Underneath our stairs had been converted into a storage pantry by a previous owner, complete with unstable floor and broken bifold door. The bifold door track was broken making it difficult to open and shut the door when trying to access anything stored inside, so we hadn’t really been using the storage space effectively. In a narrow house storage space is at a premium so we decided to buy new track hardware and refinish the bifold door so we could get some use out of the pantry.
Tools and Materials Required
- 1 quart paint (or stain if you prefer a wood finish)
- paint tray
- Good quality 2″ angular paint brush
- Mini roller
- Fine dual-angle sandpaper sponge
- Wood filler
- new track hardware
- new handle
Here are the steps we took to fix and refinish a bifold door
Remove the door from the broken track and using the screwdriver remove the track from the door frame. Also remove the handle from the door.
Doors of this age have a rough finish to the touch. We used an angled sanding sponge to sand the surface of the door smooth. We had to use some wood filler to fill in old screw holes and minor imperfections. Once sanded and filled we wiped the door clean with a damp sponge to prepare it for the paint.
To paint the door we started from the inside out, starting with the louvres and the inner panels working our way to the outside trim. We allowed at least 8 hours of drying time between coats. It took two coats of paint to get a nice full coverage.
The trim around the door also has a rough texture to the touch so we sanded it with the fine sandpaper sponge and wiped them down. We prepped the walls by taping them off with some painters tape before applying two coats of paint for a nice even coverage.
Installing the track hardware according to instructions was straight forward. Our bottom pivot had to be installed over tile so we had to drill a pilot hole using a masonry bit. When we hung the door on the track we realized we had to take an 1/8″ off the bottom.
#DIY TIP – A trick to cutting the bottom of the door is to clamp on a straight piece of wood to use as a guide for a circular saw. Also you can use painters tape on the bottom of your circular saw to minimize any marks from the saw.
The last step was to install a new 3″ satin nickel handle that we got from Lee Valley, touch up any spots with paint and clean up.
With new track hardware, the bifold door now opens and closes with ease so we will be able to access this under-used area of storage, and with the coat of paint to refinish the door and frame it looks much nicer (ignore the yellow walls… we haven’t got around to re-painting yet!).
Check back soon for the post on our custom pantry shelves we built and installed in this storage space under the stairs.
*Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and then purchase the item we receive a teeny tiny commission (barely anything but hey, every little bit helps!). All the items we link to (whether affiliate or not) are items we have either used and loved or items that we plan to purchase and have researched extensively.*