How to Build a Sliding Barn Door in 30 Minutes

DIY Barn Door Tips and Tricks: What Id Do Differently

We’ve had the door hanging for a full year now, because I wanted to be sure this was actually a good solution before I shared it with anyone.

Overall I LOVE my DIY sliding barn door!

But, there is one thing I want to caution you on,

But, there is one thing I want to caution you on, and also offer a solution.

If you stand directly to the side of the door, you can see that there is a bit of warping towards the bottom of the door.

The siding panel is thin and lightweight and the slight warping started within days of it being hung.

I delayed posting, because I wanted to see if it would get worse over time. It honestly hasn’t.

If you’re standing directly in front of the door, you can’t even notice it. But from the side, and when we point it out, you can see it towards the bottom.

If this bothers you, I would buy double the amount

If this bothers you, I would buy double the amount of 1″ x 4″ trim that you need for the perimeter of the door. Then attach the trim around both sides of the door and attach firmly.

This will pull your entire door together vertically and eliminate the warping.

This is also a good solution if you’re going to be using your door somewhere where you can see both sides of it.

It will give it a much more finished look!



Know Your Options for Barn Door Hardware

Before you start shopping for barn door hardware, take a careful look at the area where you would like to install the barn door and figure out what door setup works best.

  • If you want to cover the opening with one door, you’ll need an area on one side of the opening that’s wide enough for the door.
    • Pro tip: Make sure there aren’t any obstructions like light switches, sconce lights or heat registers that would be covered by or interfere with the door. If there’s not enough wall space on one side of the opening, you can install a pair of doors that slide to opposite sides or buy special bypass hardware that allows the doors to stack.
  • Barn Door Hardware Sources:

What type of wood do you use to make a barn door?

Cut List for Installing a Sliding Door

Designed to cover a 30-inch-wide opening with 4-inch casing on either side, this door measures 38½ inches wide by 2¼ inches thick by 83½ inches tall.

  • 1×6 pine boards for the back: Cut the boards ½ inch shorter than the height of the opening to allow the door to pass over the floor guide.
  • 1×3 strapping for blocking: Cut a length the width of the work surface; ours measured 48 inches. Then cut the rest of the board into blocking.
  • 1×5 pine for the filler strips: Cut three rails the width of the door; ours measured 38½ inches. Then cut four stiles to fill between the rails, completing the upper and lower panels of the door. Our stiles measured 35 inches long for the upper panel and 34 inches long for the lower one, to create the 1-inch channel for the floor guide.
  • Pallet boards: About 60 boards at least 24⅜ inches long, mitered to parallel 45-degree angles on each end to fit.
  • 1×6 cedar for face frame: Cut two stiles the height of the door; ours measured 83½ inches. Then cut four rails to span between the stiles; ours measured 27½ inches. Edge-glue and clamp two of those rails together to make the bottom rail. Rip 2 inches off one edge after the glue dries.
  • 1×4 pine for the mounting rail: Cut it to match the track length; ours measured 77 inches.

Step 1: Assemble the Boards

Ryan Benyi
  • For our 30-inch-wide opening, seven 16s spanned the casing perfectly; you may need to rip the pine boards to width.
  • Measure from the floor to the top of the door casing, then cut the boards ½ inch shorter on a miter saw.
  • Gang the boards side by side, place the blocks along the outside edges, and use long bar clamps to cinch them together.
  • Square up the assembly with longer strapping at the top and bottom edges.
  • Screw the blocks and strapping in place, and remove the clamps.

Step 2: Add Filler Strips

Ryan Benyi
  • Use a miter saw to cut the 15 filler strips according to the cut list.
  • Add adhesive and set the top rail flush along the top of the boards; adhere the upper stiles below it, flush to the outside edges, and the middle rail below them.
  • Add the lower stiles and rail, leaving a 1-inch channel for the floor guide that contains the door.
  • Drive a 1¼-inch deck screw through each strip into each 16 it crosses.

Step 3: Cut the Chevrons

Ryan Benyi
  • Use a straightedge to mark a centerline down the door’s two inset panels.
  • Set the miter saw to 45 degrees and cut one end off each pallet board.
  • Starting at the top rail, butt the mitered ends of two pieces of similar thickness and color together at the centerline, forming an arrow.
  • Use a combination square to mark the boards about ⅛ inch short of where they overlap the stiles, as shown.
  • Miter the pieces to length, then dry-fit them.
  • Repeat, one chevron at a time.

Step 4: Cut the Corners

Ryan Benyi
  • For the boards that hit the corners, use the combination square to mark where the piece overlaps the stile and the rail.
  • Cut the two angles on the miter saw, as shown.
  • After installing the longer pieces, fill the rest of the pattern with scrap, cut to fit.

Step 5: Install the Pattern

Ryan Benyi
  • With the chevrons dry-fit in both panels, lift out one pair of boards at a time, apply panel adhesive to the undersides, and press them back in place.
  • Using a pneumatic nailer, tack the boards in place with 1¼-inch brads, one near each corner of each board.
  • Repeat the process, adhering and nailing each pair of boards as you work down both panels.
  • Looking for more decorative options? Explore 11 of our inspirational barn door ideas.

Step 6: Drill Pocket Holes

Ryan Benyi
  • At the miter saw, cut the cedar according to the cut list above.
  • Arrange the pieces rough-face down covering the filler strips.

