Introduction: DIY Barn Style Door

About: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check out my site @

A barn style door carries a lot of charm, and really makes for a great addition in a shed. Previously, I built a small shed, and now it's time to build the door. I decided to build the door from scratch, making my own panels, and a half lap joint frame, combined with using nice barn style hinges.

Step 1: The Frame

I started with laying out the pieces for the frame. These pieces look like 2 by 4s, however they're actually ripped from 2x10 framing lumber which enables you to get better quality pieces. I have the pieces cut to fit the opening of my shed, with two long pieces, and three shorter pieces - one for the top, middle and bottom.

I'm going to connect the frame using half lap joints, so I started with marking all my pieces. The half lap joint is great because it's so simple yet strong - one piece of wood fits halfway into the other piece. There are many ways of making this cut, I decided to use a circular saw which makes the job go pretty fast. After I made a series of cuts on the marked sections, I used a hammer and a large chisel to remove the wood and clean out the surface of the joint.

Step 2: Tongue and Groove

Now that the pieces are cut for the frame, I need two panels to float inside of each window. I decided to make my own panels using basic cheap white wood and a tongue and groove bit on the router. So first I cut the wood to length (in order to fit inside the frame "windows").

To accomplish the tongue and groove joint, I used a bit which enables you to cut both joints simply by lowering or raising the bit. I started with cutting the tongue, and then I simply lowered the bit so the top section hit the middle of the wood, and cut the groove. Then test fitting to make sure the pieces fit together.

Step 3: Beadboard Lines

I wanted the panels to have some definition, so I decided to make my own beadboard lines using a mini plane which I ran down each side of the wood a couple of times. The rounded corners really help give the wood a much more sectioned off look where you clearly see each board.

Step 4: Groove in the Panels

Now pack to the frame, in order for the panels to float inside the frame, I need a groove on the half lap joint pieces. So I'm using the same bit again, routing a groove all around on the inside.

Step 5: Gluing the Panels

Gluing the panels up is pretty simple, since they fit into one another. I think it's really cool that you can make a door with basic lumber like this, a few times the pieces were a touch bowed, but with a little convincing it was fine...

Once the panels were dry I ran the edges on the router again to create a tongue all around.

Step 6: Test Fitting

And here it's test fitting time, so I put all the pieces together for a dry fit, to ensure the door fits into the opening. After that I took it apart, and once I knew the assembled door fit, it was time to glue it together. But first, priming the panels, since these will be free floating and not glued in place, so I want to make sure the tongues especially has some paint on them, to protect from moisture.

Step 7: Gluing the Panels

So the pieces are all ready to be glued up. After fitting in the first panel, I decided to wax all the tongues with some of my mineral oil wax, and this little tip helped so much in order to make it easier to fit the tongues into the grooves.

It's important to assemble this in the right order, since once you glue the corners together, that's it. So I'm starting from one corner, getting the first panel in place. And in order to secure it, I'm drilling two holes, and glueing dowels in, and this will really pin it in place.

Assembling this just took a little bit of time and patience to get it all right.

To get the last piece in place, I squeeze the tongue and groove together by I gently applying some clamping pressure.

Then I drilled and glued in two dowels on each half lap connection point, which really makes it a lot stronger!

Step 8: Painting

I spent a good amount of time sanding this door since this wood is framing lumber, so there were quite a few splinters, etc...

After priming the whole door, I went with a bright red coat of oil paint. And this is one of my favorite paints, it just goes on so smoothly.

I also added two decorative cross sections to complete the barn style look.

Step 9: Hinges

Now, time to connect the hardware! First I'm spraying some screws and bolts here black to match, and I have these gorgeous barn style hinges, which are quite large! I really like these hinges, they are really heavy and substantial, so just positioning it right and attaching it to the door.

Step 10: Holders on the Door

Then I'm securing the accompanying holders on to the door frame. So the pin on the hinge, simply slips into the holder. So there's one above and one below, and it opens up so nicely! Now once I knew everything fitted right, I removed the hinges, in order to add the carriage bolts which really hold each hinge in place completely. And then re-attaching and securing the bolt with a nut on the other side.

So time to add the top part holders to the door frame which fully secures the door to the frame and locks it in place. Then to be able to close the door, I have a black latch here, which matches the hinges nicely!

Step 11: Shed Sign

To complete the picture, I made this little sign which I carved on the cnc machine. It's made out of cedar and I painted the inside and added some stain to the outside.

Step 12: Conclusion - Watch the Video

For a much better perspective, make sure to watch the video that goes over all the steps in building this door! Also, I made an accompanying Instructable on How To Build the Shed which would be helpful to check out for a more complete picture of this project.