DIY: Sliding Barn Door on a Budget!
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I am finally ready to post about my sliding barn door DIY! The project itself was fairly quick, easy & cheap. However, it has been months since they were built & I never wrote anything down; I only took photos of the materials and steps. And let me tell you, photos are NOT enough when you wait this long to do a write-up. Like I said in my previous quick update post, my lesson has been learned!
The husband suggested I turn our (unused) formal living room into my dedicated craft room. The only issue was that it had a large open doorway on each side of the room. I wanted to be able to close off the room because:
- we have dogs that like to explore
- i need a way to have privacy & less noise
- guests don’t need to see it in a state of chaos
Enter barn doors! Looking up completed ones & kits to make them though made me flabbergasted. Those bad boys are not cheap & I needed TWO huge ones! As you may have already learned from previous posts, I like to keep things on a tiny budget when possible, so we decided we could build our own sliding barn doors.
I went on pinterest (because, obviously) and holy moly, SO MANY different ways to build sliding barn doors. Seriously. So I mixed and matched the ideas I liked best and were cost-efficient, put them together, & now we have my own tutorial on how to build them!
(for ONE sliding barn door for a 5ft doorway)
- 1 10ft long, 1/2in EMT conduit pipe
- 2 black iron, 1/2in floor flanges
- 2 black steel, 1/2in nipple fittings
- 2 black iron, 1/2in 90 degree elbows (with 2 different ends)
- box of 1in screws
- 4-8 #14, 2in screws
- 2 non-swivel casters
- 2 3/4in screw-in eye bolts
- 1 handle (your choice)
- 13 6ft long, dog-eared fence boards
- 2 2inx3in wooden ‘stud’ boards, 67in in length
- 1 ‘L’ bracket as a door guide is optional (we did not use it, so I don’t recommend)
In total, we spent $63.50 for the materials to make one barn door. That’s cheaper than it costs to just get the specially made sliding brackets!
How To Make the Door:
First off you want to make sure your 2×3 boards are cut to 67 inches. These will be the main frame of the door on the top and bottom. Lay them out on a flat surface.
Next we lined up our first fence board to one end of the framing boards. The fence board needs to be flush with the outside of the framing boards. Use two screws on each end to attach.
Continue lining up each fence board to the previous fence board & making sure they are flush to the framing board and attach with two screws on each end until you get to the end of the framing board.
Note: fence boards are not perfectly straight, so gaps are expected. When picking them out at your hardware store, look down the thin side to pick the straightest ones.
For our last (12th) board, we ended up cutting it straight down the middle vertically before attaching.
Now you want to take the 13th fence board, cut off the ‘dog ear’ end so it is straight & attach it in the middle of the fence board horizontally, on the same side as the framing boards. This will serve as a reinforcement. It will be a little shorter than the width of the barn door, but that is okay! Attached with screws on every 2-3 boards.
Nest, attache the casters to each end of one framing board. This will be the bottom of your sliding barn door; we chose the straight side of the fence boards to be the bottom on ours.
On the other side (the ‘top’), attach the two eye bolts. These will serve as the ‘sliders’ for your door. Pre-drilling a hole makes it easier!
Attach your chosen handle to the middle reinforcement board & the door itself is finished!
This is the best time to lightly sand and stain or paint your door. I kept mine natural for the time being, but I plan on grey-staining them soon (future tutorial possibly!).
How To Setup the Slider:
We are now at the final step of actually setting up the hardware so you have a sliding barn door!
First & foremost, you need to know which side it will slide to. Our walls were two different widths, so we chose the larger one.
Stand your door up straight next to your doorway & mark where the middle of the eye bolt is on the wall next to the door frame. Put the door aside, but close by!
Next attach one floor flange to wall where you marked with 2-4 of the #14 screws. The center of the flange should match up with the mark. Screw in one nipple, then one 90 degree elbow.
The conduit pipe should slide over the other end of the elbow snuggly. Attach your door to the conduit pipe by threading it through both eye bolts.
Finally, you want to attach the other end of the pipe to the wall with the same flange, nipple, elbow setup. The easiest way we found was to screw together the 3 fittings first, slide the pipe onto it, then attach to the wall. Make sure the pipe is level!
And now you are all finished with your very own sliding barn door!
Please note: the pipe height is very important. If it is too high, this sliding door will SCREECH when opened & closed. One of the doors we did is perfect & barely makes a sound, the other one, not so much!
Let me know if you try this out!