How to Build a Sliding Barn Door
You love this rustic touch! TOH fans had a flood of questions about DIY barn doors. Here are our answers
We want to install a sliding barn door. Any ideas?
—Deborah Beck, Bucks county, Pennsylvania
More than 1,000 of you, including reader Deborah Beck, wanted to know the best way to tackle this project. It's easy to see why: building a sliding barn door means you don't have to rip open and reframe a wall for a pocket door. Plus, DIY barn door hardware is available in all manner of styles and budgets, and the door options are limitless—from salvage finds to original DIY creations like this one, a mix of pallet wood and common cedar. Follow this tutorial on how to build a sliding barn door from TOH senior technical editor Mark Powers.
SATURDAY Build the door (Steps 1-10).
SUNDAY Hang the door (Step 11-13)
Download and print the cut list.
Before you begin: Measure the width of the door from the outside edges of the casing, then order a hardware kit with a track twice that width.
Cut List for Installing a Sliding Door
Designed to cover a 30-inch-wide opening with 4-inch casing on either side, this door measures 38½ inches wide by 2¼ inches thick by 83½ inches tall.
1x6 pine boards for the back: Cut the boards ½ inch shorter than the height of the opening to allow the door to pass over the floor guide.
1x3 strapping for blocking: Cut a length the width of the work surface; ours measured 48 inches. Then cut the rest of the board into blocking.
1x5 pine for the filler strips: Cut three rails the width of the door; ours measured 38½ inches. Then cut four stiles to fill between the rails, completing the upper and lower panels of the door. Our stiles measured 35 inches long for the upper panel and 34 inches long for the lower one, to create the 1-inch channel for the floor guide.
Pallet boards: About 60 boards at least 24⅜ inches long, mitered to parallel 45-degree angles on each end to fit.
1x6 cedar for face frame: Cut two stiles the height of the door; ours measured 83½ inches. Then cut four rails to span between the stiles; ours measured 27½ inches. Edge-glue and clamp two of those rails together to make the bottom rail. Rip 2 inches off one edge after the glue dries.
1x4 pine for the mounting rail: Cut it to match the track length; ours measured 77 inches.