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Creative Ideas for Daily Living

Mudroom Renovation: Installing a Pocket Door

Mudroom Renovation: Installing a Pocket Door

My husband and I have been renovating our mudroom, which houses a small half-bath. The half bath has a small octagon stained glass window, which is the only window in the mudroom area, and the only source of natural sunlight besides the back door. To add light during the daytime, the powder room door is often left often, which blocks access to the pantry. To solve the open door dilemma, we opted to remove the traditional swing-style door and install a pocket door.

We had to remove a section of drywall to install the track and supports for our new pocket door.

We had to remove a section of drywall to install the track and supports for our new pocket door.

While we were working on drywall, we removed the existing door frame so that we could install a rail for our new pocket door. We picked up a complete pocket door frame kit and trim kit made by Johnson Hardware at the local Home Depot. The kits came with everything we needed, including the framing, rail, and the hardware to attach the door to the track. First, we had to take out a section of the existing drywall so that we could install the track for the door. Once the track was up and leveled, we rehung drywall to cover the opening.

Now the door. We decided to ditch the existing hollow door, and donated it to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store where it is sure to find a new home. I frequent the Re-Store and online sources like cragislist.org in search of old items that can be refinished–I’d rather make use of an older piece instead of buying something new, and it is a great way to find a bargain. We found a 5-panel solid wood door on craisglist.org that was being sold locally for only $5. It matched the style of doors in our home, but had several layers of paint on it that needed to be removed. Being eco-conscious, we picked up an eco-friendly paint stripper and began removing the paint. Several applications later, bits of paint had come off, but it was a struggle. Frustrated, my husband was considering halting the project and buying a finished door. Ultimately, he decided to try a conventional (non eco-friendly) stripper and discovered that the paint came off very easily. After a bit of  cleaning up and sanding, the door received a coat of stain and looks fabulous! Although I’m a proponent of eco-friendly products, I will stick to the conventional stripper for future projects as it was much more effective.

Stripping Paint from an Old Door

We used various tools to scrape the paint from the old door.

We used a variety of tools to scrape the old paint off of our door.

After adding the hardware to the door, we popped the door into the track. It took a bit of finagling to adjust the door so that it hung straight. This was a moderately difficult project, but the results are definitely worth it! Putting a pocket door into the space dramatically improved the functionality and aesthetics of the space, and our new solid wood door blends more with the original elements of our home.

The refinished pocket door is installed! It looks great and the space functions so much better with the new pocket door.

The refinished pocket door is installed! It looks great and the space functions so much better with the new pocket door.

 

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Amy (91 Posts)

I am a Freelance Graphic Designer full of creative interests! In my spare time, I love to create something new from something old, embark on home decorating and renovation projects, try out new recipes, and attempt to garden. Beyond the artistic pursuits, I have a love for music and enjoy playing the piano and handbells.


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