How to Make a Geometric Upholstered Door

Dressing up a dull interior door? Think beyond paint by adding design and texture with upholstery and nailhead trim.

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Materials Needed:

  • solid wood door
  • safety glasses
  • sander
  • sandpaper
  • paint brush
  • primer and paint
  • 2 1/2 yards of medium-toned vinyl
  • 3/4 yard of light-toned vinyl
  • 3/4 yard of dark-toned vinyl
  • white or yellow chalk
  • square
  • yard stick
  • scissors
  • staple gun
  • staples
  • cardboard tack strip
  • utility knife or razor blade
  • decorative tacks
  • magnetic tack hammer with nylon tip
  • staple remover
  • pliers
  • doorknob
  • screwdriver
  • door hinges and associated screws

Find and Prepare the Door

Since staples and tacks are most secure in solid wood, it’s important to replace hollow core doors with solid wood doors when upholstering.

Old doors are easy to find at thrift stores; don’t be put off by cosmetic flaws when searching for the perfect candidate. If you have an oddly-sized door, it may be necessary to custom order it from a building supplier.

Tip: If your door is snug without upholstery, sand or cut down the edges to reduce the overall size and accommodate the extra layers of fabric. Remove any hardware before upholstering.

Choose Your Fabric

Select three shades of vinyl or leather to give the door depth and create the illusion of pyramids. Although leather is an excellent material for door upholstery, it has fewer color options than vinyl and is typically more expensive.

Create Design and Cut Out Triangles

The dimensions of the pyramids are dependent upon the size of your door and how many you want. When determining how the pattern lays out on the door, it may be necessary to leave 1/4- to 1/2-inch allowances around the edges so tacks don’t come into contact with the threshold and prevent the door from closing.

We’ll cover the entire door in the medium-toned vinyl and only cut out the light and dark-toned triangles. Use a square, yardstick and chalk to to draw evenly-spaced lines on the back side of the first pattern color. Then, section each lined segment into equally-sized triangles. Use scissors to cut out the triangles. Repeat with the second pattern color.

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