Step 2: Draw the Rails.

marking the rails on the door
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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Use a framing square to draw perpendicular lines for all the rails. Now your door is marked with three of the four sides of each panel frame. You'll fit the fourth side—the inside stile—between the other three.
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    Tools List

    • flathead screwdriver
      Flathead screwdriver
    • Phillips screwdriver
      Phillips-head screwdriver
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • framing square
      Framing square
    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • bar clamps
      Clamps
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic nail gun
    • rounded chisel
      Rounded chisel
    • mallet
      Mallet

    Shopping List

    1-by-1¾-inch poplar nose-and-cove molding Get four 8-footers.

    18-gauge 1-inch nails for pneumatic nail gun

    Wood glue

    Wood putty

    120-grit sandpaper

    Latex primer and paint

    New lockset (optional)

    Note on proportions: A typical interior four-panel door has three equivalent stiles with a matching top rail and a deeper base rail. Mock up simple patterns cut from cardboard to see what size panels will look best on your door.