Introduction: Plain Solid Core Door to Fabulous Door Makeover
In this instructable I will make a cheap/plain solid core door into a nice few hundred-dollar door. Check out my videos and youtube channel for more details on this instructable.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
- Solid Core Door
- 1/8” Plywood
- 3/4” Plywood
- Small stock for the Trim
- Glass 15 ½” x 25 ½”
- 1 1/4" Screws
- Paint Brush/Roller
- Jig Saw
- Shop Vac
- 9/16 Spade bit
- Pocket Hole Jig
- Box Cutter
- Table Saw
- Brad Nailer
- Tape Measure
- Wood Putty
- 180 grit sand paper
- Caulking Gun
Step 2: Cut Template
First cut the widths of the template with a table saw then use a chop saw to gut the lengths. Cut two 4 7/8” by 76” long pieces. Cut three 4 7/8” wide by 26” long pieces. Then cut two 2 3/4” wide by 42 1/2” long pieces.
Step 3: Pocket Holes
Using a pocket hole jig, drill two holes in the end of all of the plywood “EXCEPT” the two longest lengths that will be used for the length of the door.
Step 4: Assembling Template
First layout the template. Make sure they are where you want them. After it is where you want them then screw them together using 1 1/4" screws
Step 5: Attach Template
Place template onto door and clamp down on the door. Make sure clamps will not interfere with the router when you router out the door.
Step 6: Cutting Out Window
Using the 9/16” spade bit you will need to drill out a hole in the window on the opposite corners. Then using the jig saw rough-cut out the window approximately 1/4” to 3/8” away from the edge of your guide. Once you cut the window out use the router to clean up the edging by running the router along the edge of the template.
Step 7: Router Out the Door
Cut a small 3/4" thick by 3” wide by 42” long piece of scrap wood to help support the router for when routering out the rectangles. Once the first side is done then flip the door and router out the second side including finishing the window.
Step 8: Square Off Corners
The router rounds the corners so you will need to draw out the corners for a guide. Using a box cutter score the lines of the corner to allow for no chipping the thin top layer of the facing of the door. Next chisel out the corners. Now using a jig saw cut the corners of the window out with it.
Step 9: Place 1/8” Plywood Inserts Into Door Rectangles “Optional”
Cut out 1/8” thick plywood to fit into the rectangles of the door. Next glue and clamp them down until the glue cures. If you don’t want to do this just skip to the next step.
Step 10: Cut Out Trim
Next you will need to cut out a trim that will be attached to the inner part of the rectangles. Using 3/4" thick wood cut out 3/8” strips of wood on the table saw. Next cut strips at a 45 degree angle.
Step 11: Attach Trim
Here you will cut trim to length and attach with wood glue and some brad nails.
Step 12: Wood Putty Trim
Wood putty all brad nails then sand smooth.
Step 13: Window Trim
The window trim will be thicker than the first trim to help hold the window in place. Cut window trim 3/4" by 3/4" thick. Then cut a 45 degree angle. Next glue and nail the trim onto one side of the window. Wood putty the nail holes, once the wood putty is dried then sand down the putty.
Step 14: Paint Door
Paint the door the color of your dreams.
Step 15: Window Dividers
Cut out two window dividers that measure 3/4" thick by 1 1/2” wide. Next on both sides cut of a 45 degree angle like the other window trims. Once they are cut out then nail them on and leave an evenly spaced area. Next wood putty and sand the nail holes.
Step 16: Attaching the Window
First you will need to attach one side of the window trim with brad nails to allow for the glass to rest on allowing for the second side to be attached. After attaching first side add a small bead of silicone around the inner edge of the trim that the glass will rest on to allow for a weatherproof seal. Next place the glass in with a small bead of silicone on the edge of the window to seal the other side. Lastly, attach the other side of the trim just like in Step 13. Then touch up the putty holes with paint.
Step 17: Install Hardware
Install old or new hardware including doorknob, weather stripping, and hinges.
Step 18: Re-Install Door
Lastly, Re-Install the newly remodeled door and now you are done.
First Prize in the
Home Improvement Contest 2017
5 years ago
Lovely work. Thanks for sharing your process, and the end result.
5 years ago
Nice -ible. Having just replaced my front door, I am right there with you. Thanks for taking the time to document your process!
A couple of comments/sugestions. I didn't see where you mentioned the final depth settings for the router to cut the panels or whether you recommended several passes to remove all material. Depth can be figured out by the size of the inset trim you mention but that is variable (increased) by 1/8" if the reader chooses not to make the inserts/inlay. Choosing not to use the inlay, makes the trim depth deeper by that 1/8" so that may throw off some folks if they choose to skip that step.
For safety, I prefer to cut the 45's for the trim on the larger board edge before cutting the trim width from the larger board. That way I'm not having to manipulate the narrow piece on the table saw, just the cross cut for length but hands can stay away from the saw blade on those. However, for the volume of trim you are producing it does mean moving the fence more so it could decrease trim uniformity so your process is better from a precision standpoint.
Thanks again for sharing!