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Old 03-17-2013, 12:11 PM   #1
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


My house was built in 1977 and I've lived here for 23 years. All of the closet bi-fold doors are cheap and plain. I'm going to paint them because they are part of the 1970s oak color (not real oak!) that was everywhere back then. I can't afford to replace them with raised panel doors but I'm thinking of trimming them out to give the appearance of a nicer door. Anyone ever done this? I'm attaching a pic of the doors as they look now.

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Old 03-17-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Lots of differant things you could do to the doors and that trim.
Looks like someone used base board instead of casing for the trim.
Something as simple as adding back band moulding to the outside edges of the trim would make it look far better.
Does not need to be hardwood, pine would be fine.
http://www.fatandys.com/moldings/Backbands/index.htm

The doors could be covered with beadboard and be made to look like recess panels by adding thin strips of 3" wide wood.
Or bordered with something like base cap moulding.

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Old 03-17-2013, 12:41 PM   #3
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Every time I start a project in this house I am horrified at what the builder did 35 years ago.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Are those doors 10' tall or are those knobs placed for a little person?
Nothing wrong with using base as a trim, just looks to me like someone was using what was laying around instead of using casing.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:18 PM   #5
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


I hate cheap little knobs, Joe. Notice that one is already missing. I'll put nice handles on those doors when I'm done revamping them.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:29 PM   #6
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


My bifold doors are 10 years older than yours but they're slightly recessed. If you think recessed would look better, you could remove the trim and move the track and add new trim that's inset like mine. But I have no opinion on whether it's a good idea. I think painting would be an improvement though, if its not real wood.
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Old 03-30-2013, 09:06 PM   #7
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


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I started on my closet doors facelift today. 2 doors trimmed and primer on.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


I hoped you checked whether they'll open wide enough now.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:16 PM   #9
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Well, duh. Of course I did!
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Old 03-31-2013, 04:33 AM   #10
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Are you trying to paint these with a brush?
It would be a whole lot easyer if the door was removed and was laying down.
Using a 6" foam roller would give you a far flater finish.

You did clean, sand and clean them first, right?
Using a bonding primer?

I would have primed and painted the door and trim before the trim was install.
That way your just doing touch up and not having to cut in around the trim.
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Old 03-31-2013, 11:23 AM   #11
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Don't forget the edges that show only when the doors are opened. You may have to sand those down first so the paint doesn't make them stick together or prevent them from closing. And leave them opened while they dry.
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:18 PM   #12
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Already prepped and primed and doors are open while it dries.
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:18 AM   #13
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Looks like you're going to need a few more coats? If you can, post an update when you're done. Looks like you're going from a retro look to a neutral one.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:16 PM   #14
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updating 1970's plain closet bi-fold doors


Going for cottagey-mission look. That's just the primer so not covering all that great. Here's some pics of the rest of that bedroom and the attached bath.

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