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A Closet Door Update For Under $20

July 09, 2024

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Last week, I dove back into sharing, after an {unintentional} month long hiatus.

Summer has been very busy around here.

While we did take a lovely vacation, June wasn't all fun and games, I spent a lot of time on a variety of projects in the house.

The  Simplest  Sliding  Closet Door Update

Ok, well, I actually do consider DIY and crafting fun and games, but you get what I mean.

Anyway, I have so many things to share, that when I sat down at the computer this morning, I honestly didn't know where to begin.

So I decided to start small and move on from there.

Besides, sometimes small changes can have a huge impact and since I'm all about quick, easy and inexpensive DIYs, I thought that sharing this one first would be appropriate.

Let's head to the bedroom, shall we?

Corner of a vintage cottage headboard near a window

You may remember that earlier this year I found a free headboard on Facebook Marketplace for my room.

It was such a tiny change, but it prompted another, the addition of a upcycled chandelier we created from two others.

Those two elements completely transformed the entire space. It was suddenly the elegant, cottage style retreat of my dreams.

Except.

You see, our bedroom was not originally part of our 1929 beach charmer. It was added by the original owners in 1961...along with a set of very basic, sliding closet doors.

White Sliding Cottage Style Closet Doors

Over the years the subject of changing them has come up and gone nowhere.

We talked about adding moulding strips, painting them, adding mirrors and distressing them or making them look aged with mercury glass paint. The idea of completely replacing them with a different style like bifold doors was also discussed.

Or glass paneled French doors, like the ones we added in the living room

The one thing I knew I didn't want was barn style sliders...too much exposed hardware. I'm a simple girl.

However, when we replaced the bathroom door (I'll be sharing that soon), suddenly adding more details, or another door style to the room didn't feel right.

Those plain white doors and their sweet scalloped topper looked perfect.
Wooden Scallop Moulding On Closet Doors

It was a clean space for the eye to rest, among so many other attention grabbing elements.

And while sitting in bed night after night, staring at them, I realized what bugged me wasn't the doors, but the outdated, small, uninspired gold finger pulls.

Boring, bland, dirty and dingy. They had to go.

Replacing Outdated Closet Door Finger Pulls

And that was a super easy fix.

Once I studied the pulls a little bit closer, I knew what I needed would have to be:
  • thin enough so the doors would still open and close without interruption
  • large enough to cover the existing finger cup pulls or the holes left behind if we removed them
  • cottage style
  • easy to install (since I didn't want to have to remove the doors)
With all that in mind, I immediately thought about the vintage drop ring pulls I used when I updated my hallway bathroom vanity.

Vintage Ring Drop Pull Bathroom Hardware

I had found that set at a local antique shop.

Of course, since then, I've seen those sweet drop ring pulls all over Etsy, so that's where I went.

I just measured for the proper size and placed my order.

When they showed up I realized they were a little more gold and cream than I thought they'd be. No worries, I could always paint them if they didn't look right on the doors.

White and Gold Drop Ring Drawer Pulls

But first, I wanted to see them there.

The installation was easy enough. Since the cup pulls were glued in place, we decided not to remove them.

Replacing Finger Pulls With Drop Ring Pulls

Instead, the circular ring pulls fit nicely right over the original metal pulls, so we simply drilled through the center of the old one to make holes for the new hardwares' screws.

Drilling Through Closet Door Finger Pull

Keep in mind, we did have to purchase longer screws.

The ones that came with the pulls were just too short to make it all the way through our thick, wood closet doors. 

That was another reason we didn't want to ditch those old sliding closet doors, wooden doors are hard to come by and very expensive. 

They just don't make things like the used to...but I digress.

Using The Proper Screws For Drop Ring Pulls

With a hole drilled in the center of each cup pull, and all the way through to the back of the door, we popped the screw into the hole.

Replacing Finger Pulls With Drop Ring Pulls

Placed the new pull over the old one and tightened the screw in place.

Drop Ring Pull Installation Backside of pull

Much better...but not perfect.

White and Gold Drop Ring Closet Door Hardware

Just as I'd suspected, the gold was out of place.

So I grabbed my white mineral paint and gave each new pull one coat to cover it up. When they were dry I went back and brushed on some Dixie Belle Satin Sealer for good measure.

