How to Install A Secret Door

Lead Image for How to Install A Secret Door
  • 4-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-500
What You'll Need
Saber saw
Tape measure
3 lengths of 2 x 4 inch wood
3-inch deck screws
Spirit level
Drywall screws
Two center hung pivot hinges
Miter box and saw
3-foot square piece of paneling

There is something incredibly exciting about building a secret door into an interior wall. You can do this to create an area for keeping paperwork or keeping expensive items safe from view. Alternatively, you may enjoy making a secret room for the novelty value and the pleasure and the challenge of the task.

Find the Right Spot

First, you need to locate a non-load-bearing wall that’s covered by an interior wall panel. You’ll need an area 3-feet square and you should select an area on the wall that’s at least partly covered by baseboard, picture frames, or anything that will help conceal the inevitable small gap around the door.

When you’ve located a suitable spot, put a small hole through the wall. Don’t worry about making a mess. The hole needs to be large enough for you to check for any hidden pipes or wires or anything that might stop you from creating your secret door. It is always a good idea to call out an electrical or plumbing contractor or Home Inspector to carry out an inspection for you.

Making a Hole

If all is clear, you can create a gap in the interior wall panel for your secret door. With a tape measure and pencil, mark out a space 3 feet by 3 feet square on the wall. Cut this out with the saber saw, working all the way through the studs.

Creating a Frame

Cut four lengths, each 3 feet long, of your 2 x 4 lumber. With the miter box and saw, create 45-degree angles across the thin ends of each piece. Next, take the 3-inch deck screw and assemble the frame using two screws at each corner until the frame is secure. Screw the frame to the studs in the wall, being sure to run through the sides of the frame. Use the spirit level to ensure that your frame is square and level.

Make the Door

Having made the frame, you now need to make a door. You will need to create another frame in exactly the same way you made the first, except the lengths of the wood should be 33 inches long. When done, fit it into the frame. It should be a comfortable fit and not too tight. If the frame is too snug, plane off a little of the wood from the smaller frame. Now, cut two lengths of 2 x 4 lumber to fit inside the inner frame and screw into place 11 inches apart. This will add strength to the construction.


Screw the center-hung pivot hinges onto place on the top and bottom of the outer frame before screwing to the inner frame.

Hiding the Door

Cut drywall to fit the door frame. The drywall needs to be as thick as the original drywall on the wall. Nail to the inner frame. Glue the piece of interior wall paneling over the drywall, making sure any patterns match those already on the wall. Open the secret door and use superglue on the exposed edges of the drywall to stop any crumbling.