Cheap & Easy DIY Barn Door
If you’re familiar with Remodelaholic, you know that we love barn doors… they’re one of our favorites almost every Friday! From the barn door design style (which we’ve built as a dutch door baby gate, and we love as a wall treatment too) to the more commonly known rolling barn door and beautiful rail hardware — there’s a lot to love! So when Chantel sent us her cheap and easy DIY barn door, we were so excited to share it with you:
Read below to meet Crystal and her awesome easy DIY barn door, and be sure to check out these other barn door style posts to get your barn door fill (if there is such a thing).
DIY barn door style wainscoting
how to build a dutch barn door
faux sliding barn door cabinet
or why not hide a TV nook with beautiful barn doors? (via Cote de Texas, featured here with 95+ more ways to hide your television)
Give Chantel a big welcome to Remodelaholic!
Cheap & Easy DIY Barn Door Tutorial
by Chantel from Over-Inspired
We live on a tight budget (thanks a lot, student loans), and most times we have to be creative with how we tackle a big project….like this house thing were working on 🙂 With a lot of patience (and wine, on my part), we’re always able to figure it out.
This blog started out with several other names I had thought of, but never really organized enough to publish it. It came to be known as Over-Inspired due to the fact that I love to watch a DIY show, get up off the couch when the episode is over and take a hammer to my walls…exactly the way I just saw them do it on TV! This method has cost me a lot of money at times, and I would suggest actually researching what you want to do before completely tearing your house apart! Anyway, we hope our journey inspires you and helps you figure out the best way to tackle your projects- big and small!
– Chantel and Mike
Before we even moved into our house, a little over a year ago. There were a few things I knew I HAD to have. Otherwise, what would be the point of having a house??
For example, the first thing I ever purchased for my house (before I even closed on it) was a HUGE hammered copper apron farm sink. I saw it at Home Depot and I HAD to have it. It was a great investment….but it’s really testing my patience because its still in the fancy wooden crate it arrived in (which I was super impressed with, by the way), in the bottom floor of our townhouse with all the other things that haven’t been unpacked yet because there is no place to put them yet. Yes, I know I’ve lived here for over a year, but don’t judge me. Living through a full-on renovation of a complete home is nothing like moving and unpacking all your stuff. There is no reason to unpack anything until we have a place for things because otherwise we will just be moving things from room-to-room all the time. So, we live on Floor 2, we started renovations on Floor 3 (so nothing unpacked up there), and Floor 1 has a garage and bonus room full of things we have no place for yet.
Anyway, back on (barn door) track- another thing I knew I MUST have was a wooden sliding barn door. I had to have it so much that I planned a room around it. It might seem obvious, but you have to plan enough room for a door to be able to slide open. Since our house was built in 1991, everything was very compartmentalized – not like the open floor plans that are all the rage now. We are doing our best to open up the floorplan here (and I will have plenty of posts about how we are managing that in a 15-ft wide, 3 story building), but at some point you have to stick with what you’ve got.
WHERE, OH WHERE, TO PUT A BARN DOOR…
The perfect place for this in our house was our master bedroom because: 1) it has vaulted ceilings- plenty of room to put a tall door and still have room for the sliding door hardware to go above it (and have even more room above it on the wall so it didn’t look crammed in- the rest of the ceilings in our house are only 8′ so the door would have to be smaller if we did it in another room); 2) There was enough wall space for the door to be able to slide open all the way to one side (when you’re planning this, make sure there is enough room on the wall for the door to be able to slide all the way open without hitting any obstructions, and that there is enough length on the wall for the entire door to go over- keep air vents on the wall in mind!!). There is literally nowhere else in our house a door like this would fit, so it is important to plan well before you dive into this project.
Our door opening was around 43″, and we decided to do a 55″ door. How did I come up with 55″ wide? I knew I wanted the door to cover the opening, but even more than that- we’ve had a lot of complicated projects lately and I wanted this one to be simple. So I found the 1″x6″ planks of wood I wanted to use at Home Depot, and decided that 10 is a good, simple number. 5.5″ wide x 10= 55,” but you can make a sliding barn door any size you want. We just had to make sure there was more than 55″ on the left side of the doorway (the direction I wanted the door to slide) so that the door could open all the way. We have about 30″ extra to the left of the 55″ that the door would open.
Another option if you have a more central door opening on a wall is to do two smaller barn doors that come together in the middle- in this case we could have done two 27.5″ (5.5″ x 5) that came together in the middle. I didn’t have enough room on the right side of the doorway to do this (I originally planned it this way and it failed, if you couldn’t already tell).
