We had a really awkward space between our master bedroom and bathroom where three doors open up into each other. They were either banging into each other or blocking half the closet. We decided that the best thing to do was to build a door that didn’t cause us any issues. So, I designed a barn door that could slide on the outside of the wall. So here’s how to build a rustic barn door of your very own. Trust me, building a door is not that hard.
How to Build a Rustic Barn Door
- Measure the space you want to cover and make sure you have at least that same amount of room on the blank wall for it to open. It would really suck if you built the whole thing, hung it, and realized when you slid it open it hit a wall.
- Design your door using the measurements and make sure you have a few ways to keep all the boards in place. The smart thing to do is have two layers, having a bottom layer that is just vertical boards and then having a design on the second layer.
I had a space that was 83 inches tall by 36 inches wide. So I got six 1″x6″ pine boards to be the first layer. Then for the second layer, I got three more 1″x6″ pine boards to do horizontal, vertical and diagonal pieces to bind the first layer together.
The horizontal top and bottom boards, along with the one diagonal board, held the rest together. When you go to buy wood, make sure you check that the boards are straight and not curved or warped.
Also, for this type of project, try to get boards with the most knots and lines in order to help with that rustic look.
- Cut your wood to your specifications and lay it out along the way to make sure that it is all sized up correctly. This is the first time I got to use my new miter saw and I love it. It made cutting straight cuts so much quicker and easier that using a hand saw.
I never had one before because I didn’t have the space at the condo, so I’ve always made cuts by hand, which is awful. Plus, the miter saw allowed me to make the angled cuts for the diagonal board down the middle.
- Sand down all sides of all the boards, but make sure to keep them in order.
- Stain all sides of the boards using a nice, dark stain. We prefer Dark Walnut as our go-to color for our wood projects, so we used it again here. One trick when staining is to use a rag and dip it into the stain, then wipe it onto the board.
When you stain the edges of wood with a brush, sometimes the stain leaks to the underside of where you aren’t staining yet and leaves weird marks. Doing this method, I also chose not to go back and wipe them off. I simply let it all soak in before doing the other side the next day.
- Construct the door based on your design. I used black cabinetry wood screws because I was going for the rustic barn door look. The hardware I got for hanging it on the wall (more on that tomorrow) was black. So, I didn’t want to have shiny silver screws all throughout the door. I wanted these to be prominent.
Because pine is a softer wood, I tediously went through and measured and drilled small pilot holes where I was going to drive the screws. This took the longest of the whole construction process. But, it allowed me to avoid any cracking or splitting wood.
When I screwed them in, I also didn’t drive all of them in all the way to the wood and instead left some of them a millimeter or so out, in order to give it a more rustic look.
- Add any additional hardware to add to your rustic barn door look. The sliding mechanism for the wall used big black bolts to connect the sliders to the door at the top, so I bought four silver nuts and bolts and spray painted them glossy black and drilled them into the bottom of the door to match the top. I also added a black handle to pull the door open and closed.
And there you have it. That’s how to build a rustic barn door. It wasn’t very hard (the mounting process was MUCH harder and we’ll share that tomorrow) and it looks great. I love how it looks like an old rustic door.
How much does it cost to build a barn door?
The wood cost about $100, the screws were around $5, and the nuts and bolts were the same. When you search for doors that people are making and selling online, they cost about $300-400. This is a much better option and you can do it yourself.
Here is my blog post on how to mount a barn door and try to avoid some of the issues I had with that process.
What keeps a barn door from swinging?
You can see in this blog post about how we mounted our barn door that the barn door is connected to the floor on the bottom. This keeps it from swinging.
Can interior barn doors lock?
How wide should my barn door be?
Be sure to size your barn door to be wide enough to cover the opening of your doorway with a small amount of overlap on the door frame.
Love this project? Here’s all our barn door content:
Already have a barn door that you want to mount? Here is how we mounted our barn door!