DIY: Sliding Barn Door

What a week. Back to school and home improvement are in full swing. I’m a big fan of this project because it means we FINALLY have a bathroom (see bathroom reno here) door in the master bedroom. It took us some time to commit to the barn door but I’m very happy with the results and the convenience of the sliding door versus traditional door. We did choose to build and design our own door after pricing out several options. Hopefully this will inspire you to tackle some long awaited projects and design choices.

Part 1- Building the door
I headed to Lowe’s with Calvin and our youngest. We had a rough sketch of a door design and we needed to check out the wood selection for possibilities. We chose “whitewood” 1x10x10 boards which we cut to 82 inches long. The instructions from National Hardware’s hardware kit (more on the actual kit below) were good but we still took our time measuring and thinking through where the sliding track would drop the door and the distance we wanted between the bottom of the door and the floor. So basically, to get your length you measure from the hanging slider to the floor and take an inch and a half out for your floor clearance. We chose additional boards (2x6s) for our cross pieces. These were cut to 36 inches long. A trip down the hardware aisle produced a modern/rustic handle and I quickly chose a weathered gray stain by Rust-oleum that I’ve become completely obsessed with.

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Building the door was a very smooth process. I laid the boards out on a large table applying beads of Liquid Nails Wood between each board.

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I then attached the cross boards, after measuring the placement area, with wood screws. The wood screws should enter through the back of the door to ensure a clean look on the front. It is advisable to use a clamp or some other device while the glue dries, but I’m a short cut person and decided to quickly screw in the cross boards to hold everything together while the glue dried. It worked out great, I’m not sorry.

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I did not screw in the middle cross board because it needed to be stained and have a handle added before becoming a permanent part of the door. I traced the location and set to work with the stain and drilling holes for the handle.

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Once that portion was completed I began to work on staining the entire door. The Rust-Oleum stain I chose is a one coat stain, and it does indeed work very well for that method. However, I like to add details to the staining process. I brushed on the stain and rubbed it in. Then I used my sander to round the edges of the cross boards and top of the door. I also gave the entire door a quick pass with the sander and then rubbed another coat of stain into certain parts of the door to achieve the character I wanted. Once the door was finished I screwed in the center cross piece with handle attached. (I also cleaned off the stain residue with finger nail polish remover… it’s a messy process ya’ll)

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And then there was a door. A modern/rustic barnwood door. Once the stain was dry (1 hour!!) I applied 2 coats of clear polyurethane giving 4 hours between coats and lightly sanding as well.

Part 2- Installation

Installation was fairly painless. National Hardware provided a great kit with instructions for this project. It includes the track, rollers and stopper hardware necessary for a quick and easy installation. You can also combine two sets to create double-sliding 3 ft. doors, which we did not need.

National Hardware

I stained a header (National Hardware recommends a 2×6) to install above the molding around our bathroom door. The track for the rolling hardware is screwed into this beam. This provides a stylistic touch and security to the door system. Make sure you have your level for this step as you don’t want a door that slides open or shut on it’s own. Calvin and I took turns hanging with kids and working on installation. My hair just screams Saturday morning project.

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Once the beam and track were installed we added the rolling hardware to the door. They provide a template that makes drilling the holes into the door really simple. After installing the rollers the door slid easily onto the track and we screwed the guides into the floor, very simple.

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Conclusion: If you’ve been wanting to do this project but unsure of the cost and difficulty level, you have nothing to worry about. Building the door is easy (do all your measuring and math before you leave the house) and with two people, installation was a breeze. I don’t have any other hardware kits to compare against but the National Hardware system had clear instructions and the pieces were all sorted and labeled nicely. For two people, I would say this project would take about 3 hours. This doesn’t include the paint drying and the interruptions from kids who are constantly hungry and wanting to help hammer and drill things. Total cost for this project is $255

Our Material List (based on 36″x80″ door opening):

4- 1x10x10 boards cut to 82 in long
3- 36 in. 2×6 boards
1- 72 in 2×6 header board
20- wood screws (for door)
20- drywall screws (f0r header)
1- can of Rust-Oleum one coat stain in weathered gray
Liquid Nails for Wood
Paint brushes and old t-shirts for stain
National Hardware Rolling Door hardware kit
Door Materials: $85
Hardware: $170

 

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: The folks at National Hardware kindly provided the sliding barn door hardware for this review. As always, the opinions are my own.

 

About the author

Erica

Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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