How to Make a DIY Sliding Barn Door and Hardware

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I am in love with Sliding Barn Doors! I’ve also always wanted to have a walk in pantry. Well, 4 houses later and we have our walk in pantry with a stunning DIY sliding barn door!  

Chatting with my hubby one night, I had this great idea to cut a hole in the wall of our new house, open it up and create a food pantry.  From there my plans began…

One thing I knew was that if I was going to build a pantry, it had to have my own DIY sliding barn door!

Let me give you a walk through of what I did!

Rustic barn door getting framed

TOOLS YOU NEED:

  1. Drill
  2. Reciprocating Saw
  3. Mitre Saw
  4. Orbital sander
  5. Measuring tape
  6. Level

MATERIALS:

  1. 1 quart of Red Oak Stain
  2. Wood conditioner
  3. Polyurethane
  4. Brushes for each
  5. 1x6x8 pine boards
  6. Hardware for your handle
  7. Screws
  8. Sandpaper

DECIDE WHERE YOU WANT YOUR PANTRY AND BARN DOOR TO GO.

I had a large L shape closet that we were using as a coat closet and I had the idea to divide it into half and keep half for the coats and half for the pantry.

This gave me ample space for both and looks like it has always been there.  I hate when you see some diy projects and they simply look out of place.

Pantry with barn door almost done

We started by opening the wall on the inside of the coat closet where I wanted the pantry to be..  That way if we ran into some reason not to go ahead the opening would at least be where no one could see it.

I wasn’t sure with this diy project if I would run into electrical issues so I called my dad in to give me a hand.

I was right, we had electrical running from the outlets for the lights in the kitchen and sitting room. 

My dad and I stay away from larger electrical projects and I recommend that you always have an electrician in to do this type of work.  It may seem easy when you see some diy videos but it isn’t worth the risk and in many places it is not legal to do your own electrical work.

RELATED PROJECT: CHECK OUT MORE ON MY DIY KITCHEN RENO HERE

STEP 1:  Cut a hole where you want the pantry to go

We used a reciprocating saw to make the hole and that worked perfectly!  

We started small just to get a peek inside.

Yup, electrical wire.  The wires were running as a three way for the kitchen and sitting room lights.  I called in the electrician and scheduled him to come the next day.

In the meantime, I finished the hole on either side to create the exact size opening that I wanted.  I had an old door that my dad had picked up from a job site that the person didn’t want and that was going to be used as the door.

 the whole for the barn door opening

I wanted a barn door and it just so happened that this door had been on a sliding track prior and the person had given it to my dad as well.

Even though I had the door structure it didn’t look the way that I wanted, so I had to frame it to give it the farmhouse look.

Once the hole was the right fit, I had to wait for the electrician, so I headed to the hardware store to get the wood that I wanted to use to frame out the door to give it a barn door look and feel.

The most important thing to consider when you pick out wood is that it is straight.  Knots and scratches give character or can be sanded out, but, warped wood just sucks to work with. In some cases it might be somewhat impossible, so always check each piece.

Some people want a really distressed look and take a hammer to the boards or put small worm holes in with a nail to give the wood age and character.Although, I do like that for some diy projects, this isn’t one of them.

I will go over those instructions with you as well. It is so easy to do and looks just like what you would buy.

RELATED POST: HOW TO BUILD A HOOD RANGE COVER!

Step 2:  Have an electrician out for any electrical.

I was excited to see the electrician and happy to hear that the work would only take him a couple of hours. 

He did every thing that I asked and it looked great!  Now, I needed to get back to work.

My house is really old and has great character already built into it so I always try and be true to that  while giving it a slight modern look.

I also picked up some of my favorite Minwax stain, Red Oak to use on the door when it was all done.

Step 3:  Frame out the hole in the wall

While I was out, getting the wood to frame the door, I also grabbed the wood that I would need to frame the hole.

coming home with the wood for barn door in car

My house has thick trim everywhere so I went with 1×6 to stay with the same look.

