Closets With Sliding Barn-style Doors





Introduction: Closets With Sliding Barn-style Doors

We had a huge room, taking up the whole second story, with no closets. It was time to build his and her closets so we could put some actual use to the spare bedroom downstairs.

Step 1: Pick Locations for Your New Closet(s)

In our case the 2 corners were the best place to put the closets. At first we were going to put them in the 2 corners on each side of the window in hopes to create a bench area between the closets and under the window. Be sure to identify all outlets and light switches before building, in order to avoid relocating light switches we had to abort the window plan. no complaints here... 

Step 2: Build Your Frame and Hang Drywall

Build the frames for your closets. I always like to take a picture of just the frame so I have an idea where the studs are. It also helps to mark some of the studs on the floor or existing walls because once you put up the drywall it all becomes a mystery.

Step 3: Dress Up the Inside of the Closet(s)

In this case "hers" is well more organized then "his." We took a trip to IKEA to buy some organizers and had to rig up some modifications to make everything fit in what's obviously a non-IKEA closet. Go all out with this and plan for everything you have.

Step 4: Building the Doors

Measure the width of your door way divide by 2 for each door. Measure the height of your doorway. I should of added that when building your frames make sure that the wall to the left and right of the doorway are wide enough that the doors won't overhang the wall when open. So in my case, the wall doorway is 30" wide and the wall next to the doorway is 16" wide. I built the doors using 1"x4" boards, mending plates and 2"x4"s. I cut all the 1"x4" boards to the height of my doorway plus 4". I then used bar clamps and mending plates to place the boards together. Do your best at keeping them straight. After that I then cut 2"x4" boards and placed them on the top and bottom of the door, on the back side. I made the mistake of not measuring how far from the edge I placed the 2"x4" boards so they were inconsistent on all the doors. Keeping this consistent would of helped A LOT when inserting the screw eye hooks and wheels. You want the height of the whole door (from bottom of wheels to top of eye hook screws) to be equal so the bar will slide through evenly. The reason for the wheels was because I couldn't find studs in the existing walls and even though I used drywall plugs I didn't want to have all the weight of the doors (~50lbs) hanging from the bars.  

Step 5: Buy All Hardware

Buy all of your hardware. I used 1.5"x8' galvanized pipe. Working with the corner was the hardest. I wanted to place the pipe 2" on center from the closet. Trying to keep that 2" after the corner bed was difficult and resulted  in a few trips to the store to find the hardware that would fit. I then cut the pipe to the length I needed and then had the hardware store bend the pipe at a 90* angle. As I said previously I used dry wall plugs on all screws that I put into the wall for extra support. I had to string the pipe between the eye hook screws before screwing the pipe into the wall (I think that means they are permanently up there). I wanted the overhang after the corner bend because  I thought it was be cool to be able to hang clothes on there while she picks out her outfits. The "T" component used after the corner bend was actually all 3/4" fittings. It had to be this way because after cutting the pipe there wasn't any threads on that end so I had to be able to slide the pipe through these fittings. I considered drilling a screw through the top of this hardware piece to stabilize the pipe some more but after all was said it done it worked out to be a snug fit.

Step 6: Final (almost) Product

And here your have barn-style doors for your closets. I still plan to stain these doors a dark brown but I was so excited to post on instructables that I couldn't wait. I've had no issues with these once getting everything lined up. They roll smoothly and you can't even see the wheels which is cool.



    • Woodworking Contest

      Woodworking Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    Great transformation :)

    Looks very cool !!!

    I wouldn't say they are quiet but it's not to the point where its been a bother. I really thought about hanging them without the wheels but I couldn't come up with a good way to keep the doors from swinging and hitting the walls. Maybe if I would of put a wheel on the wall for the door to slide across!? Always room for improvement...

    I see, I was wondering about that, so they're actually on wheels and on top that's just to guide it, or is it actually hanging on the rail?

    You're right, the top bar is just to guide the doors. One thing that I could of done better was when I put the 2"x4"s across the back of all the 1"x6"s I should of made sure they were all the same distance from the bottom of the door. I had to use a shim on some of the wheels to make it level and role smoothly.

    New Skateboard Wheels all around would have been nice. They leave no marks, roll smooth and have a small footprint eliminating marks on the floor and wall.

    Those are nice doors. I've been considering sliding barn doors for some garage storage but the racks and rollers are ridiculously expensive. This looks much more economical. Since you built the closet from scratch you could have added framing pieces between the wall studs where you intended to attach the bar supports. This is common in bathroom walls to hand towel bars and gives you a much stronger support than drywall with anchors.

    My only other comment is you unconventional framing grid technique means that if you ever want to put an outlet or wall switch on one of those closet walls you will have to open up the drywall and drill through the horizontal framing members to get the wiring in. Some building codes require at least one horizontal member in between wall studs as fire blocks, but they aren't needed in the type of closet walls you have built.

    3 replies

    Thanks for the feedback! I did initially add framing pieces for the wall studs as you can see on the top to the right and left of the doors. Unfortunately at that time the plan of how the bar was going to hang on the wall and still allow for a door to slide was premature.

    And actually the unconventional framing method was all part of the plan. Before deciding to go to IKEA, which was when the frame was built, I had initially planned to put shelves along all of those horizontal framing members. This wasn't the case for the "her" closet since she found everything she wanted at IKEA but on the other closet the framing all served a nice purpose and resulted in some sturdy shelving. Electricity won't be an issue because there are ceiling lights right outside the doors of the closets which aim into the closets. And also I have some nice motion lights that will go on the inside above the doorway.

    Okay so you are using the horizontal pieces to support shelves, that is good, but the next time you build a wall like this you may consider turning the boards (2x4) so that the wide part (4") side is to the drywall where you want to hand your shelf. That will leave an open gap inside the wall between your horizontal shelf support and the opposing drywall board where you can run a wire if you need to without having to open up the wall.

    That's a really good point! Thanks for discussing, it's always nice to learn...

    I would love to see the doors when you have stained them! Great Job.

    Wonderfull keep doing.

    Love these. Thanks for posting!

    Beautiful work. This is actually the almost exact same design that we're planning on using for our pantry doors. Were your eye hooks screws or bolts? I'm thinking if we use bolts with a nut and washer on both sides where it passes through the 2x4, we can put the eye hooks on the bar, install the bar, and then attach the doors. The height of the hooks could then be fine-tuned by adjusting the nuts.

    1 reply

    I think you have the right eye-dea! haha. The hooks that I used were screws and I do lack the option of removing the hooks from the doors. One reason that I went with the screw route was because I didn't want to jeopardize splitting the 2"x4"s by drilling straight through them. I think your plan will work out to benefit you especially when it comes to fine-tunning.

    Nicely done. I would think the wheels would make the doors roll more smoothly than if they were just hanging. What was the total cost (-Ikea)?

    1 reply

    They do roll pretty smoothly and you don't have much of that metal on metal rubbing noise as it would if they were just hanging there. The IKEA trip was under $150. The wood for doors and all the hardware was more like $250