How To Build Barn Doors

At last! The 2nd half of our Barn Door project is up for those of you looking to recreate this look on a budget. For the first half- the Barn Door TRACK Tutorial, go here. 

The following is just the tutorial for the doors.

Click here to view this image full size.

At Home Depot (or Lowes), buy 11 1″x4″x14′ pieces of pine. Have them cut them in half for you, leaving you with 22 1″x4″x7′ pieces. Having them do this for you will make the pieces easier to get home in your car or SUV.

If you don’t have a table saw, have them cut 3 of the 1″x4″x7′ pieces in half lengthwise, leaving you with 6 1″x2″x7′ pieces. If you have a table saw, you can do this yourself.

Take one 1″x2″x7′ piece and one 1″x4″x7′ piece and stack them next to each other on top of a 1″x4″x7′ piece that has been coated in glue. About 2″ of the 1″x4″x7′ piece will be hanging off the bottom 1″x4″x7′ piece. (That bottom piece will be serving as the frame of the door at the front).

Screw the 2 pieces on top into the frame piece below. (The point here is that you’re screwing these pieces in from behind the door so you can’t see it from the front.) Refer to diagram (the yellow squiggly lines represent the frame pieces covered in glue).  Do the same thing for the other side of the door.

Flip the end pieces over, with the frame side up. Line the rest of the vertical pieces up between them according to the picture, with a narrow piece in the middle.

Measure the distance between your two vertical frame pieces to come up with the length of the 3 other horizontal frame pieces. These should be between 19 1/8″ and 19 3/8″. The measurement will vary based on how accurate your cuts were and natural variation of the wood, so it’s important you measure to see what precise measurement you’ll need.

Where you lay your middle, horizontal piece is up to you. We have ours a little off center, and it’s 34″ from the bottom of the door to the base of the middle, horizontal piece. That’s really just a stylistic choice.

Be extra careful to make sure your vertical boards are lined up and square, then apply glue to the back of each horizontal frame piece, place on top of the vertical pieces and let it dry completely (overnight). After it’s all dry, the glue should be strong enough to hold the pieces of the doors together enough for you to carefully flip the entire door over (get some help with this), and then screw the vertical pieces into the horizontal pieces from the back.

After this, putty up the holes in the back and sand them down, then give the doors whatever sort of treatment or stain you desire.

We’ve also illustrated how to affix the DIY Barn Door Track that we posted last year to these doors. If this is confusing to you or you want more information, refer back to our original DIY Barn Door Track Tutorial. We’ve detailed how to hang the doors over there, too.

Please let me know if you have any questions, but please leave them in the blog comment section and not the Facebook comment section since I don’t receive notifications for those.

A million apologies it took so long to get this up. Per usual, Scott is a perfectionist and wanted it to be perfect before we published it. He’s so fantastic at illustrating stuff like this. I hope you find the tutorial helpful!

  • Good Girl Gone Green - WOW! Love it Jill!ReplyCancel

  • Linds - I’ve pinned a few barn door projects on Pinterest but none of them break it down very well. I really want to do this for our hallway door to our bedroom, and this makes it seem feasible. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Thanks, Linds! Let us know if you do it! We’d love to see pictures.ReplyCancel

  • Meg Griswold - Question for you, is there any track along the bottom, or can a curious toddler push the door forward and have it swing on the top bar? I hope I articulated that well, I feel like my words are failing me.ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Hey Meg! Sorry I’m just now getting back to you about this. Click on over to the original track tutorial and we tell you how we use a C channel along the back of the doors to secure the bottom of them to the wall. I totally know what you’re talking about, and it was a huge concern for me!ReplyCancel

  • Pascale - Question for you…as I’m thinking of taking on a similar project…
    How big was your door opening? And how wide did each of your barn doors end up being?ReplyCancel

  • rayrod - This is gorgeous! I work at CNN and we’re looking to showcase some unique DIY decor projects — interested? Would love for you to submit photos from your project here: http://ireport.cnn.com/topics/944107ReplyCancel

  • Tiffany Babcock Neary - Open yer BARN DOORS boys!ReplyCancel

  • Gary R - Thanks for the detailed instructions. I am in love with the finish you applied. Can you provide any additional info on how you achieved that finish? It is exactly what I want for mine. Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Crystal Van Wyhe - Going to do this. Thx so much for the tutorials!ReplyCancel

  • Akp - These look fabulous! Can you tell me a little more…How big is your closet opening and how big are each door? What stain did you use?ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Cole - Please tell how to stabilize the bottom of the doors have just installed some but need to fix bottom. Thank you
    ReplyCancel

  • Brian ODonnell - Love the door and been contemplating making one myself for a while and after reading I am finally going to pull the trigger rather than paying over a grand to order one. I have a couple questions for you. My door is going to be 8′ by 42″ so I am just buying 8′ long pieces. Here are my questions.

    Was there a reason you had the 1×4’s cut into 1×2’s rather than just buying 1×2’s or was that just to save some money?

    Did you pre-drill before screwing in the screws?

    I have air tools, do you recommend using screws over a finish or brad nailer?

    Did you use any clamps when leaving it overnight?

    I was possibly thinking about using 1×6’s and 1×3’s rather than 1×2’s and 1×4’s since my door is larger, do you think that is a bad idea for any reason?

    Any other suggestions, I am open ears. Thanks again for the help and your blog post and again your door came out amazing.

    Thanks,

    BrianReplyCancel

    • Jill - Hey! Let me pass these questions on to my husband, and we’ll get back to you. Thanks!ReplyCancel

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