How to Build a Sliding Barn Door

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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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com


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 And so you might think that these are old and outdated, but really, in the right situation, a sliding barn door provides great flexibility while giving your home tons of character.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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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.

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Tools Needed for DIY Barn Doors

Lumber supplies {we used high-quality pine}:

  • 5 – 1×12 @ 7 feet – enough 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 feet – enough to frame your door
  • 1 – 1×4 @ 10 feet – you’ll want this piece to be long enough to span diagonally across your door

Hardware supplies:

  • 1 – 3/4 inch galvanized pipe – cut 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 (make sure you buy the same size opening as your pipe)
  • 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:

How to Build a Sliding Barn Door

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com

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 | TheTurquoiseHome.com
DIY Simple Sliding Barn Doors | TheTurquoiseHome.com

Have you ever made barn doors?

Would you tackle a project like this?

Where would you put barn doors in your home?

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33 Comments

  1. Informative guide on build a sliding barn door. I found this post very useful and thanks for your good share.

  2. Hooray!!😊You are a smart cookie.I love it.I m goning to use your idea to make my kitchen cubards over stove sliders.I and my husband keep hitting our heads on cubard doors.I ,we live in Idaho.So much dust.Open shelves is NOT an option. I dont need a bottem track ,we will use a light weight wood but thick enough for the eye screws.Bless you.smart lady.😉Jackson.

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  4. Ummm, last I knew spackling compound is for sheet rock–walls!! NOT wood!! You would want to use wood filler for filling in and touching up wood.

    1. That makes sense. I’ve just always used the same thing for both. Well, I say that, but I’ve used wood filler before and spackling and haven’t noticed a difference in final product? Hmmmm …

  5. I love it! I’m going to do this in my basement but I can’t seem to find a poor long enough! How long is your pipe and where did you buy it? I need about 14 feet of pipe! Is that even possible? Thanks!

  6. I’m curious if you think the eye hooks up top would be strong enough to hold up a barn-door window covering that is roughly 3ftX3ft since there won’t be anything holding it up off the ground like the casters. I’m trying to find an inexpensive way to build this to cover a little window plant box built into a strange place in the new house we are about to move into. There is a wood burning stove right in front of it making it very hard to access and the stove pipe/chimney thing is about 6 inches from the front of the window making putting shutters there impossible. I want to do a barn door type thing to slide to the side to open it and thought this idea is genius but I’m worried the wood would be too heavy to just hang from them. Thanks!

    1. I think it would hold if you can screw into studs. In my mind 3×3 doesn’t sound like it would be too heavy. And maybe look for some thinner boards like 3/4 of an inch thick. That would cut down on the weight.

  7. 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?

    1. 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. 🙂

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

    3. Yes! I was reading this post to see what her solution was to the rubbing sound. I did this for a door to the laundry in my basement. It makes a horrible loud sound, and I go in and out a lot! I have oiled it and it runs smoother for a little while, but I’d like to find a more permanent solution. Any suggestions?

  8. I so love this! I wish I had a space in my home to put a barn door. This is a fabulous tutorial, thank you for sharing at Redoux, I am featuring tomorrow afternoon!

  9. awesome!! i’m in total love with these doors. is it weird to be in love with barn doors? I’m pinned for (hopefully) someday installment in a someday house!! ♥

  10. These barn doors are so gorgeous! Love the design and color too.
    I only wish I had a large enough doorway for this!!

  11. I love this system. It is also nice that you don’t have to have your wall supporting all the weight of the doors since the casters are there! They look great!

  12. Thank you so much for posting such a clear tutorial on how to hang barn style doors. I want to put one in my basement but haven’t done it yet because I’m intimidated by the project. You helped break it down into manageable pieces. Pinned.

  13. OK. I am totally blown away by this project!! Simple… yeah, right! I cry ‘uncle’, ‘calf rope’, ‘I give up’… trying to be this awesome! 😉

  14. Laura, these are amazing! So when are you coming over to my house to DIY a barn door with me?! You have some seriously lucky friends!!!

      1. I used these Ideas to make a sliding cover apparatus for my work trailer. I might make a door out of it someday too

          1. Hi Bobbee,

            You can send them to TheTurquoiseHome (at) gmail (dot) com. I’d love to see!

            Laura

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