How to Make Your Own Sliding Barn Door

March 6, 2019
nicole

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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One of my all-time favorite builds is a sliding barn door. They make such a statement in any room and are a great way to fill a space. The barn door becomes the decor.

With so many styles to choose from, here’s a look at a few of them I have built for my own home…

My family room.  (This is the one I’m giving the tutorial on in this post :) My favorite!!)….sliding barn door in family room

PIN IT FOR LATER:

sliding barn door with goldendoodle pup

My first sliding barn door build in my youngest boys’ room….A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

My latest sliding barn door build in my teenage daughter’s room makeover...

Modern Teen Bedroom Makeover--What to Tackle First

Because this is such a fun build, I know I want to do more. Oh the plans I have….so many barn doors in my future. :)

My family room barn door came together, after recently completing a board and batten treatment

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

and updating the corner cabinet in my family room…

Update your built-in cabinets with little time and money

It only made sense to work on the sliding barn door for this room. So off to Home Depot I went…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

How to Build a Sliding Barn Door:

Supplies Needed: (affiliate links)

(12) 1×6 (8foot) pinewood boards

(1) 1×4 (8foot) pinewood boards (for the cross boards)

80-grit sandpaper

1-1/4″ Kreg screws

Wood filler (affiliate link)

8 x 1 1/4″ screws (affiliate link)

Primer

Paint (color of your choice)

Sliding door tracking (my favorite tracking–the most affordable option, I’ve found :) )

Sliding door hardware (handle)(Here’s the one I used for this door)

Constructing the Door:

(Affiliate links added)

Step One:

Determine the length and width you want your door to be. Then cut all of your 1×6’s to the length that you have decided upon.

Step Two:

Sand all of your boards. They don’t need to be super smooth. After all, it is a barn door, so some imperfections are expected.

Step Three:

Drill all of your pocket holes into your 1×6 door boards. Each board needs a set of two pocket holes, every 9 inches apart, on one length of the board. As shown below….

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

I highly recommend a Kreg Jig for this. Don’t let the sight of this scare you…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

I’ll do an upcoming post on how to use a kreg jig and link it to this post. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make pocket holes with a kreg jig. Maybe you’re wondering, what the heck are pocket holes? That would have been me a few years ago. :) They are holes drilled at an angle, to securely join two pieces of wood together. With the Kreg Jig, it looks like this…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Step Four:

Clamp two boards together (one clamp on each end). Drill 1 1/4″ kreg screws into each of your pocket holes…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Step Five:

Repeat Step Four until all boards are joined together…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Step Six:

Use wood filler to fill in all of your pocket holes. Once dry, sand…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Adding the Trim:

Now that you have the barn door built, you’re ready to add the trim. With so many different designs to choose from, the hardest part is narrowing it down to one design. I chose this design…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Step One:

Cut outside length pieces (1×6 boards) to fit your door and clamp them on…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Attach using 8 x 1 1/4″ screws. This brand of screws is my personal favorite…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Step Two:

Cut width pieces (3 of them) (1×6 boards) to fit inside your length pieces. Clamp and attach to door using the same screws in Step One…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Step Three:

Cut cross boards (1×4 boards) to make your X. Getting these cuts perfect proved to be somewhat challenging. There is probably an easier way. But I eyeballed it by placing my board where I wanted it and drawing my lines…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

For the most part, my technique worked out. Any spaces can be filled with wood filler, so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

After attaching all of your trim pieces, your barn door is ready for paint. I put a coat of primer (Zinsser Fast Prime 2) down first…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

After applying two coats of paint (Sherwin Williams Peppercorn) and letting it dry, I flipped the door over and attached 4 brackets to the back of the door to reinforce it. This turned out to be a wasted step, I believe. The pocket holes are really what’s holding the 1×6’s together. It’s a very solid door and not the least bit flimsy, even without the brackets. I then threw on a coat of paint to the back of the door…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

And voila..another sliding barn door built.

Last step:

Your barn door is now ready to hang. Check out this post for a great tutorial on how to hang your sliding barn door. Much easier to do than you might think. :)

To finish it off, I added a 14″ square cast iron handle pull. (In the pictures below, my handle had not yet come). I love this sliding barn door so much!! It looks like it was always meant to be there…

This little photo-bomber is pretty adorable too…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

And this big photo-bomber wanted his moment in lights…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

A look at it with the door shut…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Most of the time, it will be open.

