The Easy DIY Paneled Door You’ll Want to Try

This easy DIY paneled door was so needed to complete our playhouse project! You can apply the same build process to recreate your very own interior door.

DIY Paneled Door Frame

We began by building a door frame using pine boards. You can easily use common boards or plywood as an alternative. We created pocket holes using a Kreg pocket hole jig. We then secured the pine boards to each other, through the pocket holes, with pocket hole screws.

DIY paneled wood door frame
Door frame made from pine boards

Exterior Paneled Door Surface

We added pine boards, in panels, to the exterior side of the door frame. To achieve a clean, modern look, we secured the pine board panels in the back. We first drilled pilot holes through the door frame. Then we added some wood glue to each pine board, before using 1-1/4″ screws to secure them to the door frame.

DIY paneled exterior door view
Used pine boards for the exterior door surface
Secured pine boards in the back with glue and screws.

It can be helpful to use some bar clamps to help keep the pine board panels in place while the glue sets. For the interior side of the door, we decided to go with plywood. These panels were glued onto the door frame and further secured with our brad nailer and brad nails.

Exterior side – Pine boards
DIY interior door view
Interior side – Plywood

If you’re going to add hinges to your DIY paneled door, then I highly recommend purchasing a door hinge kit. It worked beautifully with our router. You may also need a door lock installation kit to create that perfect cut-out for your locksets. On the exterior side, we caulked those horizontal gaps to prevent any moisture from getting into the hollow middle section of the door.

Use a door hinge template and router to carve out the hinge spots
DIY paneled door view

Door Finish

We decided to keep the door finish simple and stained both sides. I always use my personal creation of Natural and Early American stains to achieve the perfect brown shade. We made sure to apply a clear wood sealer to protect the exterior door surface from moisture. If you love this stain combo then check out how we used it in the following DIY projects:

Modern Office Desk || Vertical Slat Wall || Bench With Slat Details

Black and white house with DIY paneled wooden exterior door

Interior Vs. Exterior Door Designs

Both door designs couldn’t have turned out any more beautiful! The brown stain is serving up all the warmth this space needed and we couldn’t be happier! Originally I wanted the interior side painted SW Dorian Gray to match our main home’s interior doors. However, staining one side and then having to tape it up to paint the other side was too time-consuming. That’s when we made the decision to stain both sides instead. Some parts of the interior door wouldn’t stain because we’d used spackling paste to fill in some gaps. A happy accident I have zero regrets about because it created a whole new design!

DIY interior door view
Interior door side – Plywood
DIY exterior door view
Exterior door side – Pine boards

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I hope we’ve inspired you to try out this door build and remember to be kind to yourselves. Projects don’t always go as planned and design changes aren’t necessarily bad either. Embrace your happy accidents. Until next time friends!

Aminah Chung


15 Replies to “The Easy DIY Paneled Door You’ll Want to Try”

  1. Hello , beautiful door !!
    What the mix ratio you use to achieve that color With natural and early American stain ? Or do you apply a coat of one and then the other on top ?

    • Thanks Victor! Unfortunately, the formula from the brand has since changed and I haven’t had much luck recreating that combo.

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