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From Rags to Riches: French Doors on the Pantry

Simply stated, our pantry was an eyesore.

It was a little nook of shelves with old curtains pulled to each side.

We were going to put our house on the market soon, and in looking at the competition, we kept seeing very similar houses with beautiful kitchens.

We looked at our old countertops, painted cabinets, and raggedy pantry….and sighed.

Then, I got an idea – installing double French doors on the pantry.

Who doesn’t love French doors? They add a certain style and class – and it should be an easy, relatively cheap upgrade to a tired kitchen. ​

Installing French Doors on the Pantry for a Quick Update

Planning For The French Door Installation

I tend to be very particular when it comes to what I want. Installing any old French doors wasn’t going to cut it.

I searched and searched and finally came across a set of French doors on Overstock. Overstock has some great options when you aren’t finding what you want at the typical stores. (I also found my oddly-sized bathroom mirror there!)

French doors can be expensive but a 10% coupon code, which is pretty easy to find with Overstock, helped with the price.

The doors I found were sold as bi-fold doors, but the conversion to French doors was simple, especially because we had an existing opening. This made for a much easier door installation.

Installing French Doors on the Kitchen Pantry

Also, the doors were cheaper to buy unfinished – which wasn’t a problem because I don’t mind painting. Amazon also has a lot of French Doors too if you are looking for more options.

How To Install Interior Double French Doors

To install the double French doors in an existing opening, Ash removed the six small hinges that connected the door panels together. These hinges were light-duty and were meant to be used in a bi-fold setup with little load.

He purchased six heavy-duty door hinges, figuring that due to the glass, 3 hinges per door would be needed to handle the weight. (Aside from that, no additional extra hardware was needed.

If we wanted to keep the doors as bi-folds, we would have needed to purchase a bi-fold track to mount in the door frame.)

The actual door came in several different sizes, so we bought the one that most closely fits the pantry opening. It wasn’t perfect because the door height was just a little short.

So Ash filled the gap at the top with a piece of 2 x 4 wood painted white (as you can see in the picture).

He also had to trim the baseboard at the bottom so that he could have a flush edge for the French doors.

To mount the French doors, he installed the hinges on the doors first. Then he took one door panel and placed it in the ‘open’ position in the pantry, with the hinges open 90 degrees. He used some scrap wood (about ¼” thick) to elevate the door off of the floor.

With the door in position, he used heavy-duty screws to secure the hinges to the wall. He then removed the scrap wood supports on the floor and verified that the door swung open and closed easily.

​Then, he repeated this procedure with the other door panel. Installing French doors was pretty simple, and although unpainted, the double French doors already looked so much better than before 🙂

How To Paint French Doors

With the double French doors mounted, the next step was painting. I chose a white semi-gloss paint to match the baseboard and chair rails that I just refreshed.

It went on pretty easily with just one coat needed. There was no need to use any masking tape for the glass panels.

This particular door came with a protective plastic film on each glass panel, so it was easy to paint the double doors without prep work.

Unfortunately, as easy as this made the painting process, removing the film was actually very time-consuming. However, we knew this going into the project because we always thoroughly read the online reviews 🙂

​How To Attach The Door Installation Hardware

After screwing on the door handles, the last step of the door installation was to attach some magnetic catches at the top to keep the doors closed and to also serve as a stop to prevent the doors from swinging inwards.

A simple task, but the first try was a no-go.  ​

Installing French Doors on the Kitchen Pantry

The magnets Ash used were way too strong, as they were making a loud, clanging noise as they connected. Also, when we opened the doors, the panels shuddered from the magnetic tension release, which wasn’t good for the glass.

Ash simply replaced them with less powerful magnets that were just as effective.

As you can see, this weekend project of installing French doors turned out great.

Our raggedy old curtains were now beautiful double French doors. A simple swap made a drastic difference.

Here’s another look at the before and after of installing the double French doors. It really updated our kitchen without touching the countertops or cabinets.

Now that we are in a new house, I miss those interior French doors; however, I have a plan to work them into our new house too!

​Maybe in my office – they would go with our new built-in bookshelf with a window seat. I’m sure Ash won’t mind installing French doors again. Stay tuned 🙂


  1. Christine Vandormolen says:

    Super awesome pantry door!!! And I love the color of your kitchen cabinets.

  2. Thanks Christine! I miss those French doors (this was our old house)! Looking for the perfect spot in our new house to add them 🙂

  3. Helen at Pleasures of the NW says:

    Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY party.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thank you!

