DIY Herringbone Door Tutorial

This week, I shared our family room reveal. Did you see it yet? If not, click the link and check it out! I’d love for you to see all of the updates I made. One of my favorite changes to this space was the addition of custom DIY herringbone doors. Now, some of you weren’t crazy about my doors and let me know it in your social media comments. Say wha??? I LOVE these doors! But to each her own, right? My hope is that whether or not you are feeling my herringbone-vibe you will still be able to honor the creativity behind them. Maybe seeing my DIY herringbone door tutorial will spark an idea of your own for something that is more to your liking! I love sharing inexpensive ways to dress up your existing builder-grade furnishings, so for those of you who are down with my herringbone game, this tutorial is for you!

DIY herringbone door tutorial

Below are some of the images that inspired this project. I have been a big fan of herringbone and parquet floors for years now and have been trying to figure out how to include a wood herringbone design in my home. Custom herringbone doors vary in price, but I found them priced online between $350-$975 per door. Yikes! Let’s make one for under $70 (assuming you already have an existing door, some supplies, and power tools on hand).

herringbone pattern

Image Sources: 1. Blue door via One King’s Lane 2. Shutters by Fixer Upper HGTV 3. Floors by Parquets by Tradition 4. Southern Living Idea House pic by Icing on the Cake 5. Barn doors by Melanged Magic

DIY Herringbone Door Tutorial

Watch me make the doors in one minute! It will give you a good overview of the process and it’s just fun to watch. 🙂


Materials & Tools Needed:

  • 3 packs Empire Company 5/16-in x 3-9/16-in x 8-ft Unfinished Wood Wall Panel from Lowes This is the same wood I used on my DIY Plank Walls and I love it. It’s very light-weight and easy for any beginner to work with.
  • 5 tubes LOCTITE Power Grab 9-oz Construction Adhesive All-purpose with caulk gun
  • Chop saw (This is the one I own: Dewalt 15-Amp 12-Inch Single-Bevel Compound Miter Saw)
  • Chalk line
  • Weights
  • Jigsaw (This is the one I used: Black & Decker Cordless Lithium-Ion CompactSaw)
  • Sander (This is the one I own: Dewalt 3-Amp 5-Inch Random-Orbit Sander with Cloth Dust Bag)
  • Painter’s caulk
  • Foam roller
  • Primer and paint of your choice
  • Safety equipment for using power tools

Step 1: Remove your door, prop it on stools or saw horses, and draw a chalkline down the center.

I removed the door by keeping all of the hardware still attached to the door frame. This is the easiest method and will allow you to put your doors back up quickly with minimal hassle.

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Creating a chalkline down the center of your door will help you keep your boards centered as you work.

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Step 2: Measure and cut your wood at 45•. 

I don’t have a cut list for you because I guesstimated as I went. I did not want to hassle with having to get every cut right, so I measured and cut as I went and left a long overhang on all sides of the door. Each side of the herringbone door has 18 planks. Most of my pieces were cut between 19-24 inches from longest tip to end. I used three packs of wood per door, but I did have waste. If you enjoy math, you could probably do each door using less wood!

Tip: When you are cutting your wood, it may help to have a picture of how the tongues and grooves fit together so you remember which way to face your wood on the saw for your cuts. Sounds silly, but if you’re on automatic pilot while cutting it’s easy to make careless mistakes.”

FullSizeRender (3)

Step 3: Glue your wood in place and weigh it down.

I wasn’t messing around or taking any chances that this wood would buckle and pop off my door, so I used a ton of glue (4-5 tubes per door) and weighted the boards down as I went! I’ve never seen anyone do this project before, and I know that there is a risk that the wood could pull away from the door. Obviously this project would work best on a completely flat, solid-wood door giving the boards the most surface area to grip to. That being said, I am 99% confident that the wood on my doors is not going anywhere.

DIY Herringbone Doors Tutorial-Home Stories A to Z

Tip: If using paneled doors, place your glue on the door instead of the board. This will ensure that the board is securely adhered to the door and that the glue isn’t falling into the gaps of the panel.”

Step 4: Allow your weighted door to dry for 12-24 hours.

DIY Herringbone Doors Tutorial-Home Stories A to Z

Waiting for things to dry stinks, but it’s necessary to ensure a good outcome! Allow your glue to dry a minimum of 12 hours but up to 24 hours if you are in humid conditions. I made sure I had weights down the center of the door and at the edge. These are the areas the wood is most likely to pull away from the door.

Step 5: Use a jigsaw to cut the edges of the door. 

Shoutout to my bestie Kathleen from Grosgrain for helping me cut the doors. I was under a time-crunch to get this project done for a deadline and the battery of my cordless jigsaw died. Ugh! Cordless tools are great as long as the batteries are well charged, but once they die it takes about 8 hours to charge them. This is something to keep in mind when purchasing tools.

When cutting the edge of the boards, make sure your jigsaw blade is right up against the door edge as you cut. This step will go very quickly and is very satisfying! To cut out the hole for the door hardware, use your largest drill bit to make an initial hole for your door hardware and then use the jigsaw to cut the hole in the door.

DIY Herringbone Doors Tutorial-Home Stories A to Z

Step 5: Sand the door.

Sand the edges of your door and the center seam of your door. This will give the door a polished look and will smooth out any rough edges left by the jigsaw blade.

DIY Herringbone Doors Tutorial-Home Stories A to Z

Step 6: Stain or prep the door for painting.

If you are painting and have any knot-holes that need filling with wood filler this is the time to do it. I filled a few holes and then primed the doors with Zinser Bulls Eye 123. Once the primer dried, I used white painter’s caulk down the center seam to fill in the gaps.

Step 7: Paint your doors using a quality trim paint.

I used Sherwin Williams ProClassic Interior Acrylic Latex Enamel in Sea Salt on the doors in a semi-gloss sheen. I have Sea Salt in my kitchen and wanted to bring the color into the rest of the space.

Tip: Use an angled paint brush to paint the gaps between the doors right after you roll on the paint. You can see me doing this step in the video above. This will save you time!

DIY Herringbone Doors Tutorial-Home Stories A to Z

Step 8: Hang your doors and make any needed adjustments to the latch strike plates.

DIY Herringbone Doors Tutorial-Home Stories A to Z

I did have to move the latch strike over slightly for each door in order for the door latch to click into place. The slightly thicker doors will throw off the hardware a smidgen. This was not a big deal at all and was easily solved by bumping the latch strike plate over a bit and using my dremel to cut a slightly larger hole for the latch to rest in. You might not need to do this step at all depending on how your doors were originally hung.

And that’s it! I absolutely love my new doors and the character that they add to the wall!

Gallery wall with custom herringbone doors-2

Here is a reminder of what the space looked like before and after:

Gallery wall with DIY herringbone doors

If you have any questions about this project, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the related posts below. You might also enjoy subscribing to my weekly newsletter to stay up to date on all of my latest tips and tutorials!

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