Sidenote: Another thing that might be obvious to some people, but maybe not to someone new to construction, DIY, projects (and specifically new to the use of one by whatever’s) is that wood is not the actual size it says it is. 1″ x 6″ really means 0.75″ x 5.5.” I cannot explain this to you. I have just come to accept the fact that nothing is what it says it is when it comes to lumber and millwork, and I have memorized the crazy way this is done, plus I bring a measuring tape with me when I buy it to avoid mishaps and lots of tears in my chardonnay glass later. I’m sure Google can better explain this, but it won’t ease my frustration so I’m not worrying about WHY??! anymore.
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STEP 1: THE SEARCH FOR SLIDING BARN DOOR HARdWARE
The first step I took in my barn door endeavor was to find the sliding door hardware. I searched for a long time. I was initially SHOCKED by the price of a set at normal stores. So, as I have learned to do, I typed “DIY sliding barn door hardware” into a search. This method works for anything that you need a solution to: typing “DIY” and whatever you need to tackle into Google together WILL give you what you are looking for. Probably many. In the words of Barenaked Ladies, “It’s all been done before…” and someone has probably blogged about it.
There are many ways to make your own hardware. Some looked easier than others…..but by the time I added up the materials needed to make a set (and I wanted two sets, of course- because, as Mike would point out, I always have to do everything BIG and be difficult), I figured there had to be somewhere I could buy these things pre-made.
Enter my trusty, old friend, eBay. The standard size for the hardware seemed to be 6ft, and of course they come in many other sizes. After an intensive search, I was able to buy 2-6.6 ft sets of hardware for $110 and free shipping- TOTAL!! There are a ton of eBay listings for this hardware, but here is one to get your search started — and if that doesn’t work, try searching 6FT Black American Style Antique Barn Wood Sliding Door Hardware Track Set or something similar.
This is the set I purchased and the ends of the track are flat, so they are super easy to put together if you do need more than one set, or longer than 6 feet.
So, once you have planned your door location and size, and found your hardware, you can move on to the fun part: Making the door. (I’m usually being sarcastic, but this time I actually mean it- it’s fun! Especially compared to some of the pain-in-the-ass projects we have suffered through before)
Once we found our bargain sliding barn door hardware, we had to figure out how we were going to make this great big rustic looking barn door I wanted. We planned our door to be 55″ wide and 8′ tall. We picked 8′ tall because we had the room for it on our wall, and we wouldn’t have to cut the wood…still trying to keep this project simple and easy.
Tongue and Groove Revelations
Again, I googled “DIY Barn Door,” and found tons of helpful blogs, tutorials, instructions, and ideas on how we could do this. Most of these included gluing several pieces of 1″x6″ pieces together and then clamping, tying, or using any method to get these pieces to stick together, and letting them dry this way. This seemed like a total pain to me, and then I had a stroke of genius: tongue and groove wood. If you google and pinterest what you want to do until you are blue in the face, you will come up with the best way for you to do it before you actually lose your sanity! So, this little idea is what makes this the cheapest and easiest way to create a big, beautiful, rustic, expensive looking barn door….without spending that much money!!
We were giddy when we got to Home Depot and saw 1) how nice the tongue and groove wood looked (and it is actually very sturdy once put together); 2) how light it would be compared to using other types of wood (we didn’t want it to be super heavy on the track); and 3) how EASY this was going to be!!!! Mike was looking forward to a project for once, instead of dreading what landmines were waiting for us along the way.
Materials for building a Tongue and Groove Barn Door
Here is what we used to make our barn door:
– 10 pieces of tongue and groove pine, 8 ft tall (or however tall you want it- it comes in 6 ft, 8 ft and 12 ft at Home Depot. We used this one, which I was estatic to find because it was about $5 per board. I also like this board because it has a beadboard-like pattern on one side.)
– 1×6 Trim pieces (For our design, we used 2- 1″x6″x8″ pine boards, and 1- 1″x6″x12″ pine board, which can be found at Home Depot here and here.
-Wood glue (We used this.)
– Clamps to attach the trim while it dries (Harbor Freight has good ones cheap.) This photo shows various random clamps we had to use:
– Saw- if you need to make any cuts. If you don’t want to make the cuts yourself, Home Depot and other stores will make simple cuts for a minimal charge. (we used our table saw)
*Note: If you have the store cut your wood for you, make sure to cut a groove off one board and a tongue off another board so that you can use those pieces for the sides of the door.
Assembling the Door…Also Short and Simple
It took us only 2 days to make the door, and the only reason it took that long was because of the time it took to let the trim dry on the door. The glue says it sets within 60 minutes, and cures within 24 hours. We wanted to play it safe and waited the full 24 hours to move the door.
