Easy DIY Ways to Decorate Closet Doors

Upholstered Door with Nailhead Trim
Photo courtesy of Design Sponge
  • 01 of 07

    Closet Door Makeover Ideas

    Use a medallion to decorate a closet door.
    Photo courtesy of One Kings Lane

    Closet doors make up a significant portion of the wall space in most bedrooms. Leaving those doors unadorned, white and boring is a wasted opportunity for adding a dash of color, pattern or personality to your space. Instead, why not give one of these seven ideas a try? None are very expensive or take much more than a weekend afternoon, so you can give your bedroom a mini-makeover and still have time to enjoy your Saturday night.

    Add a Medallion

    You’ll find a wide range of decorative ceiling medallions at most home improvement centers. While these are typically used to surround a ceiling light fixture, there’s no reason you can’t use them to add a touch of luxe to your closet doors. Simply attach the medallion to your door, paint both door and medallion, and then add an attractive knob. You’ll find the full instructions at One Kings Lane.

    Alternatives: If the formality of a medallion isn’t your style, consider attaching a small piece of architectural gingerbread or ornate trim for a similar, but less symmetrical, effect.

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  • 02 of 07

    Upholstered Door with Nailhead Trim

    Upholstered Door with Nailhead Trim
    Photo courtesy of Design Sponge

    Here’s a closet door makeover that’s guaranteed to win compliments from visitors: colorful “upholstery” adorned with a geometric pattern in nailhead. What a fantastic way to add not just color, but elegant style to your room. This project takes a little more time than the others, but the results are well worth it. Choose a cheery color of vinyl to brighten up your space, go moody with a dark navy or black, add sophistication with gray or silver vinyl, warm up a dark room with a jewel-tone like the emerald shown here: whatever strikes your fancy. Once the vinyl is in place, it’s a simple procedure to hammer nailhead strips (you’ll find a wide range of nailhead colors, shapes, and finishes at home improvement centers or craft stores) with your pattern of choice. Head over to Design Sponge for the details on this fun DIY project.   

    Alternatives: If upholstering your door is more DIY than you want to attempt, you can simply paint the door (or not) and then use nailhead trim to trace a pattern along the surface. 

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  • 03 of 07

    Metal Flashing

    Metal flashing to decorate a closet door.
    Photo courtesy of Unpretentious Style

    Looking for a great way to update a boy’s room, or give a touch of industrial chic to your own bedroom? Or are you just tired of boring louvered doors anywhere in your home? Check out the metal beauties shown here – what a great makeover. To achieve this look, you’ll need a roll of thin aluminum flashing – you want it just thick enough to hold its shape, but flexible enough for easy cutting. Beware, however – the edges can be very sharp, so wear gloves and be cautious when cutting the flashing. Once you have the pieces cut to your door’s dimensions, use liquid nails to attach the metal. Add new knobs that match the aluminum and you’re done. Read more about the project at Unpretentious Style.

    Alternatives: If metal is too cold or too flashy for your style, cover up the door’s slats with painted Plexiglas, a thin, fabric-covered piece of plywood or wallpaper attached to a thin board.

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  • 04 of 07

    Washi Tape

    Washi tape on closet door.
    Photo courtesy of Sweet and Lovely Crafts

    Here’s a closet door makeover that even your kids can handle. Not only that, but this one is suitable for renters. All you need is a few rolls of Japanese paper washi tape – you’ll find a huge range of colors, patterns and widths at craft stores or online. Be sure to use washi tape -- not decorative duct tape -- if you want to be able to eventually remove the tape without damaging the door. Once you have your tape, use it to create whatever design you like: stripes in any direction (the vertically-striped door shown here is from Sweet and Lovely Crafts), a cityscape silhouette, a simple tree or even a phrase.

    Alternatives: Paint the door before adding the tape, or cover the entire surface of the door with colorful tape in a variety of designs.

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  • 05 of 07

    Spray Frost

    Spray frost closet door.
    Photo courtesy of Two Loonies and a Penny

    If your bedroom still has the enormous sliding mirrored closet doors so popular in the 1980s, it’s time for an update. You don’t have to remove the doors entirely: while they are a bit dated now, they do help make a small room look bigger and they are a great way to check out your outfit from head to toe before leaving for work. Instead, visit your local home improvement center for a can of frosted glass spray paint. Use painter’s tape or stencils to block off the portions of the mirror you want to remain untouched, and then apply several light coats of spray frost, letting the spray dry between each coat. Once finished, remove your stencil or tape and enjoy your updated closet doors! This is even good for renters because the spray frost removes easily with acetone or by scraping with a sharp blade. Read more about the process at Two Loonies and a Penny, the creators of the doors shown here. 

    Alternatives: You can achieve all sorts of effects depending on the stencil you choose. Try doilies for lacy looks, create a woodland mural or a scattering of florals with stencils, or simply use painter's tape to block off squares or rectangles. 

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  • 06 of 07

    Faux Trim

    Decorate a closet door with painted trim.
    Photo courtesy of The Sweetest Digs

    Complement any formal or traditional decorating style by creating faux “trim” around your closet doors. It couldn’t be simpler… just use painter’s tape to block off a rectangular inset on the doors, then cover the entire surface with a coat of paint in your favorite color. Once the paint is dry, remove the tape and voila! Your door has a touch of easy elegance. You’ll find the complete directions at The Sweetest Digs.

    Alternatives: Looking for something a little more wild and crazy? You don’t have to stick with a simple rectangle –- go ahead and use the painter’s tape to block off whatever design you’d like before applying the paint. Or stick with the rectangle, but go wild with your paint color: metallic silver, hot pink, red, black, or whatever strikes your fancy.

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  • 07 of 07

    Wooden Trim

    Use wood trim to decorate your closet door.
    Photo courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

    Get the double whammy of pattern and texture with architectural trim. You can use this technique on standard closet doors, but if you want to try this on sliders, be sure to choose a very shallow trim and check that there’s enough clearance before permanently attaching the trim. With so many types of trim available, you’re sure to find one you love. Once the trim is in place, give your doors a fresh coat of paint and enjoy your bedroom’s new appearance! You’ll find complete directions at A Beautiful Mess.

    Alternatives: Paint just the trim before attaching it to the white door, or paint both door and trim contrasting colors for a bit more fun.