We love barn doors, and of course wanted to incorporate one into our rustic interior. As we built the pantry storage, the idea came along to install a sliding barn door rather than a standard door. Sliding barn doors are not only prettier, but also much easier to install than a regular pocket door.
It definitely makes a statement while being functional at the same time. There are plenty of barn door ideas and decorative hardware available online, so you can customize it to your unique taste and room style.
Depending on the part of America you visit, you will see many barns of different style and color. However, the common element they all share is that they were built with purpose and economy in every farmer’s mind. The typical “X”-shaped design across the doors is there for a reason - it makes the door stronger. The sliding element of the barn doors became popular among farmers because there was no need to swing the large barn door wide open. This prevented cold air from rushing into the room.
Similar to the farmers, we chose the DIY sliding door for its economy of space and simplicity to install. Being functional, it also adds statement and style to the room.
There were no guidebooks or blueprints on how to build barns. The farmers just built what they knew from their ancestors. We improvised with our barn door, too! The sliding door can accommodate any interior design – rustic or contemporary. You can improvise as well! However, if you like our barn door, see our free plan and a video tutorial how to craft this barn door from scratch for less than $300 including hardware kit
Barn door instructions
We built this barn door using 6” x 1’’ pine board.
- Sliding barn door hardware kit (available on eBay)
- Pine board 6” x 1”
- Decorative hardware (door handle, lion head, and nails)
- Paint Brushes
- Dry rag
- Sandpaper #80 and #120
- Belt sander
- Palm sander
Once you have all the materials ready, let’s begin!
1. Take all door opening measurements and make a drawing similar to the one below. Then decide at what distance you want the slider bar to be from the ceiling and figure out the dimensions of the door. Basically, the door should cover the opening, so give an extra 2-3” overlap on each side and you’re good to go.
All the sizes on the drawings below are from our door that we built, and may not fit your door opening.
2. Precut all boards to desired sizes and put the boards together without screwing them first to double-check they are aligning well.
3. Distress the wood. You can find our video tutorial with step-by-step instructions here. You have to distress every board separately before screwing them together.
4. Assemble the door. When assembling the door, make sure to run the screws from the back side to hide them - marked as “X” on the plan below.
5. Stain the door to make it look old. See this video for a step-by-step tutorial on how to “age” the wood for this exact barn door.
7. Using the instructions that come with barn door hardware kit, install the slider and hang the door. We found the instructions that come with the kit very straightforward and easy to follow. We bought ours on eBay for around $100.
Here is the final result:
Life On Lakeshore Drive