Pro2ProTip: For the strongest bond, spread glue on both edges of the joint and drill the pocket holes in the rail so that the screw grabs the stile’s edge grain.

  • Clamp a pocket-hole jig at the end of a rail, even with one edge, and use the kit bit to drill a hole.
  • Reset the jig along the other edge and repeat.
  • Drill two pocket holes at each end of the upper and middle rails, as shown, and three at each end of the wider bottom rail.

Step 7: Build the Frame

Ryan Benyi
  • Apply wood glue to the ends of the rails and the adjoining edges of the mating stiles, then clamp the frame together.
  • Drive the screws provided with the kit into the edges of the stiles at each pocket hole, as shown.
  • Remove the bar clamps.

Step 8: Attach the Face Frame

Ryan Benyi

Gently remove the face frame and set it aside. Apply panel adhesive in a zigzag pattern along the filler strips. Bring the frame back to the table and orient it rough-side up, hiding the screws. Lay it in place, as shown, and align it along all four edges. Tack it down with 1¼-inch brads every 8 inches or so.

Step 9: Rub On the Finish

Ryan Benyi
  • Lightly sand the entire door with 100-grit paper to knock down any splinters.
  • Use a cotton rag to rub a liberal amount of paste wax into the wood.

Step 10: Attach the Rollers

Ryan Benyi
  • Center the rolling hardware on the width of the cedar stiles. It may help to remove the wheels first.
  • Mark the screw locations, drill pilot holes into the filler-strip edge with a ⅛-inch bit, then screw the hardware in place, as shown.
  • Replace the wheels and slip the track into their grooves.
  • Measure between the door and the track to determine how high above the casing to mount it—¾ inch for this hardware.

Step 11: Attach the Mounting Board

Ryan Benyi
  • At the miter saw, cut a length of 14 equal to the length of the track.
  • We painted ours to match the wall.
  • Use a stud finder to locate the framing and mark locations above the head casing.
  • Level the mounting board above the casing and drill pilot holes through it and into each stud with a ⅛-inch bit.
  • Secure it with 3-inch deck screws.

Step 12: Install the Track

Ryan Benyi
  • Measure ¾ inch above the casing and mark two spots on the mounting board.
  • Hold the track flat against the board, with its bottom edge at the marks.
  • Using a 2-foot level, check that it’s level, then mark each lag bolt location on the board.
  • Set the track aside and drill 5⁄16-inch pilot holes at each mark.
  • Thread a lag screw through one hole and a standoff and tighten it—not all the way—using a ⅜-inch socket wrench.
  • Ratchet the rest of the lags in place, then go back and snug them all up.

Step 13: Roll the Door On

Ryan Benyi
  • Install a doorstop at one end.
  • With a helper, hoist the door onto the track and slide it to the stop.
  • Install the other stop.
  • Position the L-shaped floor guide so that it contains the door in both its open and closed positions.
  • Mark the screw locations, drill pilot holes, and secure the guide to the floor with the included screws.
  • Position the door handle on the centerline of the stile, drill ⅛-inch pilot holes, and secure it with the included hardware.

How To Hang The Door

To hang the door, we first hung the piece of oak on the wall to attach the track to for added support. Find where the studs are and mark with a pencil above and below each stud the length of the oak support,  Find your center point and level for the oak support piece. Drill holes for the hardware to attach to the oak piece to the wall. We painted our oak the same color as the walls so it would blend in. Attach lag bolts to oak piece and secure with a cordless ratchet driver.

Once the piece is secured to the wall, you can lay out the support rail onto the oak piece. Mark the rail support holes to the oak piece. Drill a pilot hole for attaching the rail hardware to the oak. Attach top rail hardware and make sure it’s level and secure. Hang barn door onto top rail guide and check that it’s sliding properly.

Double Pantry Barn Door

Designing Vibes 

This DIY barn door plan gets rid of some boring bi-fold doors that lead into a pantry. There wasn’t room for the sliding barn door hardware, so two narrow doors were added with accents that give them a barn door feel. Common boards and simple hardware make the cost of this DIY project more affordable.

Double Pantry Barn Door from Designing Vibes

Modern Barn Door

A Beautiful Mess 

This DIY barn door project is the perfect way to break up two different spaces to make them more functional. This way you can close the door when needed or leave it open so you have a much larger space. This plan shows that you don’t need to stick with a rustic style just because it’s a barn door. White paint, modern hardware, and a Shaker-inspired design make this door great for a contemporary or modern home.

Modern Barn Door from A Beautiful Mess

Three Ways to Support the Tracks

To support a door, the track needs to be solidly mounted to wall framing. There are three options.

  • Install continuous wood backing between the wall studs at the track height. This allows you the freedom to install track-mounting screws at any location.
    • Pro tip: This method isn’t practical in a room that’s finished because you would have to remove the drywall or plaster to install the blocking
  • Mount a header board to the wall surface (as seen in the photo above), making sure it’s securely screwed to the studs, and screw the track to the header board.
    • Pro tip: One manufacturer recommends a maximum door weight of 75 lbs. if you’re using this method because the support screws will only be engaged in 3/4-in.-thick wood.
  • The third option is to bolt the track directly to the studs. You have to do two things if you choose this method.
    • First, make sure to order an undrilled track, as you’ll need to drill holes yourself at the stud locations.
    • Second, ask the supplier to recommend hardware to avoid crushing the drywall. Most suppliers have crush plates or something similar to solve the problem.

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