Upholstering a Door

I’ve wanted to do this project for a few months.  I saw an article in Martha Stewart Living where they simply drove tacks into a door for decoration and while the door wasn’t upholstered, it gave me the idea to add padding and a great fabric instead of going through the dreaded task of painting a door.

I chose a teal vinyl tablecloth for the fabric for several reasons.  1. I’m addicted to teal, 2. It looks like leather and 3. It was cheaper than leather by about 5x.  I had originally taken the closet door off its hinges and stored it in the garage because I had grand ideas for making the inside of my closet 100% organized and stylish for my clients to see how well I have it all together.  As most closets go, it was super organized about one day out of the month.  Also, with the coming addition to our family, I noticed all over my house, multiple areas that needed better baby-proofing.  So I started with the closet door.

I wouldn’t have driven a hundred holes into a nice door – it looked like this before I started:

I also removed the doorknob because I wanted to fix a knocker in the center of the door to get a nice old England vibe going, and to avoid having to upholster around a doorknob.

I started by laying the door on the floor of our living room and coating it with fabric glue.  I then laid down a piece of quilter’s batting (heavy loft) and trimmed along the edges to make it fit perfectly.  Then, I moved the door to my dining table to begin the process of covering it with the vinyl.  This step wasn’t so easy and it wasn’t until my dad came to the rescue that I actually got the hang of how to do it.  You see, he is a master craftsman and has been a carpenter his whole life and has upholstered his fair share of couches, chairs, etc.  So he brought his industrial staple gun (a life saver) and compressor and lent me a BIG set of hands to pull the vinyl tight enough so that there were no bumps or creases and we stapled the vinyl along the sides of the door.

Once it was completely covered, we sketched out a design for the rivets and stapled that design down, which is an insanely genius move on my dad’s part.  My talented friend, Kelle, who also knows a thing or two about home decor, told me that in order to save my sanity, I’d BETTER order nail head trim, instead of buying 1,000+ tacks at my local leather shop.  Wise girl.  The nail head trim looks perfect and you only have to nail down every 5th tack.  It’s about $15 for a 10 yard roll!  Once I was done, I screwed the antique door knocker I bought off Etsy to the center and voila – a really expensive looking door for about $50 total!

The nail trim – looks legit!

The antique door knocker:

The finished product!


Filed under Crafty, General Hoo-Ha

8 responses to “Upholstering a Door

  1. Christy

    Impressive! Thanks for sharing your process. 🙂 I think the vinyl table cloth is brilliant. How has it held up?

    • Hey Christy! Sorry I just saw this comment! The door has held up great. The edges are a little frayed, but that’s only because I didn’t finish them!

  2. Pingback: Door Envy | Ivy de Leon

  3. susan

    can you do my doors for a fee?if you do please contact me .it is commercial doors enterior in the building for the total of 5 doors

    • Oh no, I really just did this as a craft at home. It’s got unfinished edges and everything 🙂 Better call a professional upholsterer in your area! I really appreciate the consideration, though! Thanks for reading!

  4. Lonita

    This is absolutely beautiful and the fact that I hate all the vinyl doors in my house gives me a great Idea!… Did you use padding? If so what kind? And did you put it on, on top of the glue?

    • Hello! I used quilters batting-the 1/4″ thickness. I put just a bit of crafters glue on the door and then laid the padding on top of that and then I had help stretching the vinyl taut enough to tack down the nails on the corners!

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