| | | |

High Gloss Rolling Doors for My Studioffice

How to Transform Thrift Store Bi-fold Doors into Rolling Doors

As most of you know, I write for the Glidden paint blog – My Colortopia.  One of the best things I have gained from being part of the team is the knowledge of the shiniest, glossiest paint. – EVER…Glidden Trim and Door paint. I have posted about using it before, when I painted the desk in my studioffice. Last week I finished using it again to paint – just installed DIY rolling doors for the doorway between my studioffice and family room.

Look what you can do with bifold doors found at the thrift store. How to make a unique DIY rolling door to separate two rooms for about $30.

The paint is oil-based, but if you want shiny-as-glass-paint – it is worth the extra clean-up effort to use. If you don’t want to use an oil-paint and still want a high gloss sheen, this paint is my favorite water-based high gloss paint.

tobyscott.com.au 1 Est Magazine

Image credit:  Toby Scott Est Magazine

I am a fan of white in my décor – white walls, furniture, dishes…and more.  To keep it from getting bland – I add pops of color in the details.  This is one way to make white work.

Another way to make white rooms come alive is by adding whites in different textures – shiny, matte, rough, smooth, etc. See that shiny door in the photo above – Oooh…la..la… This room would not look half as appealing to me if the door were a matte white. The shine creates contrast against the flat walls and cabinets. This is the look I was after when deciding on what finish and color of paint to use for the new doors.

sliding-doors-north-carolina-home-0512-xln

I was inspired to add the unconventional doors to the doorway after seeing these clever DIY rolling doors from Crisp Interiors in Country Living magazine.

I don’t have the wall space available for the door roll-back needed to each side as is done in the photo above, but I did come up with an idea similar to this that would work for my space.

How to Transform Thrift Store Bi-fold Doors into Rolling Doors

Before

Thrift-store-bifold-doors-made-into-a-rolling-door

View from studioffice

I found the 3 bi-fold doors doors at my local Habitat for Humanity for $5.00 each.  This is the same place I bought the doors to make a tri-fold folding screen using bi-fold doors for the empty corner in my bedroom.

supplies needed:

  • 3 bi-fold doors or as many as you need to cover your door opening
  • 6 –  3-inch surface mounted hinges to hinge and connect doors together
  • 3 –  3-inch  door hinges to attach the doors to the door jam
  • 4  – 1-5/8-inch roller casters
  • door pull
  • 1 quart oil-based interior primer
  • high quality angled paint brush
  • sandpaper – 100 and 220 grit
  • tack cloth
  • drop cloth

Pink-Circle

The best drop cloths when painting are not made of fabric or plastic sheeting -these move around too much, I prefer to use flattened cardboard boxes. They stay in place and can be used over and over again.

Doorway Before

How-to-make-and-hang-a-rolling-door

View from family room

I added bi-fold hinges that I bought at the hardware store to connect the 3 doors together.  Before painting, I added painter’s tape to help keep paint off the hinges and wheels.

How-to-put-wheels-on-a-rolling-bifold-door

Before attaching the connected doors to the door frame with hinges, I added 2 casters to the bottom of the right and left door.

This added 2 – inches to the height of the doors.

How-to-hang-a-bifold-rolling-door

1. I then attached the trio of connected doors to the door frame with 3 hinges.

2.  I added a piece of door jam molding in front of the hinges for a more finished look.

The doors are not a perfect fit, but do block the view.  There is about an inch of clearance between the top of the door and the top of the door frame.

How to Paint Doors Using High Gloss Paint

How-to-prep-a-door-before-painting

1. Spackle holes in the doors.  Sand and then clean the doors before priming and painting. Let dry.

Pink-Circle

When using high gloss paint, make sure the surface is smooth and even before painting because the high gloss paint sheen will bring out every flaw.  I sanded with 100 grit sandpaper and then went over the surface again with a finer grit of 220 grit.

2. Use a tack cloth over the surface before painting to make sure you get every spec of dirt or dust removed from the surface.  Apply one light coat of oil-base interior primer, let dry.