And a little shine. 

Mineral and chalk paint tend to be flat and a little dull in my opinion. I like sparkle.

How To Paint Drawer Pulls

When the project was complete, a mere hour and about $15 later, my old bedroom closet doors looked lovely.

A simple swap, but one with style.

And they functioned well too, since the drop pulls fit nicely inside the space between the doors, they opened and closed fully.

White Cottage Style Closet Door DIY

Just as planned.

No more old, gold, uninspired finger pulls to distract me from the elegant details in the rest of the room.

Only clean lines.

And tons of authentic cottage charm.

Perfect.

😌

What do your closet door look like?

Happy DIYing, Friends!

Kim Signature


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  1. I love this update Kim! All the closets in our house are walk-ins so the doors match the rest of the house - the closet space is the reason I bought the house lol!

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    1. Lucky you, Sara!! Walk in closets are dreamy, I'm pea green over here. Cottages are fabulous, but they don't come with a lot of closet space that's for sure!!

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  2. Isn't it amazing how the littlest changes make a big difference. Your bedroom is looking so cottage cute. I have plan flat doors in the new place. I have been researching fast and inexpensive ways to make them updated. Have a great rest of the week. Hugs. Kris

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    1. This was an easy one, Kris! I wish everything in this tiny house was so simple to refresh! 😉 I've seen some really beautiful closet door updates in my quest to make these over and I love when people just add a thin moulding to the doors to add interest. Of course, you need to have room for them to slide past one another. I also like the idea of wallpapering them and making them a focal point. I know that you guys will come up with something fabulous and I can’t wait to see it!!

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  3. What a wonderful idea! Sometimes simple and easy changes make the biggest difference. Enjoy the week,

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    1. Thank you so much, Tina! It really was a super simple swap, but it makes such a difference. Have a great week!! Stay cool!

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  4. I love them! Isn't it amazing what a small change can do?
    We have ugly bifold doors on our bedroom closets. We are planning to do some work on that room, it really needs it, so we'll have to figure out the closet doors too.

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    1. Thanks Mari! It's such a silly little change, but it really does make a huge difference in the room. Closet doors really are troublesome sometimes, I hope you find a solution that works for you!

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  5. Very cute and simple! I’m with you about the scallop! So charming!

    Deanna Rabe

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    1. Thanks Deanna! I love that scallop. We had to remove it in the kitchen when we did the addition and it made me sad. I was not about to let this one go! 😉

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  6. I'm so glad you kept the doors with their sweet scallop. The finger pulls really didn't do anything for them, your solution is charming. All our doors are shuttered. We live in a warm climate. Pamela

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    1. Shuttered doors sound lovely, Pamela! Perfect for a warm and coastal climate!

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  7. Kim, isn't it amazing how such a small thing can make such a big difference. A match made in heaven. When we turned part of a back porch into our bedroom closet we did add a small french door with glass panes AND lace curtains, what else..Happy Summer Days..xxoJudy

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    1. Your closet door sounds dreamy, Judy! I was almost going in that direction, until…we added one somewhere else in the room! I’m a sucker for that look, too!! Xo

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  8. Very pretty! Love those doors with the scalloped molding at the top!! I'm glad you decided to keep that! And you're right, wooden doors are too expensive to change it.

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    1. Thank you so much I'm glad to hear I'm not alone! I see posts on Pinterest and Instagram all the time where people show how they updated their homes by removing it. I just couldn't!!

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  9. Kim I have the same doors. I LOVE this idea. Going to look for pulls right now!! Thank you!

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    1. Mary, I'm so glad this share inspired you! I almost didn't share because I thought it was too simple...so happy I decided to post about it! Good luck!

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  10. What a clever and beautiful solution! - Briana from Texas

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  11. As always inspiration. We did our own sliding door for an upstairs bathroom last spring. It turned out really well. We had to be creative because the bathroom is in a dormer area of the upstairs.

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  12. I'm so glad you didn't take down the scalloped trim. I always see it in older houses and I'm crushed when it gets ripped out. This is a great update, Kim. Don't you wish they were all this easy??

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  13. I was so worried you were getting rid of that scallop Kim, I am so glad you decided to keep it, so charming! I love the new pulls, they add that extra cottage charm you are known for. Hope you are doing well!

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