How to Upholster Door Panels

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Most interior doors have between two and four panels.
Most interior doors have between two and four panels. (Image: doors to be hung image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com)

Alter your decor without much expense by upholstering the panels on a room door. Fabric can be coordinated with the room’s color scheme to create a designer theme. Use a flat sheet and fabric to upholster doors so the panels match comforters and bed linens. Upholstering door panels requires no sewing, and the door upholstering project can be finished in about an hour. With a staple gun and a glue gun, your door panels will be upholstered in a professional manner.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Glue sticks
  • Batting, twin size
  • Fabric
  • Staple gun
  • Wood staples
  • Gimp trim

Measure the door’s panels. Most doors have between two and four panels. If you’re upholstering both sides of the door, measure both sides to ensure the panels are identical. Write down the measurement. Add 2 inches to the length and 2 inches to the width of each panel and write down this modified measurement.

Cut a piece of cardboard to the exact measurements of the panel from Step 1. Cut a piece of cardboard for each door panel you wish to upholster.

Cut a piece of batting to the modified measurements from Step 1 for each door panel you wish to upholster.

Place the batting rectangle/square on a flat work surface. Center the cardboard rectangle/square on top of the batting.

Squirt a line of glue with the glue gun 1 inch from each edge of the cardboard side facing you. Fold the edges of batting over onto the glue. Press the batting firmly onto the glue.

Cut a rectangle/square of fabric to the modified measurement from Step 1. Cut a piece of fabric for each door panel you wish to upholster.

Place the fabric rectangle/square, wrong side facing up, on a flat work surface. Center the batting-covered cardboard glued side facing up on top of the fabric.

Squirt a line of glue 1 inch from each edge of the batting-covered cardboard on top of the folded batting edge. Press the fabric edges over onto the glue.

Repeat Steps 4 to 8 for each door panel you wish to upholster.

Position the upholstered cardboard over a door panel with the glued edges touching the door. Squirt glue on the underside of the cardboard and press it to the door panel. Repeat for all upholstered panels.

Staple the upholstered panel about 1/4 inch from the edges, and with 1 inch between each staple, to the door with the staple gun and wood staples. Repeat for all door panels.

Measure the four sides of a panel in a continuous measurement. Cut a piece of gimp braid to this measurement. Cut one piece of braid for each upholstered panel. Gimp trim is sold from bolts at craft and hobby stores.

Squirt glue along the edges of the upholstered panel covering the staples. Press a piece of gimp braid along the glue/edges, covering the staples. Repeat for all of the upholstered door panels.

Tips & Warnings

  • According to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources in the article "Hot Glue Gun Safety," you should immediately immerse any flesh that has hot glue adhered into cold water. If you get glue in your eyes, flush them with cold water and immediately go to a doctor.

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