DIY sliding barn door

DIY sliding barn door

Alright guys, this post is a long time coming. I seem to decorate my home and DIY projects quicker than I share them on here. I am sharing all of the secrets to creating a DIY sliding barn door! I get asked all of the time how I can have so much content to share on the blog, I must be running out of projects by now. Which is not even a little close, I have projects done that have never been shared on the blog, still waiting for their chance to shine. Not to mention the huge number of projects I have plans for but have not had time to create yet. I have a lot of decorating and DIYing for the foreseeable future.

DIY sliding barn door, easy steps to create the look. Great solution to a small space in your home, adding function and style.

This DIY sliding barn door came about because of a problem area in my home. I have a laundry room that is also the entryway from the garage into the house. This laundry room opens into the end of a long hallway. There is so much going on in this small space, and the swinging door for the laundry room was really annoying.

Here is the corner that became our organization station or mudroom as people call it. In order to utilize this space I had to have the door open to enter the laundry room, go to the far end of the laundry room and then shut the door. Only then could the mudroom portion of this space be accessed. It was a hot mess!

I still have a lot to finish up in the laundry room portion and hope to being tackling that project soon!

But, lets get back to the DIY sliding barn door, the function of these doors are amazing. They are so dang cute too! We considered taking the door off of it’s hinges and calling it a day. Then reality set in and I remembered I have 5 peoples worth of laundry happening, which means there is a lot of mess. Being able to shut the door when people are over is always a good thing. Another option was a pocket door, those are great for space saving. However, you have to open up the wall to put them into the wall. A lot of work. So the barn door felt like the best solution to thus problems.

Here is a fluffy Teddy and the hallway right after the wainscoting, before door handle changes, wood floors and the barn door was installed. In this end of the hallway we have two kid’s bedroom doors, a closet and a bathroom. So much is squished into this space and it is a high traffic area. It needs to function like a well oiled machine.


Queue the DIY sliding barn door to the rescue! For barn doors in general you can create the door completely like I did, or you can use an existing door and get the sliding door hardware for it. There are no rules with barn doors, they do not even have to be rustic or barn door-ish to work. Simply a sliding door on a wall does the job fine. I want my barn door to blend into the existing wainscoting on the wall. I also am adding a window to the door to add just a little bit of light in the room. y hallway is dark and the laundry room is dark, it is a big chunk of no windows in this part of my house. To make my exact barn door you need,

  • One large piece of plywood
  • Seven 7 ft long 3×1 boards
  • Two 7ft long 1×1 boards
  • Paint, in my case white paint
  • glass
  • glass cutter
  • tile cutter



Also the sliding door hardware. I have provided links to supplies at the bottom of this post.


The first step is cutting the plywood down to size. I used a table saw, measured the sides and cut it to my desired length and width.

How to make a wood door

Next was using the long 3 inch wide and 1 inch thick boards. These are going to be on the left and right sides of the front and back. Cutting 4 down to the length of the plywood.


Once they were cut, I set them in their spot to make sure it was the correct length. I did this with all of the cuts I did. Before anything was attached double check to confirm all is right with size. When I saw they are cut correctly, I used some wood glue. Using enough to make a line of glue along where the board will lay. Use something heavy to set on the freshly glued wood, either clamps or something else. Just make sure the weight is evenly distributed while the glue dries. You can nail in these boards for added insurance all is secure.

Next step is to add the detailing for the bottom and the top of the door. I wanted the bottom to be a little bulkier, so that piece was cut larger using plywood. This gives a visual layered look to the door. All of this is up to personal preference, do what will work for your home and your space.I set the plywood down, measured and cut the size I wanted. Gluing it down and securing it the same way. I do not have a picture of this step, sorry for any confusion. This project was done a while ago and I was not as on top of getting all steps photographed.


There was one portion of this project I was nervous about, cutting the glass I had purchased for the window. I got a glass cutter from the local home improvement store I purchased the glass from. I drew a line using a white board marker, to create the cut line. This way once it is cut I can wipe away the marker line.


Taking a tool oil and smearing it over the line written. This allows the cutter to slide along the glass without breaking it. Then run the glass cutter along the line. Putting enough pressure to make an indentation.


