How to Convert Sliding Closet Doors to French Doors

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How to Convert Sliding Closet Doors to French Doors
Image Credit: numismarty/iStock/GettyImages

Things You'll Need

  • Small prybar

  • Electric screwdriver

  • Wood filler

  • Epoxy filler

  • French door unit

  • Single French door (if needed)

  • Wood for framing material

  • Circular saw

  • Wooden shims

  • Carpenter's level

  • Door jamb materials

  • Metal threshold

  • Hacksaw

  • Jigsaw

  • Metal cutting blade

  • 2-inch metal screws

  • Electric drill

  • Nails

  • Screws (manufacturer's sizes)


Install doors to open without striking furniture or walls. Check to ensure you have room to make the doors open fully before installing them. Sew sheer curtains to mount inside the doors, facing into the closet, if you have clutter you wish to hide inside the closet.

Changing sliding doors in your home to operable French doors works well for exposing certain closet items. If you use a closet to store crafts items, hanging clothes only or food items, keep in mind that the interior of the closet will need maximum organization. Having glass doors in place will make it easier to find specific items, but your methods for displaying stored items should look visually pleasing. For example, you can use color-coded baskets to store arts and crafts materials. If closet clutter is a problem, it's easy to sew sheer curtains to fit over the glass doors.

Step 1

Remove the sliding doors from their tracks. Pry loose the tracking at the floor level with a small prybar, taking care not to injure the flooring material. Take screws out with an electric screwdriver in reverse mode. Install wood filler or epoxy to cover any holes in the door area threshold.

Step 2

Measure the closet door opening to figure out how many French doors to install. Add a single set of French doors with one fixed, single French door, for example, across the closet opening. Install two French door units, side by side, if you have ample room.

Step 3

Build any needed door framing to fit the French doors. Cut high-quality wood with a circular saw, for example, to expand the header or jack studs to make the opening fit the new doors. Add wooden shims under the wood framing around the opening to make it level and plumb. Check all surfaces with a carpenter's level.

Step 4

Install and level all framing and door jamb materials before adding a metal door threshold. Cut the threshold material to fit the door width with a hacksaw or jigsaw equipped with a metal cutting blade. Secure the metal threshold piece into floor joists with 2-inch metal screws.

Step 5

Get a friend to help level each door section. Drill pilot holes with an electric drill to hold the unit in place. Drive nails to secure it temporarily. Screw the door unit into place, following manufacturer's directions for exact diameter and length of screws for each section.


Judi Light Hopson

Judi Light Hopson is a national stress management expert and psychology issues writer. Her column on relationships, co-written with a nurse and a psychologist, is distributed by McClatchy Newspapers to over 300 major publications worldwide. Ms. Hopson has written for employee assistance programs that serve over 15% of America’s Fortune 500 companies. links provided below.