The way to Paint Closet Doors to Appear Like Lockers

If plain closet doors have been dragging the design variable down in a rec room, home gym or child’s bedroom, use paint to transform them into lockers. You can camouflage a utility closet behind a synthetic locker door or make sliding closet doors look like shiny gym lockers. Adapt the job to suit your DIY ability level and follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions and safety precautions as you work.

Make a Plan

Closet doors, like locker doors, come in many different styles and sizes. Think about the design of your cabinet doors if you intend your painting job. If your closet comes with a bank of folding doors, every panel can represent one locker. For wide sliding doors, paint two lockers side on every panel. A few lockers feature pairs of stacked doors, which you can recreate with paint. Measure the closet doors’ width and height and produce a sketch to-scale on chart paper. Take a look at pictures of lockers you want to reproduce and draw their vents, handles and other details in your sketch. Refer for this plan once you put the finishing touches on the doors.

Prep and Prime

Apart from the seams that they could accumulate over the years, locker doors have a smooth finish. To present your finished project exactly the identical look — without the scrapes — prep your closet doors to make an even painting layer. If the doors could be eliminated, move them to a well-ventilated work area. If you must work on the doors inside, protect floors and furnishings with vinyl sheeting and then open the windows for ventilation. Whether you work indoors or out, wear a dust mask and safety glasses. Strip the doorways of the existing finish, if needed, then sand them with fine sandpaper until the surface is shiny smooth. Use a soft cloth to wipe away the dust, then apply a coat of primer, after the manufacturer’s instructions.

Apply the Paint

Choose paint in a colour that complements the palette and aim of the closet doors’ environment. In a child’s bedroom, use bright or primary colours. In a rec room or home gym, use a traditional locker color, such as gray, blue, beige, black or — if you want to go bold — metallic silver. For a sports bar look, paint closet doors in team colours. If your design includes several faux doors, then you can paint them each a different color. Decide on a semigloss finish for a shiny look and a satin finish for a more delicate sheen. Mask the trim around the doors with painter’s tape, if needed, and use the paint with a small roller to reach a finish. Apply another coat once the first coat is dry.

Add Finishing Details

Your closet doors look shiny and new, but they require a few finishing touches to complete their locker transformation. Sticking to your sketch, use a fine brush and black paint to make “vents” in the tops and bottoms of the locker panels. Painter’s tape or stencils keep your lines right. If your design features side locker doors, paint fine dividing lines between the lockers. Use black, silver and white paint to add a “handle” and “lock” to every panel. Painted name plates or team logos give the design a personal touch. If you are artistically inclined, you can paint closet panels to look just like locker interiors. Paint a hanging jersey, balls and other sports equipment on the doorway, according to your skill level. If the doors have been dry, rehang them, then if needed, and put your new lockers to use.

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