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DIY Bookcase Doors

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Would you be interested in a quick tutorial on adding a charming “mini” barn door to your existing bookcase? After receiving a few emails regarding the island built-in bookcase in our recent Family Room makeover, I decided to share the easy steps I took to create these DIY doors. Specifically, I focused on enclosing the area underneath the island. Let me walk you through the process!

Our bookcase doors were made from leftover kitchen cabinets that I sized for the open built in bookcase in our family room peninsula.

DIY barn doors for built in cabinet

How To Build Cabinet Doors For A BookCase

Here is the peninsula built in bookcase before I added doors.

bookcase before

To address the need for smaller doors without breaking the bank, I devised a simple and cost-effective solution.

Utilizing a pair of spare kitchen cabinet doors from a previous project, I integrated them into the existing cabinetry. Alternatively, places like Home Depot or Lowes occasionally offer surplus or scrap doors that could serve the purpose.

Pine or plywood can also be employed as viable options. I opted to use the “back” side of the door for my bead board application due to its smoother texture.

kitchen cabinet-1
Begin by flipping the cabinet door and cutting a piece of bead board to perfectly fit on top of it, or any other material you are using as a base. For added strength, I recommend using wood glue and reinforcing it with 1″ finish nails.

Please note that if you can, nail from the backside to avoid any visible nail holes in the front, and ensure that you choose a nail size that won’t puncture through the opposite side.

I didn’t care for the design of the existing kitchen cabinet door so I covered it with bead board.

Add bead board to cabinet door

If you find a cheap kitchen door that you like, you can just use the cabinet door and eliminate this step.
kitchen cabinet door-1

Add Trim

For the trim, I opted for a 3/8 x 3 x 36″ MDF craft board. You can find this in the craft wood section at Lowes.

Since these doors are smaller, MDF craft wood does the job, but for larger doors, a more robust trim, like pine, is recommended.

This is similar to the trim I used in our previous DIY barn {closet} door project.

Glue & Staple bead board with finish gun

I measured the length pieces and secured them in place on the bead board using wood glue. To reinforce the bond, I used larger finish nails (1 1/4 – 1 1/2 inches).

Once the length pieces were firmly nailed, I proceeded to measure the width part.

And there you have it – a charming little barn door, ready to impress!
kitchen cabinet door 2
To securely attach the bead board, I employed the use of wood glue along with longer finish nails, ranging from 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches.

A DIY built-in bookcase with repurposed kitchen cabinets can be a great addition to any home. I painted the doors white for a timeless design that will complement any room in the house.

mini barn doors tutorial 2
The door pulls and hinges have an elegant oil rubbed bronze finish from Gatehouse, which I purchased at Lowes.

I utilized the space by adding shelves in the middle, where I store my sewing supplies in baskets, and behind the doors, which accommodate my sewing machine and larger craft items.

To enhance the island’s aesthetic, I incorporated some pine and coordinated it with the wall planks in the rest of the room.

More DIY Bookcase Door Ideas

Click through this link Built-in Ideas, to see more builtin’s you will love.

10 diy built in ideas BHG inspiration


This project was featured in the This Old House Magazine’s October issue.

This old house magazine feature
diy built in barn door tutorial

Meet Jessica

What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.


  1. These look great and your DIY description is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Yea!! Thank you! We are probably going to start our doors this weekend. Can't wait. :o)

  3. Jessica Bruno says:

    Good luck! 🙂

  4. Im A Silly Mami says:

    Looks awesome Jess! Love the room

  5. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication says:

    Genious! I'm definitely saving this for future inspiration!

  6. Not only is this tutorial an inspiration, but your whole room, house and story as well!

  7. Jessica Bruno says:

    Thank you! I hope you get this b/c your email wasn't showing so I couldn't send you back a reply. Have a great day 🙂

  8. Olah Momma! says:

    You did a good job! Never thought of doing this until I visited your lovely website:)

    Hopping by and followed your FB, twitter, G+, SU and Pinterest.

    Also inviting you to join our meatless recipe blog hop/showcase at http://olahmomma.com/momlounge.

    Hope to see ya there! Have a great day:)

    The Quiet Mom at http://olahmomma.com

  9. Fairfield House says:


    You did a wonderful job transforming these cabinet doors. What a creative and clever way to add some cottage charm!


  10. THIS IS AWESOME!!! I can’t tell you how long I’ve tried to find something like this! Thanks so much for sharing! You are a favorite of mine on pinterest 🙂

  11. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS IDEA. I am finding so many wonderful ideas on your site and some amazing inspiration for my home. I live in the country and I am really wanting to keep that country feel but with a very modern and chic twist and this hits the nail on the head completely. Thanks so much for sharing. Time to try my hand it this 😉

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