Once that had been outlined. I used a tile cutter press. Setting a towel down under the glass and then the glass on the press. This is to protect the glass. Using the press, lining it up with the cut line. This allowed the cleanest cut. You can snap it by setting one edge of the glass off of the counter and then pressing down. Either way should get the job done.


With the glass cut I now have a template to measure and cut out the door hole for the window.


Using a jig saw, cutting along the drawn out lines. Be sure to keep the surface secure otherwise the saw can slip.  There was some sanding needed on the edges, it all needs to be as clean and smooth as possible for the window to go in.


In order to make the window as secure as possible I needed to make a frame the glass could sit in. I have three small kids who will slam and abuse this door on a daily basis. I purchased 1 inch by 1 inch sized boards. Measuring the length of the glass and cutting them to fit that length.


Then with the newly cut boards, I needed to make a small cut out line to have the glass set in. Being able to wedge the glass within the four boards.


I achieved this by using my table saw, but lowering the blade. Making sure the blade does not go through the size of the board. Once the saw was in place it was as simple as running the board through the saw.


After they were cut I decided to paint them before the glass was in them. This made my life easier by not having to tape up the window once everything was put together. I was careful not to get any paint in the sawed out line. It could effect how the glass sits in there.


Now that I had the hole and glass cut, I needed to add the boards that will sit on the top and bottom of the window on each side of the door. These boards are what the window frame will be attached to. They are also what is giving my barn door the same appearance as my wainscoting. The thin boards will frame in each side of the door and run down the center. Measuring and cutting the boards was really simple and straight forward. I cut them and then used wood glue and some nails to secure them in place.


Once those were in place on both sides. It was time to secure the window. First securing the glass into the frame. With the glass being wedged in, there was no need to nail the frame together. It is all going to be secured by the other boards already attached to the door. Pushing and nudging the frame into place little by little. It was a snug fit, which is what was needed.


Then laying a folded towel under the glass and one on the top of the glass. This is to prevent vibrations while nailing it that could possibly shatter the glass. Probably not necessary, but I was not going to do all of this work to then have the glass break. Using my trusty air nailer I nailed the inside of the frame putting in nails to the outer frame.


With it all done I need to drill in the holes that the sliding hardware will go into. Using the instructions from the hardware I purchased. I measured the holes 150mm in, then one hole 40mm and the other 90mm down. Be sure to check and double check this. These are the things that will hold your door up. Each hardware set will have different measurements and instructions for this part. Follow them closely.  With the hardware already with holes it is important to have them aligned properly.



Then, the barn door is built! It is time to paint it. I decided to go with a standard white, to match the trim and board and batten in my hallway already. I laid the barn door down and then painted two coats of paint, both sides. Be sure to not glop on too much paint. With all of the details there can be a lot of drips and gathered paint in the corners. So be sure to take your time and not slather on the paint too thick.


This door is built and painted, it is time to make it become a DIY sliding barn door. I cut and painted a small board left over from the framing of the window. This will be set on the wall, and the long piece of metal for the door will connect to this.


This board is needed because the metal bar the door slides on has pre-cut hole in it. The holes do not line up to any studs in my wall. With my sturdy door, this is going to be needed to hold a lot of weight. And just nailing the hardware into the drywall will not hold it. So either you got lucky and the pre-cut holes match up to the studs in the wall. Or you will have to do what I did.


I found where the studs were by using a stud finder and running it across the wall. Then marking when the stud finder goes off. The instructions for the hardware stated for the board to be 100mm from the bottom hole that was drilled into the door. So by careful measurements I knew where to screw it in. Before attaching anything also check it with a leveler to confirm it is straight from one side to the other.


With the board up, I marked with a pencil where the metal bar has its holes. Using a drill and drilling in holes into the board and the wall.



Then taking the spacers given for the hardware, set it in front of the hole. This is where a helping hand is needed, bring in an assistant with muscles. The metal bar is heavy and needs to be steady. Setting the bar and specific hole over the spacer. Screw the bar and spacer together. Attaching the metal bar to the spacer and wall. The metal bar should be sitting about 1 inch out of the wall with the spacers separating the bar from the wall.



The sliding roller needs to be attached to the barn door. Almost done! Holding the roller in place and then screwing the roller into the hole. The rollers has specific screws that were just long enough to be a snug fit.


