Easy How to Build a Modern Sliding Barn Door

January 23, 2020

Hi! I'm Nicole

Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Coming at you, with another modern sliding barn door! I love to build sliding barn doors and this one I’m sharing today was by far the easiest, most fun one I’ve ever built! I’m not kidding! It looks hard, but is SO simple!

sliding barn doors in a nook area

I have had my eye on this spot….

kitchen nook area with a desk and chair

to add modern sliding barn doors and last month I finally decided what design I wanted to go with. If you’ve been here a while, you know that I’m slowly changing out all of my trim to craftsman trim. So that was, of course, step one….

new trim work in a kitchen nook area

I also decided to spruce up this space a bit more and added shiplap (Check out this tutorial on how easy it is to shiplap a wall)…

new shiplap and trim work in kitchen nook space

And then I painted the entire kitchen Sherwin Williams Repose Gray (my most favorite gray paint color)….and built a couple sliding barn doors. Knocked out both of these barn doors in one day. So easy! Let’s get to it!

How to Build a Modern Sliding Barn Door

Materials Needed: (For 45×89 door dimensions)

1x5x8 (8)

1x6x10 (1)

1x4x8 (2)

1x2x8 (3)

1 1/4″ pocket hole screws    (Amazon Affiliate Link)

1 1/4″ nail gun nails

Wood filler      (Amazon Affiliate Link)


Tools Needed:

Miter saw

Kreg Jig (easiest tool for pocket holes)          (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Drill     (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Nail Gun       (Amazon Affiliate Link)

Step One: Cut the frame

Cut three 1×6’s at 38″ each.

Cut two 1×4’s at 89″ each.

trim for modern sliding barn door

Step Two: Build the frame

Using your Kreg Jig, drill four 3/4″ pocket holes into each end of your three 1×6’s.

3 trim pieces with kreg jig pocket holes

Attach top and bottom 1×6 to 1×4’s using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws. (As shown below)…

trim and tools for sliding barn door

Attach middle 1×6 (measuring to find the middle of your 1×4) using 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws…

trim and tools for sliding barn door

Step Three: Add back trim

Cut two 1×2’s at 89″ each. Attach, using nail gun, to each 89″ 1×4 trim piece. (As shown below)…

1x2 attached to 1x4 for sliding barn door build

Cut two 1×2’s at 38″ each. Attach, using nail gun, to the top and bottom 1×6 trim piece…

1x2 attached to 1x6 for sliding barn door build

The back of your door frame should now look like this…

nail gun, hammer and frame for sliding barn door build

Step Four: Add diagonal trim

So easy! Simply fit each 1×5 diagonally across the top section; starting with the middle board (As shown below)…

diagonal board on sliding barn door frame

Continue adding boards, attaching with your nail gun on both ends…

3 diagonal boards on frame of sliding barn door

Until bottom section is complete…

sliding barn door bottom half built

Now you’re ready to start on the top section. Be sure to switch the direction of your diagonal boards…

sliding barn door finished

Turn it over and that’s it!!

sliding barn door standing up front side

You’re ready for paint or stain and hardware (get the same look-here’s the door handle I installed). (Amazon Affiliate Link) I chose Sherwin Williams Naval for my paint color…

Hang your doors using my favorite (lowest price on earth) modern sliding barn door hardware. (Amazon Affiliate Link) I have used this track for almost all of my sliding barn doors (we now have 5 in our home 🙂 ) and I love it! Rolls so smoothly and easy to install.

Just a quick note….Usually sliding barn doors are not so glamorous on the other side and they’re kept open most of the time. So you don’t have to worry about what the back side looks like. If you are wanting a more appealing back side to your barn door, you could add a thin sheet of plywood and add some trim pieces to it…this would cover up all of your not so pretty cuts. Here’s a view of what the backside of your barn door will look like without adding any plywood or trim (As you can see, mine still has the stickers on some of the boards–we rarely shut this door 🙂 )….

back side of sliding barn door

I did however, paint the sides of the door, so that when it’s open you don’t see the bare wood peaking through….

sliding barn door side view

If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember that I was very nervous about these doors right after they were hung. I wasn’t sure if I liked that they were different sizes. I had to make one door bigger than the other because of the size of the entryways-they were not the same. To me, it seemed very noticeable. UNTIL, I added some large pieces to the space and now I love it!!

sliding barn door with fiddle fig and lantern

Two sliding barn doors with a fiddle leaf and lantern

And, with the changes I made over in this space, (post coming soon-can you believe I painted that chair??!!) these modern sliding barn doors are perfect!! Here’s a more updated view. Notice the difference? Yep, I painted our hardwood floors and love how they turned out!Goldendoodle laying on a rug in front of a sliding barn door

Ok, so here’s your action step…Pin this on Pinterest and carve out a Saturday to build your own modern sliding barn door. You will LOVE it!!

modern sliding barn door pin for pinterest

Quick note! I had a reader email me this morning, saying she was getting ready to build the other sliding barn door I’ve posted but then saw this post and was wondering, what makes this door so much easier to make than other doors? GREAT QUESTION! Two things: First, you have very few pocket holes to drill, making this door a quick one to throw together. And second, the diagonal boards do not have to be precise in their measurements. They just have to fit between your border (1×2’s) on the back and be long enough to nail in on each end….again, making this door a super fast and easy build!

I love engaging with my readers! As always, please don’t hesitate to ask questions or comment on any of my posts. I love helping wherever I can.

Until next time,

Happy Building, Friend!!

Be sure to join my VIP List below and never miss an upcoming post.

Other sliding barn door posts:

How to Make Your Own Sliding Barn Door

Sliding Barn Door

Easy How-To and Hardware for Hanging a Sliding Barn Door

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  1. Maureen

    Hi Nicole! I feel like you are my soul sister! I was thinking of building the sliding barn door you posted recently but now you say this one is even easier. What makes this one easier? Is it because there are fewer pocket holes? Keep on rocking it! I love your blog!! Maureen.

    • Nicole Nigg

      That’s a great question! The biggest thing that made this one so easy, is that you don’t have to be precise at all with your diagonal cuts. You just have to make sure they’re long enough and stay between your border trim on the back. And YES, very few pocket holes. This one goes so quickly. I built two of them in just a few hours ( with interruptions from my kids, haha!). Let me know if you have anymore questions. And I think I’ll actually add this to the post. Thank you for asking this!

      • Maureen

        One more question, so you don’t cover up the uneven edges on from the diagonal cuts? can I see a pic of the finished inside?

        • Nicole Nigg

          Nope you don’t have to. Usually sliding barn doors are not so glamorous on the other side and they’re kept open most of the time. So you don’t have to worry about what the back side looks like. If you are wanting a more appealing back side to your barn door, you could add a thin sheet of plywood and add some trim pieces to it…this would cover up all of your not so pretty cuts. I went ahead and added all of this to the post with pictures. For some reason my comment section won’t allow me to send you a picture in this space. Sorry. You can check out the post again here… http://designtobuildblog.com/easy-how-to-buil…liding-barn-door/

  2. Millie Butler

    You did a beautiful job on the barn doors. I love them!!! Can you tell me what color/brand paint you used?

    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Millie,
      Thank you! I chose Sherwin Williams Naval for these sliding barn doors.
      Have a great day!



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