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How to Upcycle Bifold Doors into a Privacy Screen with Shelves

Updated: Oct 17, 2023

I found these bifold doors for practically nothing last summer at a garage sale. I didn’t have any particular need for them at that time but they held too much promise to pass them up. I was sure I would be able to upcycle the bifold doors into something spectacular. I brought them home and put them under a cover and then was so busy with making my root cellar that I pretty much forgot about them. It wasn’t until I was looking for projects to make as displays for up at our fairgrounds that I thought about them again.

I decided to upcycle the bi-fold doors into a lovely privacy screen with shelves.

Upcycled Bifold Doors into a Privacy Screen with Shelves

Bifold Door Privacy Screen

I am really happy with how the shelf turned out and I love the way it folds down so nicely for storage and transport.

Materials Needed to Upcycle Bifold Doors:

Original Old Bifold Doors to be Upcycled

bifold doors

2 sets of bifold doors (4 total)

1×8 boards treated with wood effects (charred wood)

54 inches (2) shelves

Wood Effects by Minwax

wood effects

Minwax wood affects charred wood

Antique-looking hinges (9)


White chalk paint

White primer

Finishing wax protective topcoat.

finishing wax

Jolie Clear finishing wax

Tools to Upcycle the Bifold Doors into a Privacy Screen with Shelves:

Drill (for pilot holes)

Electric screwdriver

Miter saw

Oscillating saw


Wax brush

Orbital sander

orbital sander

Orbital sander with 80 grit sandpaper

Mouse Sander

mouse sander

Mouse sander with 120 grit sandpaper

Assembly of the Upcycled Bifold Privacy Screen Shelf:

Remove the hardware from the old bifold door.

remove hardware

Begin by removing the old hinges and handles.

Sand the bifold doors to be upcycled.

sand doors

Sand the doors down just enough to rough up the surface of the old finish and remove any possible splinters.

Remove slats to make room for the shelf.

remove 1st and 16th slat

Use an oscillating saw to remove the bottom and the 16th slat. This will create openings for the shelf to go through. All the doors have to be the same or they will not line up.

Paint the doors with primer.

primer the doors

Use primer on all of the doors.

Caulk the hardware holes in the old bifold door.

Caulk all holes

Caulk all of the screw holes and the holes where the slats you cut out went in.

Chalk paint the doors and shelves.

Chalk paint doors and shelves

Use chalk paint on the doors and the shelf boards. Reapply until they are sufficiently covered.

Mark the hinge positions.

mark hinge positions

Drill the pilot holes for the hinges.

drill pilot holes

Attach the hinges.

attach hinges

Now that all the parts are prepared it is time to put them together. Using 3 hinges, connect the 2 center doors. Measure and mark the center and 12 inches in on each end, make pilot holes, and attach the hinges with screws. Flip the 2 doors over and set the 2 remaining doors next to them, one on each side. Connect these to the first 2 doors with the 6 remaining hinges. Attaching the hinges this way allows the doors to fold in on themselves in an accordion style. This makes it so that the shelf can slide in and so that it lies stacked for easy transport.

Slide the shelf into place between the removed slats. Upcycled Bifold Doors with Shelves

slide in the shelf boards

Now that the hinges are in, stand up the doors in a zigzag-type shape and slip in the shelf boards. Adjust the doors so that it is a tight fit over the shelf.

It is now ready to be placed and decorated however you desire.

Note: This is a little top-heavy so be careful if you have it in any area where there is wind.

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