DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors

These simple-to-build DIY sliding barn doors are an easy way to bring character to your home. We used pine and a few household tools to make these beautiful and functional hand-crafted doors. 

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

Let’s talk about barn doors, shall we? We’ve all seen these beauties around the blogland for a while. And so you might think that these are old and outdated, but really, in the right situation, a sliding barn door provides great flexibility while giving your home tons of character.

I recently built two rather large barn doors for my friend Emily as a part of her Dining Room to Play Room Makeover last week. And they were super simple. She looked around trying to find already made doors that would work in her space, but her doorway was almost 10 feet wide, so finding the right size and number of doors proved to be impossible.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

So, we opted to build them instead. The total cost for just the wood for the doors was right at $175. So, it’s not the cheapest DIY project, but they are quite large.

We wanted them to slide all the way open, while covering the doorway completely when they were closed. I’ve given the supplies we used for one door. If you’re going to build two, then you’ll double some items where needed.

Lumber supplies {we used high-quality pine}:

5 – 1×12 @ 7 feetenough to cover the width of your door opening; and if your ceilings are taller than 8 feet you’ll want a longer length
4 – 1×4 @ 8 feetenough to frame your door
1 - 1×4 @ 10 feetyou’ll want this piece to be long enough to span diagonally across your door

Hardware supplies:

1 – 3/4 inch galvanized pipecut to the width of your opening, plus however far you want your door to slide past the opening. Have the hardware store thread the cut pipe on both ends so that you can screw it into the 90° elbows. Be sure to allow room for the elbows and floor flanges on both end.
2 –  floor flanges
2 – 1 inch nipples
2 – 90° elbow
2 – casters {non-swiveling}
2-3 – eye hooks {large enough for your pipe to fit through}

**you’ll want all of your hardware to have the same size opening so that they all fit together. Ours were all 3/4 inch.

Tools & other Materials:

Miter saw or circular saw
Kreg Jig {see instructions for an alternative if you don’t own a Kreg Jig}
Screw driver
Nail gun & brad nails
Sander and sand paper
Wood glue
Various screws

Like I said, building the barn doors were really simple. Although, I highly recommend having two people help if you’re building doors this big.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

First we lined up all of our 1×12 boards and screwed them together using my Kreg Jig and wood glue. {If you don’t have a Kreg Jig, then I highly recommend one for any and all wood building projects. I’ve used mine here and here.} If you don’t have a Kreg Jig, then I would glue all of the board together and use a couple of pieces of wood to attach across all of the 1×12′s on the back of the door.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

Then we cut down the 1×4 boards for the frame using my miter saw and attached them with my nail gun.

In order to cut the diagonal piece, I laid it down on the door and used a straight edge to draw a line where I wanted to cut it. I don’t do angles and all that mathematical jazz, so I just had to figure it out by looking at it.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

Once I had my line drawn where I needed to cut, I placed the board on my miter saw and tried different degrees before I found the right one. I used a 30.6 degree angle, which was marked on my miter saw, so evidently it’s a popular one. See the red dotted line on my miter saw? That’s it! It’s such a technical process … ha!

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

Even though I’m not an angle expert, the diagonal cuts were perfect and the boards fit like a glove. Love it when a sketchy plan comes together. :)

Once the boards were all cut and nailed in, we spackled the holes and joints. And once they were dry, I sanded them down with my orbital sander.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

Emily painted the doors the same color as the gray in the playroom: Baby Elephant from Clark+Kensington. There are so many options, though, when it comes to finishing the barn door. You would stain it, paint the door one color and the trim another. Emily and her husband are planning to add handles to the doors, but again, there are tons of handle options that you can use to finish the doors.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

OK, now to install the doors. It was quite the task for two girls. But we did it!

For the sliding system, we were inspired by this Sliding Door tutorial from Vintage Revivals.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

Before we moved the doors inside, we screwed in the eye hooks to the tops of the doors, and the casters to the bottom. In the above picture you’ll see how I didn’t screw the eye hook into the very far end of the door. I gave plenty of room for the door to slide all the way to the wall even though the pipe doesn’t extend to the wall. Keep this in mind when attaching the eye hooks.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

And then once the doors were inside, we threaded the eye hooks through the long pipe. And then attached the pipe to the walls.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

And you’re done! See, I told you it was simple. :) You can now enjoy your very own custom sliding barn doors.

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors |

Have you ever made barn doors?

Would you tackle a project like this?

Where would you put barn doors in your home?

Don’t miss out on the behind-the-scenes fun!

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  1. Jessica says

    love these!

    Question: when sliding the doors, doesn’t the metal eye hook rub against the metal rod making a metal on metal sound? My skin is crawling just thinking about metal on metal. Is it noisy?

    • says

      Ummm, if I remember correctly, they do make a bit of a sound. But I don’t think they plan on moving them back and forth very often. And I don’t think it was that bad. :)

    • Susan_B says

      I think I would use pre-made barn door hardware rather than the pipe. There’s a lot of different types available…


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