Bi-Fold Closet Doors Makeover into French Doors

Learn how to upgrade builder grade hinged, bi-fold closet doors into beautiful french doors in just a few easy steps.

The other day I shared our Entryway Closet organization system and mentioned the bifolding closet doors.

It was one of the first projects we ever did in our house, and it’s still a favorite.

I realized that in the rush of getting the One Room Challenge all finished up, I never really gave the closet project the credit it deserved.

So, I went back into the photo archives and  pulled up the process to show you step by step how to upgrade bi-fold closet doors into french doors with modern farmhouse style!

A folding hinged closet door is turned into french doors with shiplap in this easy diy tutorial.


Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience.

Video of Bifold Door to French Door Makeover:

For those of you who prefer a video explanation of the procees, here is a video showing the end result of this DIY project:

What the builder grade bifolding closet doors looked like before:

convert bi-fold closet doors into modern farmhouse french doors - The builder grade bi-folding closet doors in a townhouse entryway

Our tiny townhouse entryway didn’t have much space to begin with. Then when you opened the bi-fold closet doors, it seemed even smaller. The dated look of the doors and handles didn’t do much in the style department either!

Supplies you’ll need for this project:

Step by step process for converting bi-folding doors to french doors

1. To convert the hinged closet doors, first remove the sliding hardware from the top side of the doors.

bifolding closet doors of an entryway closet open

(Once you remove the sliding parts off, they will just swing back and forth from the main hinges.)

2. Remove the doors completely off the main hinges. To stabilize the door and prevent it from folding, add a metal mending plate to the seam part of each door (above the current hinges) on the top and bottom.

a bi fold closet door removed from the closet and laying flat on the floor. A straight metal piece is situated to be screwed to the top of where it is hinged.

3. Turn the door into a Modern Farmhouse look by first trimming out the edges with 1 1/2 inch primed trim boards cut with miter corners. The trim was first glued on and then nailed with brads.

4. Add the shiplap feature to the front of the doors by using planks of 1/8″ mahogany plywood. (We had our local Windsor Plywood cut down the mahogany into 4 1/2″ strips for us. We then used our saw to cut them to the proper length.)

**Note, If I were to do this again, I would have painted the main doors the dark color before adding the planks. The white shows through in the cracks a bit and drives my crazy!!

*Update: We eventually painted the door white after all! You can see it in the entryway here.

Once the trim frame is attached, line up the planks with pennies as spacers.

The front of a bi-fold closet door that has been modified with strips of wood to look like shiplap.

5. Attach the planks with wood glue and tiny brads.

Faux shiplap wood strips being secured to the front of the new bi fold french door with a brand nail gun.

6. Paint the door the color of your choice.

We used the same color as the feature wall in our Dining Room ~ Iron Ore by Benjamin Moore.

7. Once the doors are dry, attach the door on the main hinges. Install a small piece of wood trim with screws at the top of the door frame so that the doors will stop together in the middle,

and attach a magnet catch mechanism for closing. 

a magnetic latch that allows the bi fold french doors to stay shut

For this french door pair, we used 2 single magnetic catches. But, when we did the same process in our craft room, we used a double magnetic catch. Both work very well.

a bifold french door's magnetic catches

8. Add handles to suite your style.

Burnished bronze door handles are the finishing touch to this modern farmhouse style of this closet door makeover!

Before and after pictures of this bifold to french door makeover:

Here’s a reminder of what these boring builder grade doors looked like before:

convert bi-fold closet doors into modern farmhouse french doors- bi folding closet doors before

And here’s the after!

bi fold french doors after painted black - convert bi-fold closet doors into modern farmhouse french doors-

And then later, we painted it Simply White by Benjamin Moore. So here’s an after after!;)

Bifold closet doors converted to french doors and painted white with a shiplap feature on the front
The closet doors were painted Simply White a later and the front door Raccoon Fur by Benjamin Moore.

For more simple DIY projects for your home, you may want to check out these posts:

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This post was updated with additional instructions and affiliate links December 2021.

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  1. I LOVE this idea and hate my squeaky entry bifold door. But I’m wondering if I could still make a double sided French door if I only have one bifold door? I guess I’d have to remove the hinge that holds it together in the middle of the door AND add a hinge somehow to the side, so it opens from the center. Seems more complicated and the Huz isn’t interested but….it would be so nice…

  2. So much yes!! We have the same tiny entryway and I’ve been looking for months for what is in my mind! This is it! Ours is open and I want doors back on it bc who wants to see ugly boots and coats and backpacks all the time!? LOL Can’t wait to show my husband – this is perfect!

  3. I love the doors and thank you for the YouTube video and pictures here. All of that information truly helps. I did not know about 1/8 door skin so am so glad you shared that tidbit. The new doors look fabulous and so modern. Did you have to attach any boards to the sides of the closet for the hinges? Nothing was ever mentioned about that part of the remodel.

  4. I love this but the shiplap look doesn’t go with my decor. Any other ideas for changing bifolds to “french doors” without the shiplap? Of course, that seam in the middle is unsightly. Thanks!

  5. I’ve been looking for instructions like yours for a few days. Yours looks to be the simplest of any I’ve seen. Thank you so much for posting this easy transformation!

  6. Love, love, love this idea. I have bi-fold doors on my laundry room in the kitchen and hate them. This would look so much better. But, I’m concerned about the space needed to open/close the doors after the doors are transformed; was that an issue? How much extra space did the doors need to open after the update?

    1. That is a great question! We have had no issues with opening and closing the doors since the update. There is a way to slightly adjust the swing of the doors if there is more space needed to make them shut easily. A small adjustment made ours work great. I hope that helps!

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