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In this post: Do you love the look of barn doors but not the price tag? We’ve got a DIY Barn Door and DIY Barn Door Track tutorial – that won’t break the bank!


Dean and I dreamed about building a sliding barn door for our house for years. But the cost was always a wee bit prohibitive. Have you ever felt the same way? Like you want a barn door but it’s too expensive? Well no more, because we’ve got a DIY tutorial for a barn door AND track that won’t break the bank!

UPCYCLED BARN DOOR no title

Since we built this barn door, we’ve installed double barn doors in our living room (at our last house), and single barn doors in our master bedroom/bathroom, guest room, and laundry room. 

Why we didn’t use reclaimed barn wood

We were initially going to use reclaimed barn boards for this barn door project and tutorial. After all what better project to use barn boards for than a barn door?!

But when we went to look at them at a shop in the city they were about $20 a board and really rough to the touch. I’m talking snag-your-best-sweater-from-a-foot-away kind of rough. Which would sort of hamper the cozy feeling in your home, yes?!

barn boards

So we decided to go for Plan B. Wood Pallets stained grey. 

aka design piano and barn door

These can usually be found almost everywhere…the side of the road, big box stores, free exchange sites, etc.

In our case, Dean had a couple of really chunky wood pallets at his work that his company wasn’t using anymore. He dismantled them and chose fifteen of the straightest boards. They were dinged and worn and full of character, but they weren’t all wonky and warped if you know what I mean.

After you’