Magic mirror on the closet door, begone.
December 2, 2010 12:32 PM   Subscribe

Please help us with design ideas and DIY strategies for replacing ugly mirrored closet doors.

Mr. BlahLaLa and I have a bedroom that predominantly features horrendously ugly mirrored closet doors akin to this. I would love them to be gone. But what are our options?

I'm not really into the idea of closet doors that fold out accordion style -- the room is very small and I sense that they will intrude on the small space available. And I think just doing a curtain would be odd. So what else is there to choose from?

Searching quickly at Home Depot and Lowe's online I see only the same old ugly mirrored doors. So what else is out there? Is there something else we can do with the mirrors, like cover them?

Please help this design-challenged couple come up with an idea...and if you have any DIY tips about how to get the old doors out and the new solution in, we would be most grateful.

Sadly, cheaper is better for us right now, but if there is some fabulous and non-cheap solution, I'd like to know about it just in case we can scrape up the cash.
posted by BlahLaLa to Home & Garden (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Why don't you paint them with a coat of primer and them chalkboard paint? I painted sheetmetal this way and it turned out great so I doubt the smooth surface would be an issue.
posted by murrey at 12:36 PM on December 2, 2010

Best answer: Have you considered window film?
posted by Balonious Assault at 12:37 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

We replaced ours with hinged-door Ikea Pax units, then I framed around them so that they look more like a row of built-ins. We went with the beech finish in case we decide to paint them someday. The Pax doors are only about 15" wide, so they don't come out into the room much.
posted by bonobothegreat at 12:38 PM on December 2, 2010

Yeah, I was also going to suggest frosted window film.
posted by misterbrandt at 12:39 PM on December 2, 2010

Another thing...if you are brave, you can make your own colored chalkboard paint.
posted by murrey at 12:40 PM on December 2, 2010

Best answer: I've replaced plenty of closet doors with curtains and tiebacks, and they look pretty swell if done right. One alternative: IKEA sells the ANNO system of panel curtains and rails which can be layered and slid around to your heart's content. I think those would be somewhat cheap and look very swanky.
posted by julthumbscrew at 12:42 PM on December 2, 2010

How about bead curtains?
posted by txmon at 12:46 PM on December 2, 2010

If the room is very small and the mirrors are very prominent, removing the mirrors can make a small room oppressively tiny. Before you do anything permanent, hang a blanket or something over the mirrors to get an idea of how the room will look without them. Mirrors aren't inherently ugly, so is it the frames you don't like? Consider painting the frames or putting a valance across the top.
posted by sageleaf at 12:54 PM on December 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

While our kids were young, we put the doors in backward.
The back side was a slick whiteboard: perfect for dry-erase markers.
Pin the tail on the whatever.
Flow charts.
Chore charts.
Scribble space.
Math problems.

It was great.

Eventually the UV rays caused crackling and we turned them back around.
And the kids grew up.
posted by SLC Mom at 1:19 PM on December 2, 2010

Contact paper in some color and/or pattern that you like could work fine and it would be cheap.
posted by mareli at 1:22 PM on December 2, 2010

We took our doors out (well, had someone take them out) and put in real closet doors, with drywall surrounding them. (The doors are maybe eight inches apart now, with drywall between them.) Any reason you can't do that?
posted by troywestfield at 1:26 PM on December 2, 2010

Best answer: Perhaps this is just too obvious, but you could replace them with bypass doors that aren't mirrored. Especially if you paint them to match the walls, they shouldn't make the room feel so terribly tiny.
posted by DrGail at 1:47 PM on December 2, 2010

Best answer: - contact paper or window film

- you could upholster thin inserts that fit directly onto the mirror with removable adhesive. For the upholstery backing you could use anything from stiff cardboard to really thin MDF or lauan. The benefit here is you can make this look super high-end with your choice of fabric AND you can change it anytime!

- turn the doors around

- try those architectural salvage type stores for interesting closet door alternatives. I'm talking about a store like this or this.
posted by jbenben at 2:09 PM on December 2, 2010

I have mirrored doors in my bedroom too, and I needed to cover them because I have pet birds that were driven a little crazy by them. I liked the feeling of space and light they gave, so I just hung sheer curtains over them - it looks really nice.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 5:53 PM on December 2, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for the suggestions. We're definitely going to start by trying to find the plain bypass doors. If we could get those (of course they're not in stock at any Home Depot near us, but they must be somewhere) we could paint them a funky color.

We can't turn the current doors around -- the back is a weird brownish material almost like particle board. Worse than the mirrors.

But we may check out Ikea....and the window film is such a simple, pretty solution I'm embarrassed I didn't think of it myself! Thanks to everyone.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:22 AM on December 4, 2010

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