Build Your Own Barn Door

by Jennifer Schaerer
Build Your Own Barn Door

Assembling a sliding barn door is easier than you may think, and requires only simple tools and a bit of measuring and math. I made this one with a miter box and saw (this one), a cordless drill, some reclaimed fence boards from a neighbor, a scrap of chicken wire for the window and a simple outdoor gate handle (this one).  I got the barn door hardware from a farm and ranch supply store (see last page for details).

Since I had some board ends that were cut and looked a little too "new" for my taste, I used a solution of vinegar and steel wool to age those cuts to match the weathered look of the rest of the board. I shredded one super fine (grade 0000) steel wool pad into a glass jar and covered the pieces with vinegar. After sitting for 24 hours, the steel wool dissolved. Then I used a sponge paint brush to dab it onto the cut ends.

Download a PDF of this article - complete with diagrams.

And don't miss the tutorial at the end of this article for a less rustic version of a sliding barn door.


Door Front

Step 1

Barn door diagram - front #1


Step 2


Barn door diagram - front #2

NOTE: Trim ends of "x" boards at angle to fit flush at top and bottom. Cut one board in half at the angle to match the cross intersection.


Door Back


Barn door diagram - back


Barn Door Hardware


Barn door hardware


These items can be found at some major home improvement stores, but are less expensive at farm and ranch supply stores (which is where I got mine). I paid about $49 for a set of two track rollers (called "box rail hangers"), $38 for a box rail that was 10' long (I cut it down to 7'), and $7 each for the box rail mounting brackets.


A Great Tutorial

A Repurposed Life - barn door tutorial

I built my barn door over a year ago, and I wish this tutorial for hanging the door had been available back then because it's very thorough and easy to follow. Gail walks you through not only the hardware and installation, but she also has a tutorial for making her sliding barn doors out of pine.




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Barn door hardware
I got mine here:
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