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Sliding Barn Doors

Updated on September 19, 2014

Sliding Barn Doors

Sliding Barn Doors

If you're used to seeing old vintage barns, you probably think that sliding barn doors are just these weather-beaten old doors that might even be close to falling apart. However, barn-style sliding doors are coming back into vogue for new purposes like turning one big room into two smaller rooms, loft doors, and big studio apartments. Because they slide rather than swing out, they take up less room than ordinary doors.

You can buy some really neat sliding barn doors made from repurposed antique wood, like the doors that Historic Flooring sells on eBay, like these custom sliding barn doors sold on eBay (pictured). But these door are custom made for your space and might be too expensive if you are on a tight budget.

On the show, Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna, used a sliding barn door to turn an existing bedroom that was off the living room, into another family room when the door was open. When the barn door was slid shut, the room turned into a guest room. It looked really nice. The barn door would be open most of the time, and only closed when the room needed to be a guest room. They constructed the barn door themselves.

If you're a do-it-yourselfer, you can make your own sliding barn doors too, just like Flicker user Ken Mayer did. Scroll down the page to see his project that created a sliding barn door to separate two rooms in his house.

DIY Sliding Barn Doors

What You'll Need to Make A Sliding Barn Door - DIY Sliding Barn Doors

DIY Sliding Barn Door by Ken Mayer
DIY Sliding Barn Door by Ken Mayer

2 by 4 inch boards.4 by 1 inch planksMetal brackets, nails and screwsSaw, hammer, and power driver.Sliding door track.Paint and painting tools

Instructions for Building A Sliding Barn Door

Measure everything carefully first. Taking accurate measurements now will save you a lot of hassle when you install your barn door. Measure the height and width of the area where you intend to install the barn door.

Cut the two-by-fours to the desired width and height to create the frame of your door. For larger and heavier doors like the kind you see on actual barns, you can double-stack the two-by-fours or use four-by-fours for extra strength and also use a diagonal cross brace across each half of the frame to give it added support. Assemble the frame using the metal brackets and galvanized nails or screws.

Cut planks to the height of the door. Attach them to the frame using screws or nails. Dabs of industrial-strength glue or adhesive can add strength.

Paint the door in the desired color. The door should nicely complement the rest of your d├ęcor and paint adds a nice protective coating.

Attach to the sliding track. Use an accurate carpenter's level, wood screws and the power driver. Make sure the door is as level as you can get it so it slides smoothly. Attach track wheels if the door is going to be sliding along the ground. If the door is going to be elevated slightly, attach another track.

Install the door. Get a friend to help you with this part because the door is likely to be heavy. This is where accurate measurements come in handy. Drill holes about a foot apart through the track to the board. Install the hanging rollers, making sure to pay close attention to the instructions if a manual was included. Make sure the rollers are carefully secured to the door. Mount the door, making sure it is level all the way across, and slide it back and forth several times to make certain it is functioning properly.

Be sure to keep up with routine maintenance. Applying oil to the track and rollers on a regular basis will help it keep functioning smoothly and swiftly with no jerks. Over several years, you may notice that the wood will develop warps and cracks and the paint will peel. Some people like the vintage look but, if you don't, learning about good care of wood constructions and repainting on a regular basis will help prevent it.

You can outfit your DIY Sliding Barn Door with some old fashioned original barn door rollers to give it an authentic look.

DIY Sliding Barn Door

Sliding Barn Door Hardware

Sliding Barn Door made from extra pieces of Wood - DIY Sliding Barn Doors

DIY Sliding Barn Door, photo by nickton
DIY Sliding Barn Door, photo by nickton

Using a Sliding Barn Door for the Bathroom - Sliding Barn Door for Bathroom

Sliding Barn Door for Bathroom, photo by palkadot
Sliding Barn Door for Bathroom, photo by palkadot

Sliding Barn Doors

Old Sliding Barn Door - Sliding Barn Doors

Old Sliding Barn Door, photo by inkknife_2000
Old Sliding Barn Door, photo by inkknife_2000

Sliding Barn Door Hardware

Original Sliding Barn Door Trolley - Sliding Barn Door Hardware

Sliding Barn Door Hardware, photo by Don Graham
Sliding Barn Door Hardware, photo by Don Graham

What do you think of Sliding Barn Doors?

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    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 5 years ago

      Today, I saw some of these barn doors pictured on pinterest that were used in barns that were redone into homes...and then I found your lens!

    • Commandrix profile image

      Heidi 5 years ago from Benson, IL

      Cool -- I could certainly think of one place in my house where a barn door like this would look good.