Modern Closet Doors

Picking up where we left off, I had just finished my last piece of frosted glass in preparation for the closet door build.

With the glass behind me, I focused my attention to the fun part: the building.  I’m a bit of an over-planner when it comes to building.  Every time I try something new, I always make a scale model of it in sketch-up to make sure it all works out.  (Maybe it’s my visual effects background?)  I always read about people who are able to buy wood and start building without plans, but I’m just not that cool.  For me, the research and planning portion sometimes takes even longer than the actual building.

If you’re like me, click  on the following link to view and download the plans and list of materials for my closet doors: OPD_Closet_Door_Plans.

After an hour or two of cutting, gluing, and kreg-jigging, I was left with two gorg panels begging me for some finishing love:

Since all of you are now very aware of my love for spray paint after yesterday’s post, the fact that I also use spray primer should not be surprising.  Sometimes I like to not prime before I paint for some of the wood grain to show through, but since we were going for a modern look on these I added the extra step.  I also purchased the “odorless” stuff hoping to save me, Brad, and our animals a few brain cells.

Whenever I prime, it always looks to me like I did it wrong.  It doesn’t go on in one clean coat like paint does, but once the piece is painted it all blends in.

Following the primer, I used two coats of Rustoleum Semi-Gloss white paint, making sure to sand in between coats.

While I was literally waiting for paint to dry, I decided to tackle the closet hardware.

A few weeks ago, after a lot of searching, I ordered my bypass door hardware from Amazon.  I liked this kit since it came as an all-in-one package with all of the parts I needed, and it also came with pretty easy to follow instructions.  Other than missing a few pieces when it arrived (more on that later), I was very happy with the kit.

We had some old hardware and track that was still inside of our closet, but it wasn’t pretty.  The bottom piece that separates the doors had been painted so many times it looked almost like it was part of the closet.  (Plus, it was pretty gross.)

It took quite a bit of prying off with my favorite needle nose pliers, but I finally got it up.  The screws that held it on were so stripped down and painted over that I had to individually twist them out.  There was even a giant nail straight through the middle of it that had to come up.

The top track was a little easier to remove.  There was also quite a bit of weird paint and texture splatter all over it.  (I blame our old contractor for this one… he was never very careful with the spray gun.)

Once I unscrewed each of the sides, there was another weird nail right in the middle of the track that I also pulled out.  (Why in the world would someone attach a metal track with a framing nailer?)  Brad helped me hold up the new track as I screwed it in and took pictures with his other available hand.  Multi-talented, that one.

Oh look!  Pretty new track sans paint splatter.  Much better.

Now that the track and closet were ready to go, I headed back into the garage to finish up the closet doors.  In order to attach the glass to the doors, I purchased some adhesive that works on both glass and wood, and also about a million packages of thick mirror clips.

Since no one was ever going to see the inside of our closet, I was lazy and didn’t paint the back side of the doors.  (Ssh… don’t tell anyone.)  The back sides were also going to become a pretty big mess once I attached the glass.  When I cut the glass, I made sure that there would be a little bit of overlap of glass over the wood.  I literally glued the glass to the back of the closet doors, centering them over the gap…

… and then secured the mirror clips around the bottom and sides of the glass to ensure no falling glass in the middle of the night.

Here is what a finished piece of secured glass looks like from the back.  Notice that I tried to secure the clips on the outside edges so that I wouldn’t have any showing through the glass on the other side.

After all of my clips were secured, I flipped the door over and added the roller hardware onto the front as my handy bypass door kit instructions told me to do.  (They suggested attaching them 1/4″ away from the outside edge.)

About now was when I needed some serious man strength and asked Brad to hang the doors up for me.  I probably could have done it myself, they weren’t terribly heavy, but it was a lot more fun watching him do it for me.  And, apparently he has a lot of practice hanging bypass doors as he and his brother destroyed a few of them growing up.  (I pray daily that when we have children we don’t have multiple boys.)

