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!

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  1. 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!

  2. 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.

    • 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!

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. Jennifer Cole on

    Please tell how to stabilize the bottom of the doors have just installed some but need to fix bottom. Thank you

  7. Brian ODonnell on

    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.



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  10. I love the look of the barn doors. We just moved into our new home. There is an extra room in the house that the house plans say can be a 6th bedroom if a closet is added. The previous owner used it for storage. We would like to divide the room and use half of it for storage and the other half for a home workout room. We love the look of the barn doors, but we need something that goes floor to ceiling. The room is about 18′ long on the front wall. The left wall is about 12′ long and the right wall is about 8′ long. The back wall extends about 12′ down from the left wall, comes forward about 4′, then extends down about 6′ more to meet the left wall. In other words, the left section of the room is about 12′ x 12′, while the right section of the room is about 6′ x 8′. We want to place a divider from where the wall comes forward, so that the left 12′ x 12′ section is our workout room and the right 6′ x 8′ section is the storage area. Fortunately, the placement of the door is such that it opens into what will be the workout area. In fact, the door will open to be against where our divider will go. I thought about using a curtain track system with floor to ceiling curtains to create what looks like a curtain wall. But the other possibility would be to use barn doors. The only problem is that there isn’t a wall to mount the top track to. Is it possible to use barn doors with a ceiling track? We want something that is easily removed so if we sell the house in the future it could still be turned into a 6th bedroom. We are putting new flooring in the space, but we are extending it throughout the entire room so it will already be done and won’t have to be replaced if the room ever gets reused as a bedroom. The doors could certainly slide back against the short wall that extends forward from the back wall. Do you have ideas in how this might work by attaching it to the ceiling? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks so much!


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