Then simply place the rollers on the metal bar. Hold your breath, let go and see if it stays up. Mine did! I was so excited and relieved. I had visions of the wall being torn down and the door falling and breaking. But, none of that happened. So go me!


farmhouse barndoor hardware

The final step is putting on the handles. I purchased two matching handles that have screw holes to the front. Making it as easy to attach as possible.Setting the handle and marking it with a pencil through the holes. Just to make sure you keep it even while securing it all.

barn door hardware

DIY barn door tutorial

This is it people, my DIY sliding barn door is complete! It slides, it does not fall off of the wall, and it can take a beating from my kids on the daily and come back swinging.. get it… swinging?!!

barndoor and wainscoting

As you can see the barn door and the wainscoting match perfectly. I adore a really rustic look to a home, but my run of the mill home in suburbia does not have that flair. I have added character and wood work in other ways. This wainscoting has been the biggest change. Doing that created a classic feel, and the simplicity of it fits in with my style of home.

barn door details

Here is the door from the laundry room side.


DIY sliding door

barn door with window

I should have put in a little wood putty to cover up those holes. It has always been on my to-do list, unfortunately once a project becomes functional I have a hard time going back for those tiny details.

mudroom and laundry room with barn do

Oh, ahhhh! I can be in the laundry room, someone can be in the mudroom portion and there is still room! These DIY sliding barn doors are pure magic!

how to make sliding barn door

I also removed the doorway trim, because this was originally a regular open and close door it had the center stop. For some reason I cannot find the pictures of that process anywhere. It involved a lot fo sanding down and then painting. The end result is a doorway that looks as if it always housed a sliding door. I will update this post if I come across the pictures I took of that process. I am much more on my A game with this tutorial stuff now. When I made this DIY sliding barn door I was still getting used to things. The nice thing about this project is that the door has held up for about two years now, yes that is how long it took me to share this project here.

mudroom in hallway

It may be functional, but it is so pretty too!


Here is where you can see the busyness of this corner of the home. So much happening with the kids bedrooms, bathroom, closet and command center.

Solutions to a small home, creating a barn door

Hallway with wainscoting and dark wood floors

The barn door makes this space feel just a little bigger, without having to move any walls!

A sliding barn door is created to add function to this small space in a home

I love the addition of the window, it adds such a cute little element and does function great. All of the white wood work in here helps lighten up the dark hallway.

DIY sliding barn door

I know this was a long time coming, this DIY sliding barn door has made many appearances in my pictures, but I have never explained it here. The time has finally come! I have too many ideas, too many projects I do on a weekly basis and not enough time to write it all down. I am working on it though and have a lot of backlogged projects to get out to you all. I am also moving froward with new projects, finishing up my dining room, planning some new wood work ideas and will be sharing my Spring home tour this week! Some of the projects I am working on create more function to my home, like this one does. Others just add the pretty, which is fun to do!

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  1. Reesa Lewandowski says:

    Oh I love your home! Can you come renovate mine to look like yours?! LOL

  2. I love that so much. It’s so beautiful! Barn doors are my favorite look, but I never once thought about doing them myself. I have to get my husband on this!

    • Thank you! I wanted my barn door to match my wainscoting, but also using a regular door and then fitting it to the sliding door hardware is a great option too!

  3. An amazing project Emily I love that barn door and it makes the space look bright and airy – I adore it

  4. I love the look it gives to your space! And barn doors are a great solution to small spaces isn’t it.

  5. Chasity L Boatman says:

    I love this! In Savannah they turn old carriage buildings into homes. I always loved the touch that the original carriage doors gave to the home. Your door looks really similar, but the ease of a sliding door would be convenient for a home.

  6. Rebecca Bryant says:

    That sliding door is so wonderful. I love it. It is gorgeous.

  7. I have always loved this look. I have a small doorway I’d like to try this with leading into our den.

  8. I was just telling my husband this weekend that we need a sliding barn door to our office area. Great tutorial.

  9. I love this look. thanks for sharing this

  10. It came out beautifully! Have you had any problems with it swinging out? I want to make a door like this for our laundry room but we have a fish tank within swinging distance and I don’t trust my children

    • Thank you! We have had this barn door for about 2 years now (it took me a while to share it on the blog) and it has never been knocked off of its hinges. I am not sure on your kids ages, mine are now 9, 7, and 5 so they were little when this was made. Never any problems with it for us.

