fabric for its repeating pattern and whether or not you want something to be centered. I used damask and had the print centered. (After completing, the two sides of the door are off in pattern about 1 inch but atleast they are all facing the same direction.)
  • Staple the fabric to the top of the back and pull it taught to the bottom. In some areas, I was able to do it at an angle closer to the inside of the frame.

  • Push the staple gun flush with the front of the door on the sides and staple all the way around. It helps if you do a few key spots, like the corners and center, to make sure you aren't pulling in one direction more than another. You can always use the flat head screw driver and pliers to pull out a wrong staple. Hammers work for hitting them further in too.
  • Once I went all the way around for each panel (4 times), I did add some trim to the back. On second thought, I wish I hadn't. I might eventually take it off because it prevents the door from opening all the way.

Here's our door before the fix-up, hanging out at Christmas.

  • Put your hardware back on your doors and reassemble them to the opening. Matt helped do this. It is done and it is sparkley. I think on its own it looks great but I presently think it contrasts with the abstract bacon painting in my kitchen. I might need to update this.

Looking out into the kitchen

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About Jax

Jax is a humanoid, unfortunately, living in Framingham, MA with her husband, two roommates, and parakeet named Wacky. She dreams of one day having a space for everything and everything as space in her attic craftroom and basement workshop. The three flights of stairs really do wonders for the thighs.