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


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

  1. Kathleen Grehlinger

    The playhouse is stunning. I love the door. As I am presently building a house shaped bed frame for my grand daughter I appreciate the use of clamps and a flat surface to get the panels straight when gluing/screwing up. The garage floor is NOT flat…haha It has been a challenge. Finding straight boards has been the biggest challenge by far.

    • Thank you Kathleen! That’s so awesome you’re building that for her! Yes, straight lumber is the key and extremely difficult to find. Good luck with your build!

  2. Felicia |

    You made this modern door so chic yet simple to construct. I love both sides, but I think that plywood looks sharp with the interior paint. The facade and the panels pair perfectly as well. ❤️

    • Thank you Felicia! I have to say the imperfections on the plywood truly make that side my favorite and contrast beautifully with the white walls.

  3. OMG, I love this!!😍 I’m so glad you the stains you used. I really like what you are doing.

  4. It looks so good Aminah! Looks totally professionally done! The girls must be so excited about this playhouse!!!

  5. Love how this turned out. I’ve never thought about building my own door!

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