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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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?!!
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.
Here is the door from the laundry room side.
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.
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!
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.
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.
The barn door makes this space feel just a little bigger, without having to move any walls!
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.
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!