How to make a custom sliding barn door
Who said barn doors were just for barns? These rustic, shabby chic doors make absolutely beautiful statement home decor pieces for your bedroom, bathroom or dining room! The dramatically exposed hardware, simple-and-fresh design and versatility make these doors perfect accessories for modern, rustic and vintage homes, lofts or apartments!
The great thing about these doors is that you can either restore an old barn door that you can score at a vintage or flea market or make your own with foot boards, metal plates, trolley hangers and rails! Plus, you can customize the color to fit your theme, personality or style. Leave those boring old, traditional doors for your grandma's house and spruce up your digs with a restored sliding barn door!
What you'll need:
- Old barn door (or materials to make one, refer to this list)
- Paint and sandpaper
- Metal plate
- Trolley rail
- Trolley hanger with 9 bolt
- Door handle
- L-frame anchor plate
- Wood finishing supplies
Step 1: DIY your door
Whether you chose to make your own door or restore one you bought, add some of your personality to your door by staining, sanding or painting it to fit into your home or favorite room! For a fun how-to on restoring a door you bought, check out House Tweaking. For some great inspiration photos, check out the different options on Remodelista!
Step 2: Attach your door hardware
Lay the metal plate onto the door where you'd like it to sit. Attach at least two screws per board into the metal plate. Most metal plates have more holes than you need so you can decide to add more screws to fit the holes if you are worried about the plate holding the door's weight.
Step 3: Prep your sliding hardware
Before you buy the rail, figure out how long you need it to be. Most door frames need about five feet, so use a metal grinder with a cutting wheel and slice off additional rail. (Or ask the nice people at Home Depot or Lowe's to cut it for you). Attach one side of the L-bracket to your rail and, once you're ready to mount the door, you will attach the other side of the bracket to the wall.
Step 4: Attach trolley rail to wall
The trolley rail will have a large hole in the center, large enough to fit a drill extension bit through it, which will allow you to screw the rail into the wall. Once you have the rail mounted to the wall, line up the L-bracket that is attached to the rail to the second L-bracket on the wall to mount it.
Step 5: Measure door height
Using a tape measure, measure the door frame from the trolley rail down to the floor and write down the dimensions. You will probably have to cut the door you have (or the one you've made) so it fits the frame perfectly. Then, lay your door against the frame inside of the doorway. Slide the trolley wheels inside the rail and attach a 2 x 4 board to the back of your door with screws. The point of screwing another board to the back of your door is so you can attach the trolley wheels to the back of the door and give them support. Without a board, you can risk the wheels falling off the back of the door with any movement.
Step 6: Drill holes for bolts and attach wheels
Using your drill, drill a hole into the back of the board you just screwed to the back of the door. Make sure the hole is large enough for a bolt to fit through. The trolley wheels come with bolts and screws to help you attach the wheels with ease. Slide a bolt through a washer screw and into the hole of your wheels right through the board. This will make it easy to tighten the wheels into place. Then, drill the screws into the door tightly so the wheels don't budge.
Step 7: Attach handle and finish the door
Now comes the fun (and substantially easier) part of the how-to. Using strong wood super glue, press the handles onto the right-hand center of your door. Hold the handle firmly in place for at least five minutes to ensure it doesn't slip and move from the door. The last thing you want is the door popping off when you're trying to slide it! Place your door (once the handle has set) onto the trolley rail by sliding the wheels into the trolley rail. Do a few test slides to make sure the wheels are set in place inside of the trolley rail. You may need to adjust the wheels to make sure the door slides with ease. Then, admire your beautiful DIY handiwork and be prepared to field questions on when you can make another door for your friends!
While you're DIY-ing your home, try spray painting your furniture for a fun twist! Watch below:
Learn to spray paint furniture like a pro. It is easy and an easy way to revive old outdoor furniture. On this episode of SheKnows How To.