How to Build a Sliding Barn Door: A Guide

Sliding barn doors are all the rage. They work with any style of the home but are exceptional when looking for a more rustic or country homestyle. If you look online for premade doors, you probably gasp at the cost. 

You don't have to break the bank to create the perfect barn door for your home. All you need is sliding barn door hardware and this guide that will tell you everything you need to do to build your perfect sliding barn door. 

Consider Your Options 

Barn doors come in many shapes and sizes. Every door type has a base of five or six wood panels pushed together. The amount of panels depends on the size of the space you need to cover. 

One of the simplest door styles is all the panels lined up with one plank on the top and bottom holding it together. Other styles include having a piece of wood diagonal across the door, two planks in the middle, or an X-shape on the bottom half. 

You also have options for how much DIY is involved in the process. We recommend purchasing a hardware kit. This kit can reduce the stress of finding individual pieces that work well together. 

Some kits have wood included. These kits tend to be more expensive.

What You Need

If you are going to DIY a barn door, here are some of the things you'll need to get the job done: 

  • Router
  • Brush knot cup
  • 3/8 inch rabbeting bit
  • Angle grinder
  • General DIY tools
  • Barn Door Hardware Kit
  • Wood stain of your choice
  • 40 count 1-1/2 inch wrought head nails
  • 12 count (or more) 1x6 8 ft No. 2 pine boards
  • Knot cup brush for the grinder

Make sure you get all of your supplies ahead of time. You should also measure everything to ensure you have the right amount of tools. 

Measure Your Space

Barn doors are supposed to extend one inch on either side of the door. Measure the length and width of the area to know how many boards you need and how long they should be.

When you purchase the hardware, the manufacturer will also list height requirements. 

If you want the door to slide completely open, make sure one of the sides of your opening is the same size as your door. When you slide the door, there's enough room for the door to open all the way. You will want your hardware kit to extend the full length the door will slide. 

Mount the Track to the Wall

Before you mount your track, install a wood backing on the wall where the track will be. This lets you install the mounting screws for the track anywhere. The more flexibility you have, the more the track and the barn door will be supported. 

If there is not a board and you are just putting the track directly into the wall, mark the studs and move the track openings to where those studs are. 

Your kit might come with spacers that will keep the track away from the wall. If it does not, we recommend purchasing them so when the door moves it doesn't scrape your wall. 

Depending on how you mount your track and the height of the door, the size of your spacers will vary. 

The height of the track will depend on how tall your door is.

Install a Rolling Guide

Rolling guides help keep the door from swinging out of place. L-shaped metal brackets will mount to your floor and slide nicely into a groove at the bottom of the door. 

If you don't have a groove in your door, there are many other roller guides you can easily install that don't require one. 

Build the Door

Cut rabbets on the edges of every door except the ones on the end. The boards that will be on the outer edges should have only one rabbet cut into them. After cutting the rabbets, trim the boards to be the correct length. 

Depending on the style of door you choose to do, trim the horizontal boards to the correct length. If you want a more distressed look, use the brush knot cup on the angle grinder to weather the boards. 

Arrange all the boards so they line up together. Make sure it is square and attach the horizontal boards. 

Staining and Decorating the Door

If you want a more rustic look, start with a lighter gold stain. Then, use a rag to randomly apply a random pattern with a dark stain. Finally, apply a thin, uneven layer of gray stain. 

There are a variety of different colors of wood stain you can pick from to match your space. You don't have to layer the stain either, you can just have one solid color. 

Attach the Door Hangers

Once everything is dry, follow the instructions of your hardware kit for attaching the door hangers. Mark where the bolts need to go, drill holes, and attach the hangers to the door. 

Hang the Barn Door 

Place the door on the track. You may need another person to help you do this. 

Once the door is on the track, roll it to each end. See where you can comfortably have the door stop and add the stoppers and other hardware that comes with your kit. 

Extra Decorations to Make Your Door Special 

If you want to add a decorative touch to your barn door, you're in luck! 

Door pulls are a great addition. They come in all styles from farmhouse to early American. It makes it easier to move your door and adds some flair. 

Faux hinge straps are easy to install. They can help your door fit your home even more. Clavos and decorative nail heads are easy to install and add an enhanced look to any visible screws. 

Get the Perfect Sliding Barn Door Hardware to Make Your Barn Door Unique 

Building your sliding door is easy as long as you have the right sliding barn door hardware! With a little bit of elbow grease, you can enhance the look of your home in a matter of days. 

If you're ready to build your barn door, check out our online catalog for more DIY tips to bring your door to the next level. 

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