DIY Interior Door Makeover [Under $40!]; how to do it

Interior Door DIY

I think you’ll be amazed to see what a $14.00 hardboard can do for your door.

This project works for any old door, including hollow core doors, slab doors, flat doors, paneled door, solid wood doors, etc.

I don’t, however, think it would work well for exterior doors since the hardboard may not be the best option for the weather changes outside.

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Hardboard  (from any hardware store)

Full tutorial for my easy interior door makeover

black interior door

I had this nice, but not terribly modern or exciting, door. It was originally white, and I thought painting it dark with a fresh coat of paint would have a big impact, but it didn’t really. My first step was painting it a dark gray using a small roller but I just wasn’t wow’ed.

I wanted more.

At the same time, I didn’t want to pay for a new door.

This DIY project was part of a larger condo reno that featured over 20 DIY projects. The simple updates and diy projects totally transformed this condo into a modern home and cool living space. You can view all of the projects here. 

Cutting the Hardboard for my Interior Door DIY

 I saw this 1/8 inch hardboard at Home Depot and had an idea.

 I purchased two of the 4×8 panels.

cutting hardboard for interior door diy

Cut the board into strips that are uniform in width. 

Interior Door DIY Work Area

The first thing I did was to remove the door from the door frame and lay it down on a table outside for my DIY door makeover. Placing it on a flat surface is a great way to work on it easily. 

I played around laying the hardboard pieces onto the door to find a pattern that I liked. You really have the opportunity here to create a look and door style that you like.

I liked an angled pattern.

Where to Start

placing hardboard on door by doorknob

I felt like the most difficult part of my door design was going to be properly working with the door handle.

I didn’t want to end up with half a board where the doorknob needed to go so I started with this piece first I positioned the board and then used a sharpie to draw where my door handle would go.

Starting with the doorknob, I made sure this lined up with the existing door knob hole in the door.

multitool cutting hardboard

Once I had this marked, I cut it out using a multi tool, this thing really works great when you need to make a cut in the center of a piece like I needed to do here.

I secured the doorknob piece in place. 

construction adhesive for interior door diy

Changing the door knobs throughout the condo really made a huge difference in updating the interior space. Sometimes door hardware is one of the the best ways to easily style doors. 

Securing the boards on your Interior Door DIY project

That set the angle for the rest of my pieces; and I used construction adhesive to secure those in place.

securing with a nail gun as well

I also went back with a small pin nailer to further secure them. If you don’t have a nail gun,the construction adhesive may have been enough, but I just wanted to be sure.

Here’s how it looked at the end of Day 1

the interior door before cutting

Day 2

I allowed the adhesive to dry overnight the next morning using a little handheld circular saw I cut around the door getting rid of the overhanging pieces.

I cut right along the door edge so that my boards wouldn’t interfere with the proper functioning of the door at all.

trimming the door edges using a handheld circular saw

In some cases I had to go back over it again just to make sure I cut absolutely as close as possible to the side of the door.

You want to get right up to the edge of the door.

There were some spots that were a little rough from where they were cut with the saw and so I gave a little light sanding over these areas just to make sure that the hardboard was smooth.


My next step was painting the paint color I used was called Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams. I used a paint brush but you could also use a paint sprayer to get into the grooves easily and quickly.

painting the diy door makeover

I color I used is kind of like a dark charcoal Gray and I’ve used it throughout this condo renovation that I’m working on. Black paint is also one of my favorite paint colors for DIY interior doors. 

I think that white paint would be a good idea with this project if you want to achieve a more coastal look. You’re really creating a custom door, so choosing the paint for your own interior doors really can showcase different ways that paint color can set the tone for an entire room.

After my first coat of paint I stood the door up painted a second coat and let it dry.

gray diy door makeover

Adding Hardware to your Completed Interior Door DIY

Once the paint was dry, I added a new modern handle to go with the look of my new modern door.

The new handle cost me $22.00 and fit into place perfectly.

I rehung the door and admired my work. Since the hardboard was only 1/8 inch thick it didn’t affect the opening or closing of the door.

I was able to transform this door for under $37 for my entire project.

diy door

If you had to buy the paint (which I didn’t need to) you’d still be under around $60 for this whole project. The whole process took two days, start to finish. 

 I hope this blog post and transformation inspired you to grab some Hardboard and create a cool pattern on your door.

black door white trim

You can view all of the other DIY projects I worked on in this condo renovation here

Have fun working on your own doors. 

Other door projects you may enjoy:

Glass closet doors makeover

From hollow-core doors to barn doors

Easy way to update an internal door with trim and moldings

Front door colors you’ll love

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