The big picture…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

Here it is with the cast iron handle pull…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

A little closer look…

A simple step-by-step how to make a sliding barn door.

A more recent look….

sliding barn door in family room

And just for fun, here’s a long view of our family room as you enter through the front door (Notice we got rid of the red couches :) ) Happy day!!! Loving the neutral couches, much better….

Entry way to a farmhouse home with fall decor

And a more recent look at the sliding barn door closed…

Big wall art sign with home decor

As I said before, these doors are so much fun to build. And the statement they make is bold and beautiful. As always, if you have any questions, please ask. I love to help people realize they can do this stuff and see how much fun it is.

Until next time,

Happy Building!!

ANOTHER UPDATE: I accepted a challenge from Home Depot to try out their Everbilt Sliding Barn Door Hardware. I have to admit, they make it super easy to hang your own sliding barn door! Check out the easy to follow tutorial below:

For a great tutorial on How to Hang Your Own Sliding Barn Door, Check out this post!! Great information! Very Helpful!

If not already a friend of the blog, please join my email list below….

One more thing…Some of you have asked about the track I use for my barn doors. I order them off of Amazon and have found them to be the best price for the best quality. Here are a couple different sizes….

TC Bunny 6.6 feet Sliding Door Hardware Set Antique Style (Black)….approximately $55

TC Bunny 8 feet Sliding Door Hardware Set Antique (Black)….approximately $60

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41 Comments

  1. Jonathan

    Greetings,

    This article has inspired me build a sliding barn door in our home. I’ve tracked down all of the parts and tools, including the antique rail. The one part that I am absolutely stumped is with the GRK 8×1-1/4 screws. They simply don’t sell these in Canada. The closest size 8×1-1/2. I value your opinion and would like to what you think the best substitute would be for this project.

    Warm regards,
    Jonathan

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Jonathan,

      That’s awesome that you”re going to give this project a try. I think you’ll find it to be a lot of fun and pretty simple. Not to mention very rewarding with the end result.

      Your question is a very good one. Interesting that you’re not able to find them up in Canada. I worry about going up to a 1 1/2” screw, because you’ll probably end up going through your boards. The primary goal is to use a screw that you can sink. You don’t want it to be visible and want to be able to fill in your nail holes.

      One idea I had was to purchase them on Amazon. (Not sure if you tried that already.) I looked them up and they’re less than $14 for a box of 100. Here’s the link for them, if you’re interested… https://www.amazon.com/GRK-772691020697-Number-8-4-Inch-100-Piece/dp/B001PCZ7GO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1503455385&sr=8-2&keywords=grk+screws

      If that doesn’t work out, SPAX is another brand that has the #8- 1 1/4” screws.
      I hope this helps.

      Best of luck with your project. Please let me know if you have any more questions.

      Happy Building,
      Nicole

      Reply
  2. Jonathan

    Nicole,
    Thank you for your reply!
    Now I noticed that the Amazon link you shared is for the same size screw but in a non-FIN/Trim head variation. I hope this wasn’t an error, because I’d be thrilled to track down this particle screw given the stark scarcity of its FIN/Trim head cousin.

    Amazon does have the FIN/Trim head screw, but at $80 its a tough swallow as the total cost of this project is already uncomfortably high.

    If you could confirm that the GRK 772691020697 you posted is a safe alternate, that would take some heat off the situation greatly since that would cost me $40 (still a lot for screws, but far less worse than $80)

    Thanks again. With this cleared up, I can’t wait to actually get started on this project!

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Jonathan,
      Sorry, I’m just now getting back to you. My day got away from me yesterday.
      Yes, the GRK 772691020697 R4 Number-8 by 1-1/4-Inch Screw, will sink, if you’re using a softer wood like pine…which is what I always use for my barn doors. In a harder wood like oak, it may be tougher to sink the screw. I hope this helps. I’m trying to understand why it’s going to cost you $40 for the screws? Is it more expensive to order them in Canada on Amazon? Just curious. :)
      Let me know if you have any other questions.
      Would love to know how it turns out too!
      Nicole

      Reply
  3. Jonathan

    Yes, the screws on the amazon.ca website are significantly marked up. I simply went to the local hardware store and bought a generic equivalent ($5!) which seems to be doing the job just fine. I sank the screws in just enough to fill their holes with wood filler afterwards.

