How to Build a French Door

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Whether used in the interior or exterior, French doors are a popular, stylish way of dividing up space. The unique design--small pieces of glasses known as lights arranged on the frame--gives a very classic feel to any room.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Screws
  • Glass panels (lights)
  • Measuring tape
  • A wood frame
  • Mullions (muttons)
  • Wood glue
  • Rubber glue
  • Sand paper

Measure the door frame and area you are planning to work with. This is important when picking out wood to make sure it fits.

Buy an unfinished door. This can be picked up at most lumber stores. For a first-time project, it is advisable to get a door with a pre-cut center instead of a solid door. This saves time in carving moldings.

Buy or design the mullion. This is the wood piece that makes the shell around the pieces of glass. Remember, you will need a mullion for each side of the glass.

Buy the glass according to the size of the mullion. It is easier to work with larger panes of glass for a first time job.

Lay the door down flat, and install one of the mullions. Drill in some holes into the frame and then slide the mullion into place.

Once the mullion is secure, flip the door over and lay it flat again. Be sure to put it on some cloth to help prevent scratching.

Place the panes on top of the mullion. Keep them secure using a rubberized glue. Allow the glue to dry.

Install the other mullion, and you are done.

Tips & Warnings

  • You may have to sand paper the mullion a little to get it to fit the door's moldings correctly.
  • If you make your own mullion, it helps to carve in niches for the glass panes to go into.
  • Don't forget to add things such as hinges and a door handle. Most pre-made doors come with a hole ready for the handle.
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