Hello, friend! Seems like a great day for a DIY, right? There are tons of ways to go about building a custom barn door, but in my opinion, this is one of the easiest and most traditional.
Barn doors are incredibly expensive if you purchase them pre-built ($500+), and you don’t have the ability to completely customize their dimensions or final look for your space. The build process is also fairly easy. That said, your barn door will be HEAVY when completed, so keep that in mind. You’ll also need to hang it using barn door hardware, which you’ll need to purchase according to your doors dimensions. The hardware will have specific hanging instructions that come with it, and you will definitely need two people for the installation/hanging process!
Now that we’ve got the preliminary stuff covered, lets get started!
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What You’ll Need:
- 1″x5″x8′ boards (we used 13)
- 1.25″ brad nails
- brad nail gun
- wood glue
- 1.25″ wood screws
- wood stain of your choice (I used Minwax English Chestnut)
- door hardware of your choice (I got all of my door hardware at Hobby Lobby)
- miter saw
- 180 grit sandpaper
- stainable wood fill
- speed square
- tack cloth
- barn door hanging hardware
Step 1: Measure the space (width and height) where you want your custom barn door to go. Calculate how many 1″x5″ boards you will need (if needed, you can also substitute for 1″x4″ or 1″x6″ boards if needed. Keep in mind common and actual measurements are different, so a 1″x5″ common board is actually 1″x about 4.5″. Drawing a diagram is really helpful here!
PRO TIP: When measuring the height of your space, subtract about .5″ – you want to make sure you have ample floor clearance for your barn door.
Step 2: Once you have calculated how much wood you need and have purchased it, cut each piece to size using your miter saw. First cut your main door face pieces. Sand any rough edges/areas with 180 grit sandpaper.
PRO TIP: When purchasing your boards, try to make sure they are all straight and not warped.
You can see here I needed 8 1″x5″ boards, and they are all cut to 8.5 feet (the height of my space). I used an extra board to line them all up and make sure they were the correct height.
Step 3: Now measure and cut the top and bottom perpendicular pieces. These will run the entire width of your door (see below photo). These pieces will also help hold all of the vertical boards together. Once placed, measure and cut the side pieces, which will go directly on top of each outside board of your door base (see below photo).
Step 4: Using wood glue, attach these 4 pieces to your door base. Allow to dry about 30 minutes, then use your brad nailer and 1.25″ nails to nail these 4 boards into the base. Use A LOT of nails.
Step 5: Measure and cut a board perpendicular to the length of your door. You will place it about 1/3 of the way down from the top of your door. Glue and nail as before.
Now place one of your 8 foot 1″x5″ boards diagonally between this new board and the bottom of the door. You can place it as desired and then use a speed square to draw the angle you need to cut on the board. Use your miter saw to cut. Place, glue, and nail as before.
Step 6: Using the same place and draw method (using your speed square), measure and cut the two smaller pieces of your X shape. Glue and nail as before.
Step 7: Now, use your 1.25″ wood screws and drill into each end of every top board your just glue and nailed. This will ensure your barn door is completely stable. Countersink your screws so you are able to fill the holes with wood fill. Use stainable wood fill to fill the screw holes and nail holes if you wish (I did not fill the nail holes because I wanted the door to be more rustic). Once the wood fill is dry, sand with 180 grit sandpaper. Wipe off your door with a dry tack cloth to remove the excess sawdust.
Step 8: Use a wood stain of your choice and stain your door, making sure to cover the edges and cracks – using a combo of a small brush and rag worked well to get in all the nooks and crannies! (Yes, you could stain every board before putting you barn door together if you choose, but it seemed much easier to do it after in my opinion!)
Step 9: Allow to dry. Now add any additional hardware (i.e. door handle, etc) using 1.25″ wood screws. I added a handle and also decorative hardware on the back corners to add some interest to the flat side
Step 10: Following the instructions on your barn door hardware, hang and install. We did not install a full track on the bottom, but we did add a barn door slide/guide, which keeps the door in its place. The guide is installed into the baseboard, so keep this in mind.
Note: Our barn door hardware came from Amazon, but we had tons of issues with it so I can’t honestly recommend it to you – there are lods of options out there, so just do some research and listen to the reviews!
And that’s it! Building the door itself is actually very easy! Carrying it inside to wherever you want it to go and getting it hung are the trickier parts! Like I said… it will be VERY heavy once completed.
Enjoy your custom barn door build, friend! I’ll see you next time!