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How To Build Barn Doors

Can I be honest with you? While I was building the storage cabinets, I literally had no clue how I wanted the doors to look. I finally found the perfect inspiration photo about midway through building the second storage cabinet and here I am - sharing it with you guys!

Oddly enough the photo wasn't even a house door - it was some sort of garage door or a door to a resort of some sort, but when I saw it I KNEW i had to make my own! Of course mine is made with different material but it's a similar concept!

 For size reference I'm 5'0" - these doors are about 7 feet tall!

For size reference I'm 5'0" - these doors are about 7 feet tall!

Tools Needed for This Project:

Cost: $$$$ (tools are expensive!)

Difficulty: Intermediate

 

 

 

 

Materials Needed for This Project:

  • Wood Pallets (Roughly 6-8) Make sure you choose wood that you would like to see on your finished door! This may take some time (especially if you want sun bleached & distressed wood). 60-70 full length pieces should be more than enough!
  • 1/4 Inch Plywood
  • 1x3x8 Pine Wood
  • Wood Stain and Rag - I used Varathane's Kona
  • Polyurethane - I used clear matte
  • Paint Brush
  • Construction Adhesive aka Liquid Nails - you'll need about 5 bottles for this length/width doors
  • 1-1/4 inch Wood Screw
  • 3/4-in Brad Nails
  • 120 grit Sandpaper
  • Nail embedded blade - for reciprocating saw
  • Eye and Ear Protection
  • Clamps
  • Wood Glue
  • Door Handles - comes with decorative appliques
  • Latch Hook & Eye
  • Cabinet Hinges

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Instructions:

The first thing you'll want to do is break down the pallets. I wanted to have the nails show in my final design so I opted to maintain the entire length of the pallet boards. I felt I didn't do this correctly so I recommend referencing this YouTube video that will show you how to break them down a few different ways. One thing I would recommend is to get a corded reciprocating saw. I got the ones with batteries and the batteries kept dying within 10 minutes - I tried another saw, using different batteries, etc. I feel if I had a constant flow of energy, it might have saved me much more time!

To make these barn doors, I purchased quarter inch plywood and cut it down to the size of my doors (29" x 87"). I laid the plywood down and drew a rough sketch of the design I wanted.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios
how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

Once I have an idea of how it would look I knew I would like the design so I went ahead and stained the wood front and back with Varathane's Kona - I chose to go dark enough to match majority of the wood but not too dark (like black) since I think it would look off.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 8.08.12 PMedited.jpg
 Image 1: Outline for Door (left). The opposite door (right) should mirror the above image.

Image 1: Outline for Door (left). The opposite door (right) should mirror the above image.

I ended up drawing out the guidelines again by finding the midpoint of the wood and drawing a straight line, then connecting the outer edges to the center (diagonally). See Image 1 above.

 Image 2: Diagonal Pallets (Top)

Image 2: Diagonal Pallets (Top)

 Image 3: Diagonal Pallets (Bottom)

Image 3: Diagonal Pallets (Bottom)

I determined the angle I needed to cut the wood and added some construction adhesive. I placed it along the guide and clamped it down, then nailed it into place with a nail gun. Once you have this first guide piece down, you don’t have to clamp the rest down unless you’re adding another guide piece. FYI - there are 2 guide pieces for each door!

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios
how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios
how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios
how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

Notice the ends of the board has been cut down - I did this off camera so it would not be too much overhang.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

I repeated the same for the other end and completed the rest of the design.

 Image 4: Completed Door Design

Image 4: Completed Door Design

Once the design was complete, I notice the door was pretty flimsy so I flipped it over and glued on a 1x3 piece of wood on the sides, top, and center and screwed it into place.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

I wanted the middle to have support so I added some pocket holes on the ends of the middle boards and screwed them into the longer 1x3's to have something that looks like this.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios
how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

I took the door outside, face down and used a circular saw to remove the excess overhang.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

After I trimmed down the doors, I added 3 coats of poly and let it sit overnight.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

I wanted a little more to the doors so I added these garage door appliqués and handles according to the instructions they came with.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

I didn’t quite know how to add these hinges, so I let my husband take it over.

I held the door while the cabinet was front face up and my husband made marks where the door and the cabinet will meet.

Screen Shot 2018-01-08 at 8.13.57 PMedited.jpg

He made these holes with a fostner bit and screwed in the hinges and put the door back on the cabinet and screwed in the hinges. We referenced this YouTube video that was pretty good at explaining these hinges.I prayed and hoped the door wouldn’t fall off and it was good!

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

It did have this annoying squeaking so I took this knife hook thingie and shaved off the wood on the door that was pressing against the cabinet.. that pressing was making the annoying squeaking sound.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

After I had the doors on I opted to put on these hook and eye latches since I have curious little ones  that will constantly open and close these doors if they had the chance to.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

Now I have to say, these doors are not perfect BUT they get the job done. There is a gap between the door and the cabinet and I think that’s because I don’t have a magnet holding it in place. I could be wrong but that’s my theory.

how to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

Also, there is a slight overhang on the door. Since it doesn’t cover the front completely like I anticipated (it’s because of the hinges, I think), there is overhang on the otherwise. Is it enough to bother me? Not at all but just keep this in mind when building yours!

IMG_0840edited.jpg
how to build barn doors - simply handmade studios

I hope you guys enjoyed this post and my take on the barn doors. If you liked what you read, please feel free to share this post and pin away these pics!

How to build a barn door - simply handmade studios

I hope this inspires you to create! I literally cannot believe I made this! If I can, you definitely can, too!!

how to build a storage cabinet - simply handmade studios