First things first, we had to have a place to assemble this massive door. Mike used two wooden sawhorses we have had for a while, and we have gotten a TON of use out of them. If you do a lot of projects (or plan on doing a lot in the future), you can make a small investment and get two of these for less than $40. We use scrap pieces of plywood over them to make a table. But, any flat surface will do- just make sure you have enough room for the size of the assembled door, and that its in a place where you can leave it for a couple of days without needing to move it. We also put plastic under our makeshift table because the glue can drip a little.
Our makeshift sawhorse table:
When we got our materials home and carried it up our TWO flights of stairs (this part always sucks), we laid the pieces of tongue and groove wood out on our sawhorse table to see what side we wanted to use and what it was going to look like…..like this:
To make the sides of the door look like normal pieces of wood, Mike cut the groove off one board and the tongue off another board. We laid these pieces on each end before we started gluing the boards together.
The next step was to put glue in the groove on the board, one board at a time, and secure it into the tongue on the next board. This was super easy with two people- having one person on each end of the boards helps line them up easier, and then pressing them together is easier too. We found after a couple of boards that if we stopped the glue about 6 inches from each end, the glue wouldn’t drip out at the ends.
Adding Trim to the Door
Chantel, thank you so much for sharing!
Remodelaholics, be sure to pay Chantel a visit at Over-Inspired to say hello!
Thanks so much for checking out my Barn Door Tutorial! It was one of our favorite projects and turned out great! I’d be happy to answer any questions you have 🙂
Thanks so much for being our guest, Chantel!
You guys inspire me.
I want to make sure I understand this correctly… You didn’t use any nails or screws? Just glue? I’m excited to start mine.
This is beautiful! Can you please share a picture of what the back of the door looks like please? And, if you did anything special on the back to also make it look finished from the other end. Thanks and blessings! Best tutorial I have found ????
I was wondering that as well
I absolutely love this idea. I too have seen the horrific high prices for barn doors and your idea is way more cost efficient for me!! One question, was the door heavy once it was completed and hung? I’m wanting the look and feel of the barn door.
It was very sturdy, but not super heavy. I loved how the tongue and groove turned out because it stays together really well and isn’t so heavy that you will have difficulty hanging it. The price is great too!
Are the quality of these tongue and groove boards good enough to stain instead?
You were right about going crazy looking for doors styles and plans until i came unto your blog love it and guess what im making two doors for my shed thanks
Yay! We’d love to see pictures when you’re done, Donita.
We followed your instructions to create two 40 x 86 inch doors. Unfortunately, after a few days, the doors began cupping lengthwise. We put weights on the highest point to remedy the cupping. This helped for a few days and then the cupping returned. The doors are so curved at the edges that they no longer close properly. After reading many internet sites, they indicated that tongue and groove boards should not be glued since this prevents movement in wood which is required so that cupping does not occur. We now have to replace these doors since we cannot remedy the cupping.
I read the same thing about not gluing the the tongue and groove. Did you paint your door or stain it. I ask because I was wondering if painting the door on all six sides seals it enough so the moisture level in the wood stay consent which I would think would keep it from cupping.
Was there ever an answer to the cupping issue when these are glued?
I am new to trying wood projects. I’m in the middle of doing some small stuff with pallets. Eventually I want to dry this barn door on our laundry room. Right now we have one of those bead like curtains and only pull it over the door when company comes for a party or dinner like company. Anyhow we have a very old house that was built onto. We have trim around the door way. Will the trim be in the way if I build this type of barn door or better yet how do I make sure the trim won’t be in the way when I hang the barn door sliding mechanism?
Did anyone figure out why the doors keep cupping and what to do to prevent this issue?
Many times when a board warps or cups after it is purchased is when it is not dried out enough in the kiln before it is used and allowed to get infused with moisture (or high humidity) before painting (sealing). T&G shouldn’t warp or cup on this type of installation. When you buy take them home and get started. If you have to store, stack them flat and weight them down. May want to use the flat 1×6 on BOTH sides if you live in a high humidity area or use 2×6 T&G. Hope this helps.
We followed these plans as well and made 3 large, beautiful barn doors that now have to be replaced because they are so badly warped. Wish I had not glued them. 🙁
Hi guys and guys,
The above is pretty much how we did our sliding barn door. Glued together the tongue and groove but we used 2×6 trim around door with a couple of 2×4’s in the middle for our design. Difference is worried about stability we attached the trim with our nail gun…quick and easy. I had already purchased a nail gun figuring we would need for all our DIY future projects lol! Door is hung and we love it. Do not see cupping or warping yet.
What did you use for the floor track? I see many of the kits have a “T” but that requires a groove cut in the bottom of the door. Any additional details you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks !
I’ve read plenty of reviews that say warping is an issue. Did these doors warp? It seem that a lot of people on the thread asked the question with no direct answer.
Love this look going to try and make it