    I finished the door last night! What a big project it was! Locating all 5 supporting studs to align with the frame was the biggest hurdle. But it’s finally complete! My wife and I have a bedroom room to finally keep the little ones at bay!

    I had to custom make the door since our room is in the basement and the doorway was very short yet very wide. The ceiling is extremely low also, so all measurements had to be extremely precise to make everything turn out – it was a tad bit nerve racking..

    We decided on a wood stain look for our door.. to keep those lovely natural textures from showing through. (linen white, weathered grey)

    Here it is:
    https://tlcphoto.ca/tmp/barnDoor.jpg

    I took the handle off because I have to go buy a different color, but that’s the gist of it. Works like a charm, and its charming to look at!

    Thanks again, Nicole – your tutorial helped make it all possible!

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Wow! That looks really good! I see what you mean, about having to make it really wide. I’m glad it all worked out for you. Hopefully, it inspired you to tackle some new projects as well. Barn doors, especially, can become very addictive. We have two of them in our house, and I’m working on a third one right now. To be honest, I haven’t actually hung any of ours myself. I leave some things (like that) to my handyman. I like the building part, but not that part. So, kudos to you for taking that on!!

      Reply
  4. DIna Russell

    Door looks awesome. What color did you use?

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Thank you!
      Behr Marquee Peppercorn (Semi-Gloss)

      Reply
  5. sheri

    This door is awesome! The color looks amazing in your room too! Nice work!

    Reply
  6. Leslie Soto

    I am in love with the sliding barn door trend lately. I’m sitting in my living room now trying to figure out how I could incorporate one in my house. Yours is really pretty. I love the dark color, I feel like it adds some texture to the room! Gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      I am so sorry…I’m just now seeing that I missed your comment from a long while ago.
      Thank you so much for your kind words. Did you happen to find a place for a sliding barn door?
      Please let me know if you have any questions about them. :)
      Thank you!
      Have a great day!!

      Reply
  7. Amanda

    I love this barn door! My husband is making these for our boys rooms, do you have the height of the middle cross bar? We were t sure how big the X is. Thanks!!

    Reply
  8. Nicole

    Love the barn door and I’m in the process of building one. I’m also going to paint mine black. What is the paint color of your living room.

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Thank you! The family room paint color is Benjamin Moore Santorini Blue.
      Good luck on your barn door build. I would love to see pictures when you’re finished. :)
      Nicole

      Reply
  9. ISABEL STAPLES

    Love the instructions and your site of information. Looking forward to tutorial on using the Krig jig.
    Question, when you screwed the boards together with clamps attached, were the clamps super long type in order to be the width of door?

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Thank you! I’m glad the tutorial was helpful to you. Hoping to post the Kreg Jig tutorial soon.
      Yes, I used very long clamps to hold my boards together while screwing in the pocket holes.
      Hope that helps. :)

      Reply
  10. Kristin

    Love the barn door! Can you tell me the height of the middle cross bar? It looks like maybe 1/3 down. I’m building a 9ft door and like the dimensions and spacing of yours and want to replicate. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi! Thank you! Sorry I didn’t get back to you right away, I tend to slow down on my blogging over the summer months. My door is 88″ tall. The bottom of the middle cross bar is 55″ from the bottom of the door. Hopefully that makes sense. Good luck on your door! They’re such a fun thing to build!

      Reply
  11. Renee

    My husband followed your tutorial and made our sliding barn door. It is beautiful! Thank you for your tutorial. Where did you get the wreath that is hanging on the door? It is unusual and rustic looking.

    Reply
  12. K

    I really like your door and have asked my husband to build this one! I went to Home Depot for the paint and they said Behr Marque does not have a color called Peppercorn. Could it be called something else?

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Thank you! It’s actually a Sherwin Williams color. Thank you for the heads up on this…I’ll go in there and specify that on the post. Such a fun one to build!

      Reply
  13. APRIL

    Just found your instructions for making a barn door. I love it! I Hope to make one in the near future, but first I need to gather a few tools to make it easier. What length of clamp did you use to hold the boards while screwing them together? Thanks for the inspiration!

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Thank you! I’m glad it was helpful. My longest clamps are 48″. It really depends on how wide your door will be. Longer ones would be helpful, as I usually have to get creative with clamping them together when making a really wide barn door. Hope that helps. :)

      Reply
  14. Kim

    I skimmed through your comments, saw it is 88″ tall, is it standard 3 feet wide door opening? If so, do you have another tutorial for wider doors ? I am wanting to do a closet and it’s not quite double that size but no room on one wall to do a double door.

