Hollow Core Door

High-End Elegance on a DIY Dime: Dressing Up the Hollow Core Door

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Reading this means that there’s a big chance you have a hollow core door (or several) somewhere in your home that looks rather plain and boring. But since it serves pretty much the same purpose as a high-quality door, it is much cheaper to decorate a hollow core door compared to replacing it altogether.

This can help give your home a boost of elegance without spending an arm and a leg while at it.

So, are you ready for an exciting DIY project? If you are, read on for tips and inspiration on how to dress up a hollow core door and transform your space into an epitome of elegance.

What’s A Hollow Core Door? 

As the name suggests, a hollow-core door is a door with a “hollow midsection” usually made from honeycomb cardboard. Usually used as interior doors, they differ from solid core doors in that the latter usually have a fire-rated infill made from solid wood or wood veneers.

While they aren’t as structurally rigid and durable in comparison to their solid core counterparts, some advantages of hollow core doors include:

  • They are relatively inexpensive
  • They are lightweight
  • They are easy to install

Dressing Versus Replacing a Hollow Core Door 

As earlier noted, dressing up a hollow core door is often cheaper and easier than replacing it. However, you may want to replace the door altogether if it is structurally damaged beyond repair.

Replacing the door can be a bit challenging but it is quite doable with proper preparation. As long as you are well prepared and have some crucial tricks up your sleeve on cutting a hollow core door, replacing one shouldn’t be much of a struggle.

Ideas For Dressing Up a Hollow Core Door

1. Consider Giving It a Wrap

One way to give your hollow core doors a whole new look is by wrapping them in one of the various types of materials. The possibilities are endless when it comes to treatments you can use, but the most common ones include:

  • Fabric - This is a great option if you want to use your door as more of an accent piece than something that will get a lot of use. You could even choose one fabric for the inside and another for the outside if you're feeling crafty!
  • Vinyl - Vinyl sheets are easy to apply and come in all sorts of colors and patterns. They're also waterproof so they won't become damaged by water stains over time like some other materials might be prone to (such as wood).
  • Wallpaper 
  • Paint 

2. Replace the Hardware

Replacing hardware is also a good way to enhance your hollow core door’s appeal, as well as its functionality. The doorknob, hinges, and handle are all easy to change and can instantly make your new front door look more stylish.

Replacing the knob or lock can also bring a new look to an old door. You can go for something simple like a polished brass finish, or you can choose a more ornate option that gives off more of an antique vibe with its detailed scrollwork design.

3. Apply Wallpaper

If you want to dress up your hollow core door without spending much, applying wallpaper can be an excellent option – and actually an inexpensive way to do it. What’s more, wallpaper is available in a variety of patterns, colors, and textures, so you can choose something that best matches the decor of any room or space.

Wallpaper is also an affordable alternative to painting because it's easy to install, remove, and replace if you decide that you don't like how things look in the near or far future. If you're looking for ways to give a decent makeover to your home while staying on budget, this might be just what the doctor ordered!

4. Paint It

Painting a hollow core door is among the easiest ways to dress it up. The best part is that you don’t have to spend much money at all. If your door isn’t very damaged, you can simply paint it with any brand of latex paint that suits your style.

The trick here is to go bold—use bright colors or patterns if you want something really eye-catching! You could also try using a complementary color (a shade lighter than or darker than the existing color) or an accent color (a shade similar to the existing one).

5. Add Door Molding/Trim 

Molding is a quick, easy way to enhance your hollow core door's look. You can check online for molding or door trim ideas and pick the one that best works for you. The best part is that installing door trim isn’t a complicated task.

Once you cut the wood to the right size and shape, sand it to make it smoother, and then glue it to the desired part of the door to create a new look. You can also try adding custom molding around the top of the door to add an extra touch of elegance to your entrance.

And there you pretty much have it! Dressing up a solid core door can be a great way to enhance your interior space décor. And thanks to the above tips, it doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking undertaking.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.