DIY Barn Door Hack
- (1) 4’ X 8’ Sheet of ½” exterior siding
- (3) 3” x 8’ sticks of trim (MDF is acceptable if you are painting)
- Finish Nail Gun & Nails
- Table Saw
- Sander or Sanding paper
- Barn Door Track
- All in one paint and primer
- Paint Roller
- Paint Tray
- Paint Brush
Creating the Doors
- The first step is to measure your existing opening. Keep in mind the door width should be a minimum of 2 inches wider than the opening, or at least as wide as the full opening plus any casing. For the height of the door, make sure to measure from the finished floor to the top of the opening, or to the top of the casing. Keep in mind there needs to be space equal to the door opening on either the left or right side of the door to allow for the door to properly function. It is also important to check if the door will cover any light switches, outlets, vents or windows when fully open.
- Now that you have your measurements, place your 4’x8’ sheet of ½” exterior siding and mark the size and dimension of the door you would like to create. For a standard single door, make sure to account for any casing around the opening. The door width should be a minimum of 2 inches wider than the opening, or at least as wide as the full opening plus any casing. For the height of the door, make sure to measure from the finished floor to the top of the opening, or to the top of the casing. You can use a table saw to cut the siding, or you can use a skill saw, which ever you are more comfortable with. If the lines are not exactly straight, don’t worry as the trim will cover any imperfections.
- Next, you will need to sand the piece of siding to remove any rough spots. You can skip this step if you are looking for a more rustic look, however if you are looking to paint the doors, we recommend sanding as this material is not furniture grade wood.
- Now is when the door really starts to take its shape. Measure the length of the door and cut 2 pieces of 3” trim which will be used on the outside edge of the door. Once those have been fastened with a nail gun, take the top, bottom and middle measurements of the door and cut 3 pieces of 3” wood trim and begin fastening those with your nail gun. At this point you will have the outside perimeter trimmed out along with one piece of trim in the middle of the door.
- Next take a diagonal measurement for the top half of the door and the bottom half of the door as you will be placing a piece of 3” trim inside the respective recessed top and bottom panels. Affix your diagonal pieces of trip to the top of the door and repeat for the bottom section affixing in the opposite direction.
- Note: If you are also going for a barn door style and don’t have extra wood laying around for the trim, maybe consider using old fence wood. If you sanded it down and paint it, it would add a nice rustic touch.
- Painting time! Go ahead and paint the door or stain, which ever you prefer. If you are painting, we recommend using an all in one paint and primer to prevent the grain from bleeding through.
- After letting the paint dry according to the manufacturers specifications, apply deck sealer to seal the paint.
- Let it dry, then flip it over and paint and seal the other side (if your other side is going to be seen).
Hanging the Doors
- Here is where you can show off your DIY skills. Most installations require a hanger board or ledger on the wall to mount the door track; it also creates space for your door away from the wall to clear any trim around the existing opening. Make sure to cut a board twice as long as the door width. A 2” x 6” piece of Douglas fir will work for most homes and it should be at least as thick as the trim.
- Next, mount the hanger board 2” above the door opening or above the top of the door casing. Secure the hanger board to wall studs with flat-head screws slightly below the surface of the wood so that you can later conceal with wood putty.
- Fill the screw heads with wood putty and paint the hanger board to match the wall color so everything blends seamlessly. You also have the option of using a clear finish, or stain to match the door (which ever you prefer.)
- Purchase a track from your local hardware store the length of the hanger board. When hanging a double door, use either one continuous track or two tracks of equal length where the joint is centered over the door opening.
- Now it’s time to install the track along with the hangers (the mechanism that holds the door to the track). Typically you will need three brackets for a single door or five for a double door. Simply slip the brackets onto the track and be sure the bottom of the track is even with the bottom of the hanger board before fastening to the wall. Next fasten the brackets according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Adjust the hanger hardware where necessary to level the door with the opening. The door should have 1” clearance from the bottom of the door to the finished flooring.
- Mount the roller hardware on the door and place the rollers into or on the track. At each end of the track install the roller stops and make any necessary adjustments to align the operation of the door with your opening.
- Last but not least, add handles or hardware of your choosing for an added flare, or you can leave bare for a more simplistic look. The options are endless.
Joshua Altman – Award-Winning Designer & Master Real Estate Flipper. Josh has always had a thirst for interior design. After graduating UC Berkeley, he dove into the world of design and real estate. Josh found himself at the top of the design map after successfully gutting and reimagining one of the most coveted & historic homes in San Diego. He is highly sought after for his trademark “Coastal Elegance” designs. After a decade of successful renovations, Josh recently opened the boutique design and real estate firm “Swoon” in San Diego, California. Josh has recently been featured in Dwell, Star Magazine, FYI, ABC, TheList, CW Television, LifeStyle, RAGE, and numerous talk show and television appearances.