Painting by the Penny

How to add molding to a flat panel door

Do you have flat panel doors in your home? Did you know that you can spruce them up by simply adding molding to them? At the Airbnb that I am designing a few of the doors had no panels and looked really plain, and so to make them look better I decided to add some molding! Let me show you how to add molding to a flat panel door and make it look like a million bucks!

This is what some of the doors looked like before.

I am all for DIY projects like this Ikea Alex Drawer Hack I did my adding trim molding to the drawer fronts. This project is a fun weekend DIY project that will have your interior doors looking brand new!

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What you’ll need:

Step 1: Measure & Mark Design

For my design I chose to go with creating two boxes. You can also add a third one in the middle to make three boxes. Using a measuring tape, I measured 4 inches from the edges of the door, 5 inches from the top and bottom, and 6 inches in between the boxes.

I marked my measurements right on the door using a pencil.

You can purchase any molding design you’d like. I went with this pine base cap from Home Depot. It measures 9/16in X 1in.

Step 2: Measure & Cut Molding

Once I had my design planned out, I measured the trim and started cutting.

I made the cuts using this miter shear that I recently purchased for this project.

And cut the corners of the moulding at a 45 degree angle.

This was my first time using this miter shear. I found it super easy to use on the wood trim that was made of soft wood. Some of the trim was tricky to cut because the wood was harder, but overall this miter shear was easy to use and convenient. I love how easy it is to carry around.

You can also use a mitre box or a miter saw to cut your molding.

Step 3: Glue & Nail Trim to Door

Using wood glue, I applied the trim to the door and taped it using painters tape to keep it in place.

I used a level to make sure the trim was nice and leveled before nailing it in.

I then used a brad nailer to nail and secure the trim in place.

Step 4: Fill Nail Holes & Caulk

Using wood filler I filled in the nail holes and sanded it smooth. Then to get a nice finish I filled in any gaps with caulk.

Step 5: Prime & Paint

Finally, the last step to add molding to a flat panel door is to prime and paint. All the walls, trim and doors were going to get painted in the Airbnb so I didn’t paint first. I don’t think it matters if you paint before or after adding the molding.

If your doors are the wooden no panel doors like the ones we worked on. I would recommend priming first then painting or at least getting a really good paint and primer all in one paint. These doors tend to soak up a lot of paint and you can see all of the wood grain.

If you want a more smooth finish then prime before painting.

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