Introduction: How to Make an Up-Cycled Pallet Wood Sliding Barn Door
For the wood for this project I used all reclaimed a pallet material such as these.
Much of the pallets were collected last summer and the boards harvested, and left stacked outside to age naturally for several months.
Click here for a full build article on my website.
Click here for the Build video on my YouTube channel.
Step 1: Make the Track
I started the project by making the track for the door, so that it could be hung and then measurements taken to build the door. For the track, mechanism and related hardware I used items that can be purchased at most big box home stores.
The track itself is 1/8″ x 1-1/2″ welding steel, the rollers are 1-1/4″ Screen Door Rollers. I used a plank to back up the metal track to give it some rigidity and hold it away from the wall to clear the door and the roller mechanism.
Step 2: Track Assembly
Once the track is mounted above the door measure the distance from the bottom of the track to the floor and the height of the track assembly. The distance from the bottom of the track to the floor minus what ever gap you want between the track assembly and the door and the bottom of the door and the floor is the height of the door itself. because I wanted an 80″ door I mounted the track so that the bottom of the track was 81″ from the floor this allowed for 1/2″ between the door and the track and a 1/2″ under the door. You can then determine the length of the door hangers by adding the height of the track, plus the gap between the door and the bottom of the track then add a sufficient length to attach to the door side stiles.
Step 3: Door Assembly
The door itself was created by re-sawing some larger pallet rails in to 1″ stock using the rough sawn side with natural patina as the face.
I mitered the corners and used water activated glue, and pocket holes to connect the parts, I also cut a center rail, with corresponding rabbits and used pocket hole screws to attach as well but I left out the glue in case I needed to make adjustments during the build process or if expansion of the slats were to cause problems down the road.
Step 4: Smooth
To add to the aged look of the door I used my hand planes to smooth the door some, but leaving natural patina in some places. Don’t go over board here, you just want to slightly refine the look of the lumber with out removing the all the highs and lows created when the lumber was sawn. You are trying to create an “Aged” look as if the door was removed from an old structure, after years of being warn smooth by time, and handling etc.
Once I had the frame rails and stiles looking the way I wanted, I cut the “slats” and used a similar method to smooth then them fit them in to the door frame and nailed in place with 1 -1/4 inch brand nails.
Step 5: Aging and Finish
I used various techniques to highlight the distressed features of the rough sawn lumber, such as blending some flat black spray paint randomly placed in areas. (again see the video for details) I wanted the frame to appear slightly darker than the field of the door so I taped off the door, and applied a very heavy coat of walnut stain tinted Danish oil, flooding the entire surface of the rails and stiles and let it soak in not wiping any off. Once this process was complete I removed the tape and used natural Danish oil on the field of the door.
Finally I sprayed 2 coats of lacquer over the entire thing once it had dried for several hours with a light sand with a 100 grit sanding sponge between coats.