DIY

How to Build a Sliding Barn Door in 30 Minutes

If you’ve ever built a house, you know there are always things you wish you would have done differently. In our current house, one is putting a regular door going into our toilet room in the master bath. It was always in the way when open. The solution: take it down, and replace it with a sliding barn door. Not only did it solve the problem, but it added another element of visual interest to the room.

I designed this barn door to be visually sleek and modern. Which means fewer pieces and cuts, and that means easier to build. I was able to build this one in about 30 minutes.

Here’s how I did it:

 Materials and Tools

  • brad nailer
  • 1″ brad nails
  • primed boards: 1×6, 1×4, and 1×2 (got mine from Home Depot)
  • tape measure
  • air compressor
  • wood glue

Get Measurements

The first thing I did was measure the door opening. The opening was 24.5″ x 96.5″. Keep in mind that your barn door should be about 1/2″ to 3/4″ taller than your opening. And it should be about 4″ to 5″ inches wider. This will give you a couple of inches of overlap on your trim and help create more privacy.

The problem with 8ft tall door openings like ours is that you can’t really use 8ft long pieces of trim, and in this case, for a barn door. But to avoid having a ton of waste from using 12ft pieces, I went with 8ft pieces any way. To get the extra height, I decided to put a piece of 1×2 going around the sides and top. Doing this also hid the crack on the sides.

Build the Door

The first thing I did was layout my 5 pieces of 1×6 boards side by side butted up against each other. I didn’t have to cut any of these pieces, but if your opening is not 8ft, you will need to measure and cut accordingly. I added a little bit of wood glue between each piece to give the door stability.

Then I measured the width and cut the top cross trim piece from the 1×4.

I applied some wood glue to the back of this piece.

And nailed it into place. I try to use as few nails as possible in this type of project. Less nails means fewer holes to fill and sand. I repeated these steps for the bottom cross trim piece.

Then I measured the distance between the top and bottom trim pieces. And used this length to measure and cut the side trim pieces from the 1×4’s.

I used the same glue and nailing process on the side pieces.

Once I had the face of the door trimmed. It was time to do the edge trim. Using the length and width measurements of the door to this point, I cut the edge trim pieces. The top piece was cut on a 45 degree angle on both ends. The side pieces were cut on a 45 only on one end.

Once I had all three pieces cut, it was time to glue and nail them into place.

And that’s it! A barn door in 30 minutes. It only required a total of 8 cuts.

Of course, once you have it constructed, you will need to fill the holes, sand and paint it, and hang it. To hang it, you can follow the instructions found in the barn door hardware kit you choose.

Here another shot of the completed barn door in our master bathroom.

 

 

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply Tatiane

    What a great and easy tutorial Henry. Love how simple and clean it is. I couldn’t believe you built it with 30 minutes.That’s awesome. I also love the price for the barn door hardware kit, thanks for sharing.

    November 19, 2018 at 7:23 pm
    • Reply Henry

      You’re welcome! It was super easy to build, and yes, that is a very good deal on the barn door hardware.

      November 20, 2018 at 6:23 pm
  • Reply Marty Hall

    Henry, your tutorials are awesome! Great pictures, schematics, and written instructions. Makes me want to build a swing and a barn door!

    I have an opening to my office where we want to add a barn door. My opening is 48” wide. Is that too wide an opening for a barn door like this? Should I add 1 or 2 horizontal slats to keep it from warping?

    December 31, 2018 at 6:06 pm
    • Reply Henry

      Thanks! Glad you like them. You should build all of them! 🙂

      For this barn door, I put a little wood glue between each vertical board for stability. But for 48″, yes, you might want to do a horizontal piece. That’s what I did for our barn door in our foyer.

      January 1, 2019 at 4:10 pm
  • Reply Britni

    Hi! I love your home so much!! Quick question may seem silly but how do you close the door from the inside? Do you just slide it shut with no handle?

    March 15, 2019 at 4:04 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      We currently close it with no handle, because I haven’t added the finger pull yet. Not sure why we haven’t done it yet. They are super easy to install. 🙂

      May 11, 2019 at 6:05 pm
  • Reply Isla

    What does the other side look? I have a similar opening in living room but need both sides finished. At a loss to how to do … 🧐

    May 11, 2019 at 5:15 pm
    • Reply Brooke

      The other is side is just the vertical boards with the same black finish. Hope that helps.

      May 11, 2019 at 6:06 pm
  • Reply Dana McCurdy

    Where did you get the hardware for hanging the door? I’ve looked around and some sites are very expensive. Your door looks amazing!

    June 13, 2019 at 12:48 pm
  • Reply Dana McCurdy

    Sorry I meant to ask, Do I have to remove my door opening trim to install this barn door?

    June 13, 2019 at 12:57 pm
  • Reply Wan Soo Lee

    Hello.

    This is great tutorial. And, I have a couple of questions for you.

    1. What kind of paint did you use to paint the door?
    2. I searched Home depot web site and I couldn’t find prime board you used.
    Can you let me know what kind of prime board you used?
    3. Between vertical boards, isn’t there any light leaks? Looks like you put some glue
    and is that enough to block light leaks.

    Thank you!

    September 6, 2019 at 8:24 pm
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