My wife has wanted a sliding barn wood door for a few years now. It seemed like every new project I started, she reminded me about the door. We have several perfect walls in our house for the door, I just continued to put it off because #1 we had a perfectly good "builder grade" door, and #2 I didn't quite know how I was going to approach this because I wasn't spending hundreds of dollars on the "hardware" from lowes or Home Depot. But it's time to start the complete home renovation one room at a time and we decided to start with the master bedroom so I figured my wife had waited long enough and it was time to give her the door she had been begging for.
Step 1: Materials
*** These measurements and material quantities are specific to the size door I wanted to cover my opening, yours may be slightly different***
*** I also used some materials I had left over from other projects around the house/in my shop***
8- 2"X6" 8 foot long boards
3- 1 1/2"X 1/4" flat steel at 88" long
1- 3"X1/4" flat steel at 88" long
2- Garage door pulleys (Mine came with bolts, washers, and nuts)
60- 1/4"X 1 1/2" lag screws
6- 5/16"X 3 1/2" lag bolts
2- 1" black iron floor flange
2- 1" black iron 90 degree elbow
2- 1" black iron close nipple
1- 1"X12" black iron nipple
Mini wax dark walnut stain
Rustoleum dark bronze hammered spray paint
Step 2: Make Your Cuts
I needed 15 boards cut at 48" to cover my opening the way I wanted. So I used a mitre saw to cut each 2"X6"X8' board in half at 48". That's it quick and painless.
Step 3: Sand
I used my orbital sander and 180 grit sand paper to bevel all edges and corners of the boards and to sand down any rough spots on the faces, to help really show the wood grain. There was no particular time limit or pressure used on each board, I just randomly went at each one (with the grain of course) because I didn't want them all to look identical. These are "barn wood" doors so I wanted them to have a inconsistent beat up look to them.
Step 4: Stain
Unfortunately, I got ahead of myself on this step and completely forgot to take any pictures of this process, but I'll do my best to paint an image in your head.
-I laid all 15 boards on a work table in the front yard where there is plenty of sunlight.
-I mixed up my can of mini wax dark walnut stain and applied it with a foam brush in random strokes with the grain.
-I did this kind of hastily and randomly, sometimes starting in different parts of the wood than where my previous stroke left off. (Remember I am going for an old beat up wood type look)
-I would stain 2-3 boards at a time and then take a lint free rag and wipe off the excess stain. Then repeat the process for the next set of 2-3 boards
- once they were all done I flipped them to the next side and started again. I did this for all 6 sides of all 15 boards
**they were completely covered and looked very good after the first coat had dried, but they looked to "new" and shiny for what I was going for. So the next day I ended up going back over them each randomly with the sander and 220 grit sandpaper, taking it all the way down to bare wood in some spots and not so much in others. Wiping them all clean of saw dust and reapplying the dark walnut stain with a foam brush again. This time I worked one board at a time instead of 2-3. I applied the stain waited roughly about 30 seconds, and wiped the excess off with my rag. Once dried I really liked the way this looked so I left it alone.
Step 5: Assemble Handle
While my first coat of stain was drying I went ahead and assembled the black iron screw pipe to create my handle.
- take a floor flange and a close nipple and screw them together.
- then screw a 90 degree elbow to the open side of the close nipple and floor flange.
- Take your 12" nipple and screw it into the elbow
- then screw the remaining elbow onto the opposite end of the 12"nipple.
- Then screw the remaining close nipple into the open end of the 90, then your remaining floor flange to the opposite end of the close nipple.
Now you should have a handle that looks like the photo above!
Step 6: Test Fit
Once my stain was dry I wanted to test fit my door and see where I wanted to mount my flat steel and if I needed to cut any of the steel.
I laid all 15 boards on the ground pushed tight against each other and flush on both ends. Then I laid 2 pieces of 1 1/2" flat steel on top of them. I ended up deciding I wanted the flat steel to be mounted 10" in from each side. So with the steel placed 10" in from either side and flush with the wood at the bottom I took some measurements and decided that if I put a lag screw every 2 3/4" that would evenly distribute two screws per board. Perfect! Now time to measure mark and drill!
Step 7: Measure. Mark. Drill
I laid two pieces of the 1 1/2" flat steel out on my work table and pulled my tape measure the length of the steel and locked it in place. I made my first mark 1 3/8" from one end, then made each consecutive mark 2 3/4" from the previous mark. I needed to drill 30 holes in each piece so I made 30 marks with my pen. Then I put my speed square on the steel to make a complete line across the 1 1/2" piece. I did this for both pieces of flat steel.Then one by one on all 60 lines I measured 3/4" from one side to find the "center" and made a cross tick mark. Then I took my center punch and hammer and center punched each tick mark (this helps guide the drill bit)
Then I set up my drill press with a 9/32" drill bit and drilled out the 30 holes in each piece of steel.
For the remaining two pieces of steel (one 3" and one 1 1/2") I made 6 lines at 16" apart (my studs measure 16" apart on center) and center punched them as well. Then drilled them out with a 11/32" drill bit.
Step 8: Paint the Hardware
Everything that had to do with this build other than the wood I previously stained was sprayed with cold galvanize, then resprayed with rustoleum dark bronze hammer paint! Rails, straps, bolts, screws, washers, and spacers.
Step 9: Mount Flat Bar and Stained Wood
After everything dried I laid my boards down at random trying to lay them as square as possible. Once they were all down I ended up moving a few boards to different locations to change the color flow up a little bit. Then I measured from top left corner to bottom right corner, and top right corner to bottom left corner, as well as put some "L" shaped squares on the corners to make sure everything was squared. Then I laid my flat bar 10" in from each side, flush at the bottom and 6" of overhang at the top. Then I rechecked that I was square and everything matched up like it should. Then I used the 60 count 1/4"X1 1/2" lag screws to bolt the flat bar to the boards. Checking that I remained square a couple of times as I worked my way up bolting it together.
When I got to the top I mounted my pulleys about 1/4" from the top.
*i also had to touch up the paint around the bolt heads, as you can see in the picture it flaked off with the dril and socket.
Step 10: Mount Railing System to Wall
I had used a stud finder to find and mark my studs a few days prior (that's how I knew to drill my holes at 16" apart).
For this step I recruited the Mrs. to help hold one side level while I bolted the other side to the wall. I had some spare close nipples, plastic washers, and galvanized washers left around the house so I used those for my spacers between the two pieces of flat bar. For each of the 6 lag bolts I had one close nipple, one plastic washer (about 1/4" width) and two galvanized washers. All together it was about 1 1/2" of spacer.
Basically my wife held the two pieces of flat bar together on one side and held a 3 foot level on top of the 3" piece of flat bar, while I held the other side, inserted my spacers, and bolt, and drilled into my previously marked location on the wall. We did this for the far left hole, one in the middle, and far right hole. The other three I was able to do by myself because at this point it was supported.
I also mounted a guide at the bottom, to keep the kids from pulling The bottom to far off the wall and derailing the door. For this I just found some aluminum flat bar I had in the garage and bent it to look decent and big enough to accommodate the door.
Step 11: Mount the Door!
Mounting the door was easy, getting the door from the garage to the back of the house where it was to be mounted was difficult. It's big and bulky and not to mention heavy, I used two furniture dollys to push it through the house while my wife navigated the front to avoid walls, couches, and counter tops. Then I leaned it up against the wall by the opened end of the railing, lifted one side up and set it on the tracks, then rolled it forward a little and picked the back up and set it on the tracks. There you have it! A diy sliding barn wood door for a fraction of the cost of the all inclusive kits!