Glidden-Trim-and-Door-Paint-high-gloss-white

I have had a few readers write to me telling me the paint was so thick that they added water to it.  Don’t do this!   It is specially designed paint with Glidden’s Gel-Flow Technology to help eliminate drips and brush marks. It is supposed to be thick, in fact you are not even supposed to stir it much – just a stroke or two in the can is all that is needed. It self levels – not a brush mark will show up when it is dry.  It’s super durable, comes in extra high gloss in White, Antique White, Classic Red, Linen Canvas, Rich Navy, National Red, Traditional Brown, and Deepest Black.

3. Apply one coat of paint.  This paint is thick and unlike any paint you have ever used before.   If it looks like it has separated, stir gently until mixed back in.   I used a brush, but you can use a high quality foam or microfiber roller to apply it.

4. Dip brush into can and apply. As you brush the paint on, it will thin and self level. Brush until paint finish is smooth and even, but do not overwork.

5. This paint does smell while you apply it and as it dries.  It will take about 4-6 hours to dry to the touch. 8 hours to handle and overnight to recoat.

6. I used 2 coats.  I let the first one dry 24 hours, before applying the second.

How-to-paint-bifold-doors

When the doors are fully extended, they don’t quite cover the entire door opening – there is about a 2-inch gap.  I added an industrial style pull to the edge of the last door to fill the gap. Placing it along the outer door edge and not on the front or back allows me to easily open or close the doors from both sides with just one centrally located pull.

How-to-install-bifold-doors-to-a-doorway

After: View from Studioffice.

I created the faux transom two years ago. You can learn how I did it in my post – How to Create a Faux Transom.

How-to-hang-bifold-or-sliding-doors-with-wheels

Close-up of casters/wheels

Now I don’ t have to look at the mess I sometimes leave in my studioffice when I am finished working for the day.   The doors also add a bit of architectural interest to the space. Total cost of the project:  $50 –  a lot less than if I bought bi-fold doors and the track needed to hang them. I also like the fact that these are not so traditional. This is one project that I envisioned in my head that came out exactly as I planned with no extra effort.   I love when this happens – makes me think that it was the way it was always meant to be.

Home Improvement DIY project. How to make DIY rolling doors with thrift store bifold doors

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

31 Comments

  1. Hi did you have issues with the wheels scratching the hard wood floors? We did this with 4 doors and are having issues with. It scratching. Thanks.

    1. Hi Kate –

      After installing my rolling door, I didn’t have any scratching on the floor. Are the wheels on yours smooth – sometimes they may have a seam from the mold that made them. If this is the case, you can use a medium grit sandpaper to smooth them. If they are smooth, are they collecting dirt as the roll? Dirt over time can scratch the floor. If these are not the case for your door’s wheels, I am not sure what else can be the problem except maybe the weight of the doors? Mine were solid, but not very heavy.

  2. I think I may have found my solution to a very tricky problem. We have just moved into our family vacation home as a place to live until we buy our new home. We have two very small bedrooms that don’t fit our king bed! So we turned the large atrium into our master, the only problem is our front door leads right into our bedroom. We are a married couple with no kids but are hesitant to have guests over with our current setup. Where our bed is we don’t have a ceiling to attach to and only one wall where these doors could go. Is it safe to add more than 3? We were thinking perhaps to do 6 rolling doors that would fold out. Is this ok?

    1. Hi Phebe – I have only made the rolling door with 3 doors so I am not sure. I think if you added larger hinges on the wall to the first door, it could work. My door with 3 was very secure and stayed straight up and down even with average size hinges.

  3. This solution is EXACTLY what I’m looking for to close off my office from the hallway when needed!! The problem for me is that my door jam is not even, but with this door being on wheels, I can roll it into position — JUST GENIUS!!! So excited to do this project!

  4. I know this is an old post but you may have just saved my laundry closet! Our crummy builder bi-fold doors don’t like staying on their track and instead of replacing them, we’re definitely trying this! Our laundry closet is in a small hallway across from our powder room and the rolling door will even help double as a temporary pet gate. Cha-ching! Now I just need to decide if I want to go white or add a color accent against our pale gray walls…

    1. Hi Sara – So happy to hear that a post of mine helped you figure out a decorating solution for your laundry closet. In my current home, I have the bifold doors that I updated with paint, but would have loved to added a rolling door but there was not enough rolling room. :-( Enjoy your door.

  5. Hi! I know this is super old post but thought I’d post anyway. ; )
    I’m thinking of doing this attatched to the wall in my pilates studio so I can divide the room into 2 or 3 sections when needed. I’ve been searching for diy portable dividers that could work and look awesome! Do you think this would work not being in a door frame but hinged to the wall and using probably 5 doors on total? I’m hoping to make about an 8′ divider.