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Basically you’ll want the door to cover half or at least 3/4’s of your trim, on both sides, when closed. For a double door, in order to give it more sturdiness, you can use a 1/2″ or 3/4″ sheet of plywood…basically, you will build your door on that sheet of plywood (measured to the length and width you need). Hopefully that makes sense. Let me know if you need more information.

      Reply
  15. Abby

    Hello, I have 8 barn doors to make for our new house (4 double doors) at 20” wide. My question for you is which side your using as far as All your screws on the barn door? The Kreg screws I am assuming you are putting on the back side of the door? And the trim pieces you are screwing in from the back? We are planning on staining not painting and I did not know if that is doable with all of the wood filler? Thank you so much for any help or advice

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Abby,
      Thank you for your question…the Kreg screws are on the back of the door-out of sight. I screwed all of my trim pieces in from the front, but I was planning on painting them. If I were to make a stained door, I would most likely attach my trim from the back. They do have stainable wood filler, but I have yet to find one that is truly stainable. Another idea would be to attach your trim using a nail gun. The nail holes are very small and can be filled with a tiny bit of nail filler, that you could then stain over. I would test your stain first on a scrap piece of wood with a small nail hole filled. Hopefully this was helpful. Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

      Reply
  16. Pam Ebel

    I loved your barn door and step by step instructions. I made 3, and the first time I have ever made something out of wood. My husband helped me with the first one, and I said I’ve got this with your instructions. They turned out great, but…. they warped over about a month of hanging :(. What did I do wrong or how to fix it next time. When I was buying the Krieg jig the salesman told me he had problems with his made barn door warping. I did change the 2nd and 3rd one by having the top and bottom trim board go the edge as my husband thought the pressure of the Krieg jigs might make them warp. We did salvage them by adding metal braces across the top and bottom, painted black and love that look as it matches the rail. Now I want to make a few more, suggestions for avoiding this problem. Thank you, Love your site!! Pam Ebel

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Pam, Thank you for your question and I’m glad you’re loving the tutorials! I’m so sorry this happened. You did the right thing by adding the metal braces to the back. That does happen sometimes. I’ve had one of mine warp and was able to salvage it too by adding braces to the back of it. Not sure why some do and some don’t. If you’re worried about that happening again, I would add the braces from the get go. I will say on this new sliding barn door that I just published the tutorial for http://designtobuildblog.com/easy-how-to-build-a-modern-sliding-barn-door/ , you shouldn’t experience that problem. The primary reason being, it requires very few pocket hole screws. I think that’s where the warping stems from, if it’s going to happen. Hopefully, this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions. Have a great weekend!

      Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      One other thing, when drilling in your pocket hole screws, try not to make them too tight. That should also help avoid warping.

      Reply
  17. James

    Just curious about how you keep this from scratching the wall and door molding behind it as you open the door? Is there a track that runs along the bottom in this kits?

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Great question! Yes there is! It’s attached to the floor and keeps the door from sliding too far forward or back.

      Reply
  18. Kaitlin Morgan

    Could you tell me the final dimensions of the door once it was completed?

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Sure! Mine measures at 93″x44″ Hope this helps :)

      Reply
  19. Dave Wood

    I have taller doors than you (unsure of the exact measurements (Im at work). How much taller does the door have to be than the frame? I do not have any encasements for the doorway. Thanks

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Dave,
      It’s really personal preference. If you don’t have any trim around your frame, I would probably take it up about 4″ just to make it more substantial and give the appearance of a higher frame when it’s closed. As far as the width of the door goes…You’ll want it to cover the frame at least 2″ on both sides. But again, with no trim, you could go wider.
      Hope that helps!
      ~Nicole

      Reply
  20. Beck

    I’m following this guide and now I’m stuck because my pocket holes are rugged because I’m drilling against the wood grain. How did you make yours so smooth?

    Reply
    • Nicole Nigg

      Hi Beck,
      I’m not sure I’m fully understanding what you mean. Be sure to have your drill on the highest setting when drilling the pocket holes. You will need to sand to smooth out where your boards meet. Not sure if either of these answers your question? Let me know. And I can assist you further, if needed.
      Thank you,
      Nicole

      Reply

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