  11. Oooo I need share this with a friend. She wants to do this for her kitchen, we were just talking about yesterday.

  12. Wow, you guys did some great work. The door looks great and I’m glad it has been working out well for so long!

  13. I love this door! I’m lucky my husband was able to change our door knob! LOL!

  14. I absolutely LOVE this and one of these would go perfectly with the natural decor of our home! Thanks – I will show to the hubby since he is the DIYer in the fam!

  15. I totally adore the look of sliding barn doors. Would love to have a sliding barn door for my office area!

  16. I love the look of this door. I’ve never been a huge fan of pocket doors so this is a great fix.

  17. I love how this turned out! I’m saving this because I am trying to move into a new home – I need some great ideas! Nice work!

  18. You have a beautiful home and you did a great job on this project. The door looks great.

  19. Saving this!!! I am obsessed with barn doors and this is gorgeous!

  20. I have always wanted a sliding barn door! Now I feel empowered and might just start hanging one!

  21. Victoria Heckstall says:

    Hanging a door on a track means you don’t have to rip open and reframe a wall for a pocket door.

  22. I love this! Such an awesome solution for narrow areas with a lot of doors. Love the window too – thats an excellent something extra!

  23. It looks so good great job! I see sliding barn doors is trendy in the diy home world but this looks so classy in your home.

  24. Great job! I love barn doors! My house has too many angles so barn doors wouldn’t work for us.

  25. Wow that door came out looking amazing! I’ve only really tried beauty DIYs, I should challenge myself with a home DIY haha.

  26. This is exactly what we need for our bedroom! The house we just bought has an outdated accordion door. I couldn’t decide what it needed.

  27. Wow, that turned out nice. I love this look too! Very beautiful.

  28. Thank you for sharing such an in-depth tutorial! Some of the sliding barn door tutorials I’ve seen skip many steps, but I appreciate your attention to detail!

  29. I love the barn door and it turned out awesome. I already decided next time that I build a house I will either use pocket doors in the master bathroom (I hate the double doors) and in the laundry room. I might also consider doing barn door too if it matches the design.

  30. This turned out fantastic! I love the decor in your home and your taste, wish I could hire you to do mine for me!

  31. It came out beautifully!! I love barn doors – I’m in the midst of adding one to my laundry room! Love your DIY!

  32. Oh my goodness that looks amazing – I would never have guessed it was handmade it looks expensive.

  33. Jennifer Van Huss says:

    That is an amazing DIY project! Not only is it functional but fashionable as well!! It looks so professional!

  34. Oh wow I am in love with this. I love the look of it. I so need to install one of these for our closet in our bedroom. I am not the handiest person but your guide makes it seem easy enough. I need to convince my husband to give it a try.

  35. This is so cool! My husband and I have been wanting to make one of these for our new home.

  36. That is so cute. Your house is really now a home. I love how organize it is as well! Another inspiration for the readers who are looking for ideas.

  37. I love this! I so want a sliding barn door to hide my blogging studio. It’s such a mess from my photography set up and all the boxes I receive. But, I don’t have a wall to put the sliding part on, just the ceiling. Do you think you can do that?

  38. well dang, you’re very talented! I love sliding barn doors and wish I had one or two or three in my home… thanks for the step by step instructions, this post as well as those HGTV shows always makes me want to tackle home jobs : )

  39. I love this idea. I have been trying to think of a place where a barn door would fit in our house. Great job!

  40. You placed that door in absolutely the perfect location. I can just imagine what a pain it was to have the old door constantly banging the dryer. Very nice tutorial I am pinning it to my farmhouse board.

  41. I wish I was more of a DIY person. I suck at it but this is so cool. Very creative.

  42. That is a great job! We have a sliding door at home. My father did it. We love sliding doors a lot. Great tutorial!

  43. It’s gorgeous! You are way more talented than me. I love how you added the glass. Beautiful.

  44. I have a feeling that we will need to build our own door for the laundry room (it’s an odd size) – I always wanted a glass pane and I never knew how easy it was to install yourself!

  45. Oh wow. I love how it turned out. I’m not that much of DIYer though so I probably would have either suffered or paid somebody to do it for me lol

  46. The article was detailed and easy to understand! I have learned something new from it! I’m a DIY lover and always search for some new ideas to be busy with them. Yours is going to be my present project! Thanks for sharing such super DIY ideas!!!

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