DIY Cane Closet Doors
Update July 21, 2022
(Originally Posted on March 17, 2021)
Wow, this post has gotten so much love on Pinterest and Instagram! If you found your way here via social media, welcome! Hackett House Studio is a luxury interior design studio located in Columbus, OH and serving clients nationwide. Although our studio doesn't get into too many DIYs in our design work, occasionally I get an idea I just have to try to execute. And thus, my Cane Closet Doors were born. Since publishing this blog, I've seen hundred of you try out this project and my heart swells each time!
I mention this below, but I did this DIY before I had a blog (and before I was an interior designer), so I apologize ahead of time that the pictures aren't what they could be. If you have a question about this project, please send me a message on Instagram! I'm most active there and respond to 100% of my DMs.
While you're here, you can learn more about our studio and the work we do by clicking here. Thanks for reading the Hackett House Studio Blog!
- Erin Hackett, Owner & Principal Designer, Hackett House Studio
I made these DIY cane closet doors last year (before I had blog) but got a ton of requests for tutorial when I posted them on Instagram recently.
Although I don't have the time do a lot of DIY projects, this was one that I knew I would love the end result and so... I made it work. To start, I'll share is a list of what you need along with basic costs.
Not a DIYer? Click HERE to be taken to the bottom of the page where I'm rounding up some lovely cane furniture and decor options you can buy -- no drills required!
List of materials (prices are rounded)
- Bifold closet doors with slats (here are the exact ones I purchased)
$174 for two
- Paint (I used Benjamin Moore Simply White in Semi-Gloss)
$30 / gallon
- Cute hardware (I used the 4.5")
1.) Begin by placing your doors on sawhorses and removing the wood slats. I was going to try to bang them out with a hammer, but it turned out to be easier to use my garden shears and snip them down the middle. Then, they just fall right out!
*Important note* You're going to want to leave the last slat, so that your door front has a nice slanted panel transition from the slats to the bottom half. You'll see this more clearly in the next step.
2.) There will be holes where the slats were - fill them in with wood filler. It helps to turn your doors upright so that gravity helps pull the wood filler in and you get a nice, even application.
There's that final slat (second picture) that you left in. Apply wood filler around it, let all of your wood filler dry, then sand it all down.
Unfortunately, this is where I stopped taking pictures. Don't shoot me -- I didn't have a blog last summer when I made these! But I promise the next few steps are super straightforward.
3.) Once your wood filler is dry, paint your doors front and back.
4.) Next, you're going to prepare your cane by soaking it in the bathtub. I soaked mine for two hours. (I actually do have a pic of this -- yay!). Soaking cane in the water causes it to expand so that when you apply it to the doors, it contracts as it dries. This contraction is what is going to help you get a nice, taut application, making this a step that cannot be skipped.
5.) Once your cane is prepared, lay your doors on the sawhorses face down (you may want to put towels on the sawhorse to protect your fresh paint job). Applying the cane is super simple:
- Lay out your sheets along the back of the doors and cut off the excess around the edges
- If your cane is trimmed so that no excess is hanging off the sides, you can start stapling it down.
Don't overthink this part. I had someone hold down the opposite side of the cane that I was working on in an attempt to keep it straight, but it turned out not to be necessary. The wet cane has a lot of weight and tends to grip to your doors a little. You really just need to staple about every 2 inches around the perimeter and you'll be good!
6.) Measure where you want your hardware to go, drill holes and screw them on. Install your doors, and voila!
THAT'S IT! You're done and now have a beautiful, custom, cane-detailed pair of doors in your home.
You may be wondering if the doors are super see-through, and with the light off they definitely aren't. Here is a pic with the light on, and it's semi-see-through, but not enough to bother me.
And that's it! If you have any questions about this project or if I left anything out, let me know in the comments. And please tag me in your pictures on social media (I'm @hacketthousestudio on instagram) if you try this DIY... I'd love to see your work!
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