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Revamp built-in bedroom cupboard or closet doors

The one thing that many South African homes have in common is boring built-in cupboards. Chipboard wrapped in laminate or melamine doors are flat and boring, but there are quite a few easy and affordable ways to dress up boring built-in cupboard doors to give them more detail and add interest to a bedroom or walk-in closet area.

It's so easy to give melamine wardrobe or cupboard doors a makeover and in this article we'll show you how. Whether you want to give your bedroom closet doors more detail by adding moulding and trim, or attaching mirrors onto the doors, etc.

Adding detail to plain blank cupboard doors is a simple project that you can do in a day, or over a weekend. There are various different ways to add panels, moulding or trim and you will find a selection of different types of moulding or trim at your local Builders Warehouse.

For a more detailed finish to cupboard doors, you can have 3mm or 6mm SupaWood cut to size to make centre panels for cupboard doors.

  • Measure and mark for placing the panels on the door and stick down with Pattex No More Nails.
  • Allow for a gap between the centre panels and frames, between 30mm to 40mm is sufficient if you want to create a mock panel door. If you are adding additional decorative trim, make sure to allow for this in your measurements.





An even simpler and less expensive method of adding detail to bedroom cupboard doors is to add strips of pine moulding to create frames.

  • Cut the ends of the pine moulding at a 45-degree angle using a mitre box and backsaw or mitre saw.
  • Glue the cut strips onto the door using Pattex No More Nails adhesive. Wipe away any excess adhesive that oozes out immediately with a damp cloth.
  • You can use wood filler to fill gaps or imperfections and sand smooth with 180-grit sandpaper once dry.
  • Paint the pine trim to match the door colour or in a colour that complements the room decor. When painting laminate or melamine, lightly sand the surface with 180-grit sandpaper to de-gloss. By de-glossing the surface you provide for a better bond between laminate or melamine and paint.
  • Paint laminate or melamine with Plascon Velvaglo (oil-based) or the new Plascon Velvaglo water-based enamel paint.

If you like the look of clear or frosted glass - or perpex -  panel doors to replace the existing doors on your bedroom cupboards, measure up the existing doors to have 12mm or 16mm SupaWood cut to size.

  • Use a jigsaw to cut out the centre panel where the glass is to be mounted and use a router or Dremel Trio on the back to add a rebate (cut out ledge) for mounting the glass. Although this method will cost more than making up frames, the end result is a much stronger door.
  • Before fitting the glass in place, transfer the measurements from the old doors onto the new frames for mounting hinges. If you need to drill out for Euro or concealed hinges, use a 35mm Forstner or MAD bit to drill out holes.
  • You will find tips on cutting a rebate for mounting glass panels here.
  • Secure the glass panels in place with a bead of white universal silicone around the glass pane, or by using glass framing clips that you will find at your local Builders Warehouse.

Mirrors are a great way to dress up plain cupboard doors, and you can have mirrors cut to almost any size or shape at a glass and mirror suppliers.

  • Secure the mirrors onto doors using No More Nails self-adhesive tape that is specifically designed for mirrors.
  • If you want to finish off, you can still add a strip of trim around the mirror as a frame.

Free up space in a cramped bedroom and add a new element by replacing standard melamine cupboard or closet doors with sliding doors. You will find smaller sliding tracks at Builders Warehouse, or get in touch with for larger tracks and to find your nearest stockist.

Measure up and have 12mm or 16mm SupaWood cut to size for solid doors. If you like the slatted doors shown below, you can have solid sheets cut to size and cut out the slats with a jigsaw.