Shoji Screen Sliding Doors – Getting the Look Without Using Glass

If anyone were to ask me what the biggest impact was in renovating our dining room space, I’d have to say the shoji screen sliding doors that hubs and a friend built. Last week we showed you how our dining room transformated after we removed a wall. Once we knocked the wall down, I wanted the option to close it off occasionally but still let the light through. It was the perfect opportunity for me to design something spectacular!

As you may have seen in our previous post, hubs mocked up my design in cardboard to make sure the scale would work first before he even purchased the wood. I’m so glad he did that because I could see that I wanted the wood on the bottom of the door to come much higher than the mockup, so we were able to make the adjustment and not waste a thing!


Hubs installed the sliding door mechanism, but before he did, he added a piece of plywood so we could add a valance to it later.


Then he installed the doors on the track by following the manufacturers directions. We used KN Crowder hardware.  It’s a quality system, so we also used Crowder’s pocket door hardware in my craft room because we think it’s the best on the market and believe that you really do get what you pay for  (and no, we don’t get paid to say that)!

We didn’t want heavy frosted glass in the doors so hubs came up with a brilliant idea to get the same effect! Want to know the secret? Laminated rice paper! It looks beautiful and can still be cleaned if necessary. If you want a true shoji look though, make sure that the laminate you use is low sheen. The laminating shop we took it to actually used high sheen on one side and hubs didn’t notice it until after he installed it. We don’t like the shiny side (too much reflective glare), but we never took it back to fix it so I’m passing this tip along to you so you don’t make the same mistake we did.


Since we took the wall opening right up to the ceiling and I didn’t want to see the track hardware, we created a valance to cover it in matching wood. Before we added the valance, I decided to stain the edge of the plywood it would be mounted to so the lighter colour wouldn’t catch my eye if I ever looked up into the gap. I can’t say I ever look at that gap, but maybe that’s because there’s nothing to notice! Anyway, the best time to do something is BEFORE it’s all finished, so I went ahead and put in the extra effort.


To attach the valance itself, we stapled on some heavy duty velcro so we could simply velcro it into place. That way, if we ever have to get to the mechanism, we can still easily access it by detaching and lifting away the valance.


It took two of us to lift the valance up and attach it; here it is all finished off:


On the other side of the door, we attached a smaller piece of valance in the same manner just to bridge the space between the door opening.


As you saw in the dining room reveal, we repainted and redecorated. Here’s the finished look:


I think the doors really do make the space, don’t you? If you enjoyed this post, please pin and share. Follow us either on Bloglovin’ or right here at Birdz of Feather and you’ll get an e-mail whenever we post.

If you missed our DIY on how we knocked the wall down in the dining room, click here for a link to that post.


For more reno DIYs, check out our tutorial on how to tile a backsplash….


….how to replace a bathroom fan or…

C_Opening_Replacement fan

…maximize space in a bathroom renovation:

C_Bathroom Details

And don’t forget that I’ve just started a new craft category called Birdz of a Feather ~ Craft Rehab. You can check out by clicking here. I have an incredible indoor water feature tutorial coming up soon, so follow me there too!

If you enjoyed this project, please pin and share! Follow us right here on Birdz of a Feather (via link to Bloglovin’ below or direct link in the footer) so you don’t miss upcoming home, garden and craft ideas! You can also follow us on PinterestFacebookYouTube and Instagram.

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6 thoughts on “Shoji Screen Sliding Doors – Getting the Look Without Using Glass

  1. I love the doors and have always dreamed of something similar in our home. I don’t know where we we put them but I love the calming effect. Laminated rice paper! Who knew?

    Happy belated birthday, Sara.

  2. Pingback: Hiding an Electrical Panel in a Finished Basement | Birdz of a Feather Home

  3. Did you also get the sliding doors from KN Crowder, or was this from another place? I cannot seem to see any doors on their website, only the hardware. Thanks. I love your look!!

    • Hi Sarah – thanks! KN Crowder only carries the hardware. I designed the doors and my husband and a friend built and finished them.

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