» DIY: Sliding Barn Door

Our bonus room renovation project has been a long time coming. It was the room where we stacked stuff, kept the dog kennel and even stored our recycling containers. When friends came to visit I generally tried to keep them far away from the dreaded bonus room. In an effort to lighten up this room we recently added shiplap and painted it white. This move started a series of additional improvements to the room and I’m happy to report we are super close to an entire room reveal. The latest addition to the room, today’s feature, is a sea-glass colored sliding barn door. Here’s how we did it!

Part 1- Building the door

This is the second sliding barn door in our house. This time around, we searched Google and Pinterest for design ideas and got quite overwhelmed with the options. Our good friend Andrew, gave us a simple base plan and promised we’d love it. So we took his word and started with a 1/2″ birch plywood (4′ x 8′) sheet cut to the door size we needed. From there we were able to customize the finishes on the door easily. The instructions from National Hardware’s sliding barn door kit (more on the actual kit below) guide you on what that final size needs to be. We bought additional 1″ x 6″ pieces of various lengths for our trim. Yes, I know. My sketches are clearly amazing, I’ll make sure to start signing them like Joanna Gaines. Certainly someone will make a published book out of them one day.

Building the door was a very smooth process. I laid the birch plywood board out in the living room, I chose to work inside due to the chilly weather, and measured to determine what cuts I would need for the frame. This went quickly and I then used a combination of liquid nails and screws to attached the framing to the birch plywood. The dogs were, as usual, very curious and tried to lend a paw through the process.

I then attached the diagonal cross board, after measuring the placement area, with wood screws and a bit of liquid nails for good measure. After the boards were screwed in I immediately began to apply the first coat of paint. I chose an economical chalk paint by valspar for this project and I was really impressed by the quality compared to my typical Annie Sloan choice. The seaglass color was absolutely perfect!


Once the first coat was dry I took a hammer, crow bar and other various items and basically beat the junk out of the pretty door I just created. I really didn’t want a shiny new door in this room and I searched half of Nashville looking for something old. Unfortunately the size we needed just couldn’t be found. So I improvised and got a work-out while I “distressed” the door. After the door was good and beat up I mixed a gray and brown stain with Annie Sloan wax and rubbed the door down. This added a gritty look and highlighted the dinged-up areas nicely.


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. They also offer a door handle and pull that we did end up using. The templates included take the guess work out of drilling the holes into the door.

I painted a header (National Hardware recommends a 1×6) to install into the new shiplap. 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 managing kids and working on installation. As you can see the kids kept busy in the kitchen with snacks and mess-making while we worked.


Once the beam is up, the track is bolted securely into the beam. The beam and track went up easily and the door slid effortlessly onto the track.

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, including the door creation. 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 39″x83″ door opening):

(1) 4′ x 8′ cabinet grade board
(2) 1″ x 6″ in. 10′ board
(3) 72 in 2×6 header board
(20) wood screws (for door)
(20) drywall screws (f0r header)
1- can of valspar chalk paint
Liquid Nails for Wood
Paint brushes and old t-shirts for stain/paint
National Hardware Satin Nickel Sliding Barn Door Kit
Door Materials: $85
Hardware: $170

Tools That Will Help:

Drill
Saw (we used a table saw)
Hammer and Crowbar (for distressing)
Socket Wrench
Drill Bits

 

 

 

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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