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Home > Ideas & Tips > How to Build a Sliding Barn Door

How to Build a Sliding Barn Door

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Learn how to DIY sliding barn doors to create your own rustic room decor. Barn doors offer style and function — use them to separate open spaces in your living room, bedroom, basement, and more.

STEPS DIFFICULTY TIME REQUIRED ESTIMATED COST
14 MODERATE 1 WEEKEND $$$
STEPS
14

DIFFICULTY
MODERATE

TIME REQUIRED
1 WEEKEND

ESTIMATED COST
$$$
blue sliding barn door conceals doorway next to rustic live edge dining table

What You Need
For This Project

VIEW ALL TOOLS & MATERIALS

Resources


Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram

Step by Step Instructions


A sliding barn door is easy to build. Once you know how big the door needs to be, adjust the length of the stiles and the top/bottom rails to the desired lengths. The crossbar is cut to fit the actual door. The car siding is designed to have one board centered in the door panel and then fit the boards toward each side, all cut to fit the door as it is built.

Make a Frame

Step One

Cut the stiles (A) and top/bottom rails (B) to size. Sand the parts with 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper. (A random-orbit sander makes quick work of this.)

See "Drawing 1: Frame Assembly" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

diagram of barn door frame
diagram of barn door frame

Step Two

At the end of the top/bottom rails, drill pocket holes to receive the pocket-hole screws using a pocket-hole jig.

Tip: Drill pocket holes to leave space for the door hardware. On the top rail, drill two closely spaced holes near the bottom edge of the board.

On the bottom rail, drill two holes about 1 inch from both the top and bottom edge of the board.

drilling pocket hole screws into lumber
drilling pocket hole screws into lumber

Step Three

Align the top/bottom rails (B) with the ends of the stiles (A). Add glue and drive the pocket-hole screws to make the frame.

See "Drawing 1: Frame Assembly" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

Building barn door frame with pocket-hole screws and glue
Building barn door frame with pocket-hole screws and glue

Step Four

Draw a centered line down the board for the crossbar (C). Slip it under the frame and align the mark with the inside corner of the frame.

At both ends, trace the shape of the frame on the crossbar.

See "Drawing 1: Frame Assembly" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

  • Assembling barn door frame with diagonal crossbar
  • Assembling barn door frame with diagonal crossbar
  • Assembling barn door frame with diagonal crossbar
  • Assembling barn door frame with diagonal crossbar

Step Five

Clamp a pocket-hole jig to the stile near the corner and drill a pocket hole on the back face of the frame.

Repeat on the diagonally opposite end.

clamping barn door frame and drilling pocket hole
clamping barn door frame and drilling pocket hole

Step Six

Using a jigsaw, cut the crossbar and sand the edges smooth. The bar does not have to be a perfect fit — ease the edges where it meets the frame to create a rustic look that helps hide imperfections in the jigsaw cut.

Glue and screw the crossbar to the stiles.

attaching crossbar to fit barn door frame with cordless screwdriver
attaching crossbar to fit barn door frame with cordless screwdriver

Add the Siding

Step One

Cut two 1-in. by 2-in. boards to match the height of the door for the edging (D). Glue the edging to the sides of the door with the outside edge flush with the outside edge of the frame stiles.

The edging creates a smooth edge along the door and conceals the edges of the siding boards.

See "Drawing 2: Siding" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

diagram of barn door boards over frame with crossbar
diagram of barn door boards over frame with crossbar

Step Two

Cut car-siding boards to match the height of the door for the siding (E), and the siding filler strips (F).

Measure the distance between the edging and subtract 1/4 inch from the overall width of the siding; this will allow the siding to install easier.

See "Drawing 2: Siding" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

diagram of barn door boards over frame with crossbar
diagram of barn door boards over frame with crossbar

Step Three

To centre the siding board pattern in the door opening, combine the widths of the five siding boards and mark equal amounts to be trimmed from the two siding filler strips (F).

See "Drawing 2: Siding" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

diagram of barn door boards over frame with crossbar
diagram of barn door boards over frame with crossbar

Step Four

Assemble the siding boards between the edging and secure them to the frame with 1-1/4-in. drywall screws.

attaching siding boards to barn door frame
attaching siding boards to barn door frame

Step Five

Use a scrap and mark a diagonal across the door going in the same angle direction as the crossbar. Use the line to position screws and drive to secure the siding boards to the crossbar.

marking diagonal line as crossbar for barn door
marking diagonal line as crossbar for barn door

Mount the Hardware

Step One

Tape around the area where you’ll notch the top of the door to receive the hardware. Mark out and cut the notches with a jigsaw.

See "Drawing 3: Roller Attachment" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

  • cutting notches for door roller hardware into barn door frame with jigsaw
  • cutting notches for door roller hardware into barn door frame with jigsaw
  • cutting notches for door roller hardware into barn door frame with jigsaw
  • cutting notches for door roller hardware into barn door frame with jigsaw

Step Two

Position the roller bracket on the door, use the holes in the hanger to locate and drill holes for the bolts. Attach the hardware pushing the head of the bolts from the backside, and use the nuts and washers on the front.

The rounded heads of the bolts protrude less on the backside, preventing them from scraping the wall.

See "Drawing 3: Roller Attachment" in Sliding Barn Door Project Diagram for details.

closeup of door roller hardware on barn door frame
closeup of door roller hardware on barn door frame

Step Three

Remove the hardware and sand any rough edges. If you are going to paint, apply a stain blocking primer prior to applying paint to seal any of the knots in the pine.

Finish with the paint of your choice.

colourful paint cans and paintbrush
colourful paint cans and paintbrush


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