DIY Paneled Sliding Door

So, a couple weeks ago I showed you our basement sliding door.  It was pretty boring, I know, but I knew it would be a while for us to figure out what we wanted to do with it and I wanted to show you where we were at the time.

And now I get to show you a little before and after, which makes me happy!  :)

Okay, so here is how the door looks now!  I am so happy with the bright white!  It really looks clean and crisp!

How to updated your plain door into a sliding paneled door

Here is what it looked like after we installed it.  Pretty boring (and kinda ugly!), right?

Plain sliding door - before

Yeah, I knew that wasn’t the look we were going for, but like I said, I wasn’t quite sure what direction we were going at first, so I needed a little time to figure it out.  I knew I wanted to add paneling to it, but wasn’t sure what the final door should look like.  I looked on pinterest for a while and finally ended up with this style.

Since we already had extra planks of hardwood plywood cut from my plank wall, this was a pretty easy project for my husband and me to complete.

The boards were already cut to 3.5 inches wide and we decided that was a good width for the sides.  We cut the boards to length, spread some glue down and nailed the two vertical boards into place.

Adding paneling detail to plain sliding door

After the vertical pieces were in place, we had to make a decision about the horizontal pieces.  We decided to do two pieces on the bottom which would equal 7 inches thick.  But the doors we saw online had a heavier bottom and “lighter” top and middle, so we changed it up a bit for those.  For the top and middle pieces, we doubled up the boards again, but cut them both down to 3 inches, making the top and bottom pieces 6 inches.  Are you following?  So, 3.5 inches on the sides, 6 inches on the top and middle, and then 7 inches on the bottom.

We just kind of eyed where we wanted the middle boards to be.  You can cut your boards to whatever width you like and place them wherever you like.  That’s the nice part about this project.  There really is no right or wrong way.  You can make it look however you want!  You could even make more panels if you want!  

Oh, and we didn’t panel the other side.  It is a bit plain when you’re in the bathroom, but who’s just sitting there staring at the door?  Hmmm?  😉

After filling all the nail holes and sanding the door, I painted it with a coat of primer and two coats of semi gloss latex paint in Pure White by Sherwin Williams.

I originally wasn’t sure if I wanted a distressed, chippy door or if I wanted the clean look, but in the end I’m glad we chose to go clean with this door.  In the future we may find an antique door for the space, but for now, we’re really happy with this look!

DIY sliding bathroom door

DIY paneled sliding door

Inexpensive way to update your plain sliding door

Okay, and I need your opinions on this part.  I was thinking about stenciling “toilet” or “bath” on the door in black letters, but I’m not so sure now.  Do you think it will look weird when it’s open because it’s just a door on a wall – it’s not really leading anywhere?  Like, “hey this door says it leads to the bathroom, but really it’s just hanging on a wall!”  Or am I just overthinking it?  

Here are a couple of examples of what I was thinking of.

Bathroom door with "bath" sign decal

Bathroom door with “bath” decal

Bathroom door with "private" sign

Bathroom door with “private” sign

Laundry door with decal sign

Laundry door with decal

.  .  .

Let me know in the comments what you think, okay?

DIY white cottage style sliding barn door

DIY white paneled sliding bathroom door Allison sig

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  1. says

    Very nice! Wow what an accomplishment! I think leaving the door plain is just fine for now. Eventually when you have the room completely finished, you may want to stencil the door and I can totally see it happening! 😉

  2. Mindy says

    The door looks great! For my son’s birthday party, my friend made a sign for the bathroom with black construction paper and chalk. I’ve left it up for over a year because I loved the look. Now you have me thinking about putting a decal up. :) Maybe try a vinyl decal so that you can remove it easily if you change your mind.

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