Here is where I should show a super awesome picture of the “after” of both sets of my doors being done and amazing.  Well… remember when I mentioned that some of the hardware didn’t arrive with my bypass door order?  The pieces that were missing were one set of the rolling track pieces that attach to the doors.  Yeah, it kind of sucks.  (I promise I will update with completed double doors once my hardware arrives.)  So, until I get the rest of my order, I have a real life “before and after” picture of my doors.  No photoshop required, folks!

But, seriously, HUGE improvement.  The doors are exactly what we needed to add a little bit of visual interest to our bedroom and hide all of our stuff at the same time.

For all of the number crunchers out there, here is my cost breakdown for the entire project:

Lumber: $25 (I had a few leftover 1x6s and a bunch of scrap that I never ended up using for another project.  If you were buying all of the lumber without any scrap, it would probably be about $50.)

Glass (first round): $75 for 6 pieces at $12.38/piece

Glass (second round after I broke some): $7 (I was able to get a smaller piece since I was only short one panel.)

Mirror Clips: $32 for 16 of them

Glass Cutting Kit: $13 (this thing was a total piece of garbage.  Buy the cutter only without the kit and save yourself some money.)

Mirror to Wood Adhesive: $3.50

Rustoleum Glass Frosting Spray Paint: $15 for three cans

Killz Spray Primer: $18 for 3 cans

Rustoleum White Semi-Gloss Spray Paint: $16 for four cans

Two Bypass Door Hardware Kits: $37.50

Total Cost of Project: $226 for both sets of doors

While I’m sure I could have done this project for much cheaper than $113 per door set if we wanted to go builder grade, I’m really glad we didn’t.  It really adds a unique touch to our room, and we are thrilled with the results.  A few months prior, I asked for a quote for something similar to be created and installed by a professional closet door company, and they told me that it would cost $1000 per door (!!!).  Knowing that, I’m still considering this money saved.


Filed under Building Plans

32 Responses to Modern Closet Doors

  1. Christina

    I love how they turned out! So they are hanging only from the top, no rail on the bottom, huh? I have been wanting to change my ugly metal doors at my house! Thanks for your posting and especially your money breakdown. So useful!!!

    • Thanks so much, Christina! They were so fun and easy to build. Yes, the rail hangs from the top only. There is a bottom piece that came with the kit that you can screw into the ground to keep the doors separated like the ugly paint-filled one that I removed. The track holds up to 50 pounds, and the doors really aren’t that heavy, so everything should be okay! Good luck with your building and all of your projects! Keep me posted if you decide to change out those doors!

  2. You know, I never saw anything wrong with my builder grade sliding doors until now… Thanks! :-p

    I’ve got a few 1x6s layin’ around. Not sure if I could go the glass route, but you’ve definitely got my wheels a-turnin! Amazing job. Really, absolutely amazing!

    • Thanks so much, Gina! That means a lot coming from the builder of the infamous slipper chair. (You’ve definitely got my wheels turning, too!) Can’t wait to see what you do next!

  3. Tracy Enders Smith

    Just found your blog from Ana White’s website – I’m SOOOO glad to see that I’m not the only one who “pre-builds” with sketch up before I build in real life! :-) Doors look great and if I had a closet like yours I would LOVE to have doors like that. Good job and thanks for letting us in on it! :-)

  4. Cindy

    Love the doors! Looks like they add alot of depth to your bedroom. Since my husband really enjoys woodworking, I am going to pass on this great idea.
    I really enjoy your blog. I am so glad for the great ideas. Keep up your enthusiasm!

  5. Stacy

    Love this project idea! We have two closets buit into our attic space next to our dormer, and I have always hated the way the doors look. I totally intend on scaling down your project to, and add some much needed visual interest to our bedroom. Also, as a side note we have bought glass at Lowes for other projects, and they will cut it to size for free! Saves you a step and the cost of the glass cutter.

