Ask This Old House general contractor Tom Silva converts a regular door into a Dutch door.
Steps for creating a Dutch door
- With the door still hung in the jamb, mark where the cut for Dutch door will be. Use that as a guide to mark for two additional hinges above and below the cut mark.
- Mortise the door where the new hinges will go with a chisel. Scoring around the mark with a utility knife can help prevent the door from chipping or cracking.
- Once the hinges can fit flush against the door, attach the hinges to the door using a drill and screws.
- With the new hinges attached to the door, trace where the hinges will attach to the jamb. Mortise the jamb and attach the other side of the hinges the same as earlier.
- Replace the old hinges with new ones so that all four hinges match. If the old hinges are thicker than the new ones, add a filler piece of scrap cardboard behind both hinges before installing.
- Remove the door from the jamb.
- Cut two pieces of scrap wood the width of the door and taper them on opposite sides.
- Cut the door in half with the track saw to fit the tapered filler pieces.
- Attach one filler piece to the bottom of the top half of the door using wood glue and screws.
- Rehang the top half of the door, then the bottom. With the door in place, attach the second filler piece to the top of the bottom half of the door and adjust as necessary with a palm sander.
- Install a barrel latch to the top and bottom halves of the door to lock the top half of the door.
Plugs for doors
After the hardware is removed, use a hole saw to cut a clean hole in the door. Then use a hole saw with a slightly bigger diameter to make a plug to fit the hole. Here, Tom uses a polyurethane glue to secure the plug. After the glue cures, he sands it smooth.
Everything Tom used for this project, including the chisel, utility knife, hole saw, hinges, and latches can be found at home centers.
- Hinges (with screws)
- Barrel latch
- Scrap cardboard
- Scrap wood for filler
- Wood glue
- Wood screws
- 80-100 grit sandpaper