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Simple Improvement to Your Home – Upgrade to Six Panel Doors

Ok, so simple improvement might not entirely be true, but it all depends on your existing door frame opening sizes. If they’re standard openings then it should be a pretty easy upgrade; if they’re not standard then you’ll need the right tools to rip and cut down the door.

If your home came fully equipped with hollow core doors and bright gold door hardware it might be time to upgrade to a nicer look, at least that’s my opinion. Since I’m talking about doors for bedrooms or bathrooms, you’re also going to want solid core doors, not hollow ones, this will add a little more privacy to the rooms.

So what kind of solid core six panel door is right for you? If you want your doors to be stained as opposed to painted, then you’ll have to buy solid wood doors, which can be more expensive. If you’re planning to paint the doors white, then you can get solid molded doors, which are about half the price.

If you’re planning to do this project yourself, here are the tools you will need:


Door Lockset Installation kit (for cutting the holes for the handles and hinges)
Circular Saw or Table Saw
Tape Measure
Paint and Primer (or stain and polyurethane)
Door Hardware (hinges, door knob/lockset kit)
Safety Glasses
Screw Driver

It looks like a lot of tools, but it’s really a bunch of small things, for the most part. As I said in the first sentence, if your doors jambs are a standard size opening, then you won’t need a table saw or circular saw because you won’t need to cut down the door.

Now lets get started.

Step 1:

If your door is not a standard size, you’re going to have to measure the opening of your doorway and cut the door down to the appropriate size. The easiest way to do this is with a table saw to rip the door. To keep the styles and rails even, make sure you cut an even amount off of each side of the door. If you need to cut the height, you can just cut it off the bottom.

Step 2:

Cut the door handle backset and hinge cutouts. You have to buy a kit from Home Depot, Lowes or another similar store for this part. It comes with all the bits and jigs that you need to properly cut the holes for the door handle, lockset and hinges. Look for a separate post on this topic later but for the most part you can follow the instructions that come with the kit for placement of hinges, and how to make the cuts and drill the holes.

Step 3:

Now you’re ready to paint or stain the door. If painting, remember to always prime first so the paint will adhere to the wood correctly and not start to chip down the road. Most molded solid core doors come pre-primed, so you might save a step here.

Step 4:

Once the paint or stain is dry, you can install the hinges and door handle into the holes and hinge cutouts you made in step 2.

So there you have it! A simple process to improve the look of old hollow core doors with new solid core six panel style doors throughout your home.


Total Home Improvement Experts..