    1. Hi Rachael –

      My rolling door using 3 doors was quite secure, no tipping and it opened and closed with ease. If you use larger hinges to make sure the doors are really secure to the wall, it should work fine with 5 doors. You could also use 4 hinges between each door for extra stability if needed.

  6. Hi! How much did this project end up costing you? I’m moving into my own apartment (studio) for the first time so I’m on a budget!
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Sydney – I made the rolling door a few years ago, so I don’t remember the exact cost, but the doors were inexpensive. I found them at a REstore thrift store for around $5 each. The wheels costs around $20 for all of them. Hinges and pull around $15.00. Paint $15.00.

      Finding used doors at a thrift store is where you will save a lot of money. If you have to buy them new, the cost will go way up. Bifold doors can range from $20 for a hollow core one to $50 and up for wood ones.

  7. my double barn doors are very noisy is there a product i can put on the ails to quiet them

    1. Hi Sharon – Have you tried Garage Door Lubricant? That may stop the noise. Another reason they may be noisy is the wheels could be worn. Have you checked them? Maybe a replacement is needed?

  8. I love the rolling doors. If they are not hinged to a door opening, would there be a risk of them falling over? If they were freestanding on wheels is there something that can be done to keep them stable?

    1. Hi Marilyn – The rolling door is attached on one side to the door frame opening with hinges, 3 of them just like a regular door would be attached. They couldn’t be freestanding.

    2. I am planning the same thing and was thinking that if used like a screen (so not pulled straight but zig zag), the middle door might need feet rather than wheels (?) they should balance each other. My concern is that the extra weight of doors rather than the lighter materials room screens are commonly made of might make a difference. I see your question was a year or so ago, did you try this without securing to the wall? The other alternatives I am thinking if they are too heavy is maybe eye hooks in the wall or kick out feet on the bottoms of the doors for balance when they are open that fold flat so the can be folded together when open, is there a need? Love this idea!

  9. I was just wondering if you added a feature to keep the door shut? I have 2 door openings that in would love to use this for but have pets that could easily push them open (and I primarily would like to keep them out). If not, do you have any ideas for closures?

    1. Hi Marla – This would keep small pets out, but big strong ones could probably figure out how to push it open. My cat and small dog can’t open it. You can make the door the way I did and add a hook style latch – you know the kind that are on old-fashioned screen doors. One side would be on the door, the other on the trim around the door. This would keep it closed.

  10. Diane another awesome job..the door project looks great. Glidden is very fortunate to have you as a team member….You are the BEST..Happy New Year!!

    1. Hi Pam – Thank you so much!! XO I love to transform things with paint since it is the easiest and most cost effective way give things new life. I am very proud to be part of the Glidden team and enjoy coming up with paint projects as well as tips and tricks that I have learned over the years to help other learn how to make the painting process easier. Ed and I are having about 16 friends and neighbors over tonight for a warm and cozy – no glitz or glamour party to ring in the new year. Wishing you a very Happy 2014!

  11. Beautiful Job Diane! Very clever use of doors and wheels & love the transom idea…I am curious ….did you paint the doors before you hinged them or did you paint them separately in your garage before putting them together?

    1. Good question Jan :) I meant to write that I painted them after I hinged them. I normally would have moved them to my garage and placed them on saw horses to paint, but it is too cold in my garage now that it is December. I used painter’s tape to mask the hinges from paint and painted them right in the doorway after I hung them.

  12. I love the high gloss look, but my experience with high gloss is not a pretty one. Very thick, sets up so quickly you can’t really work with and shows every flaw. What makes this brand different and who (in the big box world)sells Glidden?

    1. Hi Debbie – Working with oil paint does take some time to get used to. This paint is thick, but not like any other oil paint I have used in the past.It has a gel quality to it and does not have to be stirred much like other oil paints need lots of. If you use a high quality brush – Purdy or Wooster that is made for oil paint – it will help how easy it is to spread. The brushes are a bit stiffer. Glidden paint is sold at Home Depot.

  13. That door is gorgeous! How clever to put casters on them. You amaze me with all your ideas. That Glidden high gloss paint is definitely the right touch. Good job Diane.