I got pine wood.  It is so easy to work with and although it is a soft wood I love the look and feel that it gives to the space.  

I used the nail gun to attach all the boards into place and that was ideal so that no screws would show.

STEP 4:  Install your track

You may want to go with the more classic diy sliding barn door look and order something like this one.  I do really like this look but I was a bit worried that I would get sick of it over time so I decided that I wanted a covered track instead.

I am going to try this track for my next barn door project and see how the exposed hardware looks.

Barn door track

Installing your track is easy as you just have to follow the instructions or you can do something like what I have done here.  The biggest issue is that you will have wanted to measure your length of track BEFORE you start. 

You need to make sure that everything is balanced looking and makes sense for your space so thinking of these things ahead of time is important.  

barn door picture with track installed

I always recommend that you think your whole project through before you pick up a tool.  

It is one thing to run to the store because you are short a couple pieces of wood but it really sucks when you have to start cutting metal down because you measured wrong or your length of track is too short…

Step 5:  Frame your diy sliding barn door

Now you need to frame out your door with the look that you want.  There are so many great options for this. I recommend you look around Pinterest for some ideas and see what you like.

You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing.  Plus, sometimes what you have in mind doesn’t look right once it all starts to come together.

I wanted a farmhouse look so I went with this look and it turned out perfectly!

Honestly, I plan on adding lots of these to my house now as I go.  I personally think that the stain I choose makes a big difference in achieving this look because it has such a richness to it.

Step 6:  Sanding your diy sliding barn door.

I sand everything.  I like to have a finished look and sanding gives that extra detail.  Even when you aren’t sure if you need to, I always recommend giving a quick sand over to smooth any rough spots or edges.

I began with 60 grit sandpaper for this project and worked up to a more fine 100 grit.  Use your orbital sander for this and don’t push hard because pine is soft.

DeWalt sander

Step 7:  Hang your diy sliding barn door

Hang your door.  Some people will want to stain the door before they hang it and that makes perfect sense.  BUT… I don’t like all the touch ups and I find this just as easy.

Because we did a track all we had to do was screw in the small wheel ends to the top of the door that would slide along as we opened and closed the door.

Step 8:  Wood Conditioner

When using a soft wood you want to use wood conditioner on it first.  It takes no time at all and only one coat. 1 quart goes a long way!  I use Minwax brand as I find it the most consistent and have never had issues.   Just use a dollar store brush to apply an even layer and let it dry for the recommended time which is typically 4 hours.

barn door installed and stained

Step 9:  Stain

My favorite is Red Oak by Minwax.  You can grab it from your local hardware store or off Amazon.  I love the red/brown color and the richness that it gives. Minwax carries loads of different shades which means you are not limited.  I even tried a few grays in the past with various projects that were neat.

I recommend that you use a brush to apply stain.  Honestly, I buy all my brushes from the dollar store and they are fine.  Sometimes the odd bristle falls out but I just remove it and carry on.

After you let your stain dry you can decide if you want to add a second coat.  This very subjective as I often find it depends how the light hits it.  I always let the 1st coat dry for a day before I add a second coat because adding another coat when it is tacky turns into a mess.

Once you have it looking the way that you like, you want to add a top coat of polyurethane.  This protects from finger marks or nicks in the stain. Again, I stick with Minwax.

Step 10:  Add your hardware to your diy sliding barn door.

You can use whatever you like.  I got mine from my local hardware store and it was only around 10 bucks! These ones are also really nice and I think that I will get them for my next door.

I went with black and just used a screwdriver to add it to the door.

barn door hardware

There you have it. Everything that I did to make my very first sliding barn door. I would love to see pictures of your diy sliding barn door projects and/or if you followed what I did here and how it turned out for you. Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Make sure to follow me on Pinterest to see all of my DIY projects!

How to Make a DIY Sliding Barn Door and Hardware

Tammy Seed

I am a passionate, goal oriented girl that loves DIY home projects and sharing with others how they can create and build easily as well!