Replacing A Closet Door {How To} -

Hello everyone!

As promised here is my easy breezy (not kidding) tutorial on how to replace a closet door!

Replacing a closet door before

So here is the offender. Basically we have a small “walk in” closet in our nursery which would be not-so-small if the door didn’t open into the closet.

Problematic Closet Door Opens In

Like so. Basically in opening and closing the door it consumes about 50% of the space in the closet. Super not cool Mr. Builder.

Closet Door Problems

There’s this issue too. When you hang something on the right side, the door hits all the hangers on the way shut which means inevitably nothing can hang on the right side. So now we’re down to like, what? 30% functionality? Lame. We’re having TWINS people, I need 110% functionality!

Remove Old Door

Start by taking off said offensive door. We removed the handle to reuse it on the new door so we would have matching hardware throughout the room but feel free to buy a fancy knob from Anthropologie or something to replace it if you wish.

Remove Old Door Frame

Once the door is down, using a hammer, some patience, and a metal putty knife remove the old door casing. We will be replacing this in a little while so no need to try to salvage it unless you’re sentimental about it ;)

Once you’ve got the casing off,  remove the inner casing until you get to the door frame itself.

Removed Old Door Moulding until frame is exposed

It should look all ugly and naked like this. There should be exposed wood once all the casings are removed.

Kit Door to replace old closet door

Now take your butt to Home Depot and buy a “kit door”. Essentially it is a door and new casings. Pay special attention to the sizes (not all doors are the same) and the swing orientation. I believe ours is a “left handed door” meaning it opens using your left hand across your body and opens toward you. I think. Pregnancy brain makes details a little fuzzy sometimes ;)

Once you have your fancy new door (ours was ~$60) take all the ties off and pull out your casings. I don’t have a photo of how the casings fit together because hubs was so excited he just did it while I was trying to scrounge up a snack in the kitchen. Basically it comes in two halves. The front or outside and the back or inside. The pieces very simply fit together like a glove around the door frame.

Clamp door frame in place and tack in with nail gun

Like this! The tacks you see on the casings are from pre-assembly. The only thing holding the casings in place are those two clamps. Once you have the door and casings completely level, remove the door and using a nail gun (rent one if you don’t have one, it’ll be well worth it) tack the casings to the frame.

Caulked and Painted New Closet Door

Once the casings are secured to the frame you can rehang your door. We had an issue with the door slouching to one side when it was shut so we used wood shims under the lowest hinge to prop the door up by about 1/8″. If you don’t have wood shims, a thick piece of cardboard will do the trick. It wont be visible so the material isn’t exactly important, just so it can sustain pressure.

Once you’re level, and flush, and plumb, and all those other words for straight, get a good interior caulk (I like Alex Quick Dry) and caulk your heart out. You can use wood filler in any areas that may have a larger depression from the nail gun. Once you’ve caulked allow to dry over night and paint!

The door itself in this photo (and still currently) is not painted. Why? We are going to spray the door with my paint sprayer when the weather is warmer. So for now we have a primed but naked door. At least it’s white…ish. Right?

After everything was finished we put 3 coats of Behr on the walls. What do you think of the color? It’s sort of a blue/grey. I totally love it :)

So that’s that for the door project!!

Maaaaany more nursery projects to come, including the crown moulding tute I mentioned!

I hope everyone had a happy weekend!



  1. Thanks for this! My daughter’s room has this exact same problem except her closet seems much smaller than yours–its basically just the space behind the door and thats it. So her closet is pretty much unusuable. I thought that I’d be able to remove the old door and just rehang it somehow but according to your tutorial I guess thats not possible. Also, did you get a new door frame.

  2. We did not replace the actual frame of the door because the studs were still in great shape. Should you need to replace the actual frame I might suggest at least having a carpenter take a peek before you put up the casings and door as the frame is the critical part for getting everything aligned correctly.

  3. Nice to know how to change out the door, will need this info for my front door. What color is on the walls? I like it.

  4. The tute was great…But what mcaught my eye were the gazillion sample paint pots on the window sill. I thought was hilarious. Did you have trouble picking the color? Your final decision looks awesome! Hope all is well with the tummy! Missed ya!

  5. I love your paint color, it’s so beautiful! What is the name of the color?
    Hope you are doing well!


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