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Tatertots & Jello is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to In my last two room makeovers, one of the biggest and most dramatic changes I’ve made is to replace the old sliding closet doors with regular hinged doors.

But sliding doors are a little awkward to use and mine kept coming off the tracks.

I love closet doors that open wide, it’s so easy to see what’s inside. In my basement, the original home owners added sliding doors because they were cheaper than traditional ones. And, I’m right in the middle of a BIG guest room remodel and I decided to do the same thing in there.

Before you start, make sure your door frame is square or close to it. I then put a small 1/2″ x 1″ stop to keep the doors from swinging into the closet. I did mine the entire length of the door, but you could do yours only a few inches in the center if you prefer. 2. measure the opening and make sure you have the right size “normal” doors, trimming them as necessary Mark where you’re going to put the hinges on the doors with a pencil (you can use another door in the room as a model), and then mark where you’re going to put the hinges on the doorframes with the butt marker and a hammer. Important: leave 1/8″ or so clearance at the top of the frame so you can put in the ball catch (below)

With the hammer and chisel (and maybe a utility knife), carefully hollow out hinge cutouts on the door frame You may have to adjust the doors up or down a bit so they are the same height — so put the screws in the hinges loosely to start.

For example, if there’s too much space between the doors at the bottom, you can shim either or both of the bottom hinges by putting thin shims (thin pieces of wood) behind the doorframe side of the hinge.

Mark where the ball catch plate will go on the top of the doorframe, and then whip out that chisel again so the plate will sit flush at the top of the doorframe. Then install a piece of wood across the back of the closet opening to keep the doors from being pushed inwards. Now you can paint the doors a nicer color than the default primer.

In our experience, the doors will suck up the paint even if they’re pre-primed, so plan on a couple of coats. Mark the location of and install your dummy doorknobs so they’ll hang evenly once you’ve got your doors hung and balanced the way you like them.

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