From Bland Bi-Fold to BAM

Guilty as charged, I’m a board and batten fa-reak. Can’t get enough of this stuff. Bathrooms, bedroom walls, and now – closets 🙂 I just couldn’t handle the 80’s builder grade look we had going on with the bi-fold doors so when I saw some extra scrap from our wall adventures in the side of the room I started to think about jazzing up these little dudes.

Here is how they looked after we had them installed. Definitely better than the gaping holes we had there before, but definitely kinda meh.

Adding Closets to Attic Knee Wall

So in an attempt to spice these bad boys up, we added some board and batten action into the mix. Since the doors are quite a bit more rectangular in shape than the wall and bathroom, we decided to ditch the square though and go a bit more oblong for this DIY.

We didn’t even bother to take the doors off for the install. We just grabbed our scrap pieces, cut them to size and starting nailing them in.

DIY Bi-fold Doors

Since the boxes that we were creating were quite a bit smaller than the other walls we had done, we also thought it would be prudent to trim down our wood sections a bit to make them a little skinnier. Instead of the 3″ pieces that we used for the wall, we used 2″ for the doors.

We also knew that we would want to have equal sections for each box that we created, so to determine our height on each box, we just took the total area of the door and divided it by three. Easy enough! Here we are measuring the first piece for our horizontal striping. You can see Jay pointing to the location for the first piece of trim.

How to add trim to bifold door

After measuring, we just cut a piece to size and nailed it in to create the bottom of each rectangle.

Adding Trim to Bifold door

Then we did that a few more times, and we had this! Yummy! 🙂

Board and Batten on Bifold door

For those trying to recreate this look at home – it’s so darn simple it’s crazy. Now, for those without a table saw, I’d advise just grabbing 2″ pieces of trim, vs. cutting it to size. Since we only used (1) board of plywood, our total cost was $20 for this DIY. If you’re purchasing trim, it will most likely be just a tad more expensive…

The dimensions for your door will dictate your measurements, but here are the proportions we had for each of the boxes.

Trim on bifold doors

After we had a bit of primer on it, you could really see the board and batten look coming together. I knew it was going to look mighty swanky 😀

And here are some of the after shots with a coat of simply white on it! We still need to add some hardware and trim, but I can tell that these babies are going to be show stoppers already.

Adding trim to bifold doors

Another side angle shot looking out toward the board and batten wall. Love, love, love it! We’re just waiting on our carpet (it’s been ordered!) and this room will be d.o.n.e. Can I get a heeelllll yeah!

Bifold doors with trim

Now to figure out the hardware … here are some of my top contenders!

  Antique Brass Door Knobs

1) Knob 1

2) Knob 2

3) Knob 3

4) Knob 4

5) Knob 5

6) Knob 6


11 thoughts on “From Bland Bi-Fold to BAM

  1. Looks great!

    Speaking of carpet, is there enough leeway underneath the closet doors to open and close easily with the height of the carpet plus the pad? It looks pretty close to the floor.

    1. Let’s hope so! 😉 We’ve got about a 1/2 inch right now, so hopefully that’s enough (the angle of the photos makes it look a bit more tight) 🙂 Worst case scenario we can trim a tiny bit off the bottom with our table saw to provide more clearance.

  2. Mary, everything is looking SO AMAZING up there! I’m so impressed with you and your husband’s DIY skills. What an inspiration. I love seeing the updates. I have some bi-fold doors I’d love to update as well. Can you remind me what type of trim you used for the board and batten on the walls and on the doors? Thanks!

    1. Hi Gillian!! Thanks – sorry on the delay getting back, we’ve been on vacation 🙂 For the trim, we used a 8’x4′ piece of plywood that we cut down into strips. If you’re just purchasing the trim, and not cutting it down, we used 3″ wide strips for the board and batten wall, and 2″ strips for the closet doors. They have a 3″ trim size at our local Home Depot, so you should be able to find it pre-cut. 🙂

  3. Hi great project–we are getting ready to start working on our attic also. I was wondering if you had a photo of the interior of the knee wall closets? I am wanting to use some of our knee wall space for hanging clothes and some as just open storage for boxes and what not. Thanks so much for sharing your project.

    1. Hmm, we actually moved out of that house since we’ve done the project, so if you’re not spotting an interior photo of the closets, I’m afraid we don’t have one! It was just drywalled right up against the knee wall to optimize space though 🙂

  4. great job, glad the project was successful! I’m wondering where you bought those bi-fold doors- are they 4′ tall?

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