  4. Krystal Sadler says:

    Wow! What a difference! They look great!!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Krystal! It was such an upgrade 🙂

  5. This looks fabulous!!!! And I LOVE the size of your pantry. Ours is TEENSY TINY!!! I had to use a hall closet for extra kitchen pantry items. Crazy. I’m adding this door idea to my “for my dream home” dreams!!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much, Mrs. U! I don’t know why they make pantries so small 🙁 We loved the way it turned out! I would put French doors everywhere if I could 🙂

  6. Barrie Bismark says:

    That looks awesome! Great job!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much, Barrie! 🙂

  7. Gorgeous doors! Love the glass in them too. When we had our extra space closed in and added a pantry to the kitchen, I insisted on french-style doors for the pantry. It’s so much better than a bifold! Thanks for sharing at the #happynowlinkup!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Leslie! Yes, French doors make such an amazing difference! 🙂

  8. Looks terrific! We put the same type door (Glass panels) at the top of the stairs going down to the basement. It was such a wonderful decision and looked SO much better than a solid door.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Pinky! Wow that is an awesome idea!! I bet it looks amazing:)

  9. Sue Loncaric says:

    What a great transformation! Thanks for sharing with us at #OvertheMoon Link Up.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much, Sue!! 🙂

  10. I love the new French doors – so clean and classy.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Carol! Me too – this was one of my favorite upgrades!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Jess – will do!

  11. Chloe Crabtree says:

    Great update! Thanks for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much, Chloe :))

  12. Karen Del Tatto says:

    That came out awesome!!!
    Great idea!
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much, Karen! We love French doors :))

  13. Oh those doors look so great – what a change from the curtain! Very classy. And how lucky that you didn’t have to tape off all that glass. We installed a set of french doors for a friend a few years ago, but made her paint them herself because I couldn’t bear the thought of taping off all those tiny panes of glass 😉

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Alayna! I know – I can’t believe we lived with that curtained pantry for as long as we did! Yes, taping off all of the glass would have been too much! We made sure we read the reviews carefully enough to know we didn’t have to!

  14. Loving the upgrade! I don’t think I would have ever thought to do that.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks WebMDiva! In hindsight, we can’t believe we didn’t do something about that curtain sooner 🙂

  15. the cape on the corner says:

    what a great new pantry! it looks like it was always there.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much Jes! We love linking up at your party every week :))

  16. Carol Benton ("Mimi") says:

    This looks great! What a difference it made. Your hard work really paid off.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Carol! We loved it too:)

  17. Toni | Small Home Soul says:

    What a different those french doors make, it’s like your kitchen grew up 🙂 Thanks for sharing your inspiration with us at Waste Not Wednesday Link Party!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Hahaha it did!! Thanks Toni!

  18. Your pantry doors look so beautiful. what a change! I love the farmhouse look, thank you so much for sharing at Sweet Inspiration, Happy Saturday!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much, Katrin! I do too:)

  19. Charlotte says:

    Omg you did a great job! It’s incredible how something as simple as some french doors can completely transform a space 🙂
    Stopping in from SITS sharefest and hope you’re having a great weekend!!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much, Charlotte! Yes, I totally agree! I can’t believe we didn’t think of it years earlier:)

  20. Debrashoppeno5 says:

    What a great upgrade. It looks fantastic.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks so much Debra!

  21. First, your pantry with the curtains was so organized! But, the french doors really do dress up the space. I love it! We changed out all the doors in our new house to 3 panel craftsman style which gave the whole house a new look! Pinning and sharing! Thanks for linking up to #HomeMattersParty

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Haha thanks Emily! We had to keep it so organized because it was constantly on display. So all the chips bags got shoved in a cabinet lol! It’s amazing how huge of an impact doors make! We are looking to upgrade too:)

  22. Brenda Young says:

    Wow, what a big difference the doors look great guys! Thanks for sharing your project at Fridays Furniture Fix!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Brenda! It’s amazing the difference French doors make 🙂

  23. Sharon@bluewillowhouse says:

    The French doors add an elegant touch to your kitchen. Thank you for sharing your excellent tutorial with us at Vintage Charm. pinned

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thanks, Sharon 🙂

  24. Thanks for coming to the Blogger’s Pit Stop last week with your post.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  25. Thanks for coming to the Blogger’s Pit Stop last week with your post.
    Janice, Pit Stop Crew

  26. Doris Coleman says:

    Every project shown in your blog brings some good idea along with it. The French doors for the pantry worked perfectly. I am using the idea here at home and for that my sincere thank you.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      Thank you so much, Doris, for your sweet compliments!! :))

  27. A dramatic improvement! For me, I would take it one step further and do a etching on the door glass….most of them frosted with nothing and then randomly add a fruit or words about food, normally I have no ideas about this, but since it came to me thought I would offer it up!

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      That sounds awesome, Debbie :))

  28. clairejustineoxox says:

    This looks great. Such a lovely makeover. Thanks for sharing at Creative Mondays last week. Your post will be one of my features later.

    1. Eileen @ Just Measuring Up says:

      YAY!! Thank you so much:)) super excited!

  29. This looks great! Love the end result. Thank you for sharing it with us! #FuntasticFriday

  30. Lovely idea that help you sell the house, it is worth that investment surely.

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