    • Thanks so much for reading, Stacy! I can’t wait to see pictures of your doors – please keep me posted on how it goes! And, that’s a great tip to know about Lowes. I will definitely be going there for glass from now on!

  6. Krista

    These look fabulous. You did an amazing job!
    And as a side note…our closets are just like yours. 2 side by side taking up the whole wall. Right now we have mirrored doors… you have me thinking now … hmmmm.

  7. Wow! They’re gorgeous! Great job!

    • Thanks so much, Roeshel! I’m checking out your site as well – so much to look at! I’m loving your fall inspiration. Makes me want to start decorating my mantle for fall!

  8. Pingback: Top 10 September 2011

  9. Pam Easterly

    What if you put a frame around the glass (on the back side) instead of using the mirror clips. You may be able to use some left-over pieces of wood that way and have a more finished look on the back side of your door. And maybe keep an overly curious child from cutting themself on the glass.

    • Hi Pam! Thanks for reading! Yes, you could totally do something like that with a little additional support. YHL used nails, mirror glue, and trim to keep a mirror on their bathroom door in place – I’m sure a similar approach would work for this project! I don’t have any children, so little fingers aren’t a problem for me. (Just really lazy animals :-) ), but that would be a great alternative for someone with kids. Check out this link for more info on their project:

  10. Susie

    These will be perfect for my needy closets, currently bare, and my crafty husband! Thank you so much!

    • You’re welcome, Susie! Please post pictures of your doors if you decide to make them – I’d love to see you and your husband’s awesome handiwork!

  11. Serban

    I have a almost identical set of doors for the kidz closet, 340$ special order from Lowe’s 4 years ago. Each has only one large piece of tempered glass (installed in a ‘cleaner’ fashion, in a 1/4 inch all around groove); the mid rails are ‘fake’: 2 twin strips of wood glued on the glass on each side. top and bottom rail and the styles are common tongue and groove. For all the different construction, the effect is the same. I love them. A nice alternative is to install Japanese paper panels instead of glass.

  12. Annie

    Great solution. It looks like some of those ikea doors, but more vintage/classic. So question… When you slide out the top door, do the mirror clips catch on the back door?

    • Hi Annie! Nope! The doors don’t hit. There were two different settings on the sliding door hardware that I got from Amazon – one for thinner doors and one for thicker. I set ours to the thicker, 1 1/2″ setting and have never had a problem!

  13. Plexiglass is fairly inexpensive and an alternative to real glass. Easier to cut as well ^_^

  14. Tricia

    I have ugly mirrored doors on my closet. wondering if it could be “frosted” then could be framed like yours? (it’s a lot of mirror). Any suggestions?

  15. Aahnay

    Tell me, if you only had the outside frame and the center member, with one sheet of glass, do you feel it would be strong enough to support it hanging? Id like to do this, but with more lights in it, Was thinking I could add molding cross pieces to simulate the nine lights.

    I want to use it for the doors on a bookcase. Thanks very much

  16. absolutely LOVE your doors! These are perfect for our house! So, when the time comes… I am building these for sure!!!

  17. I love your closet doors! We’re thinking about doing something similar, thanks for your tutorial! I have this linked to my closet doors post as well today, for inspiration!

  18. kayla

    I love these doors and we are in the process of making them, Lowes will cut your glass for u for no charge, i got my glass there and it was 40ish dollars. I didnt even attempt to cut glass, I knew that would be a TASK i wouldnt win in! Thanks for the tutorial!!

  19. sarah

    A newbie…What is kreg jigging???????

  20. trish

    can you tell me why you buy 2 sets of bypass hardware? should I buy only one if I make only 1 set of bypass doors? or do I need 2? thanks

  21. Alexis Berry

    I absolutely love your doors! This is exactly what I want for my closets! I do have a question. the doors I have now are actually hinged doors not sliding. Im wondering if your design could be retro-fit to be a hinged door and not a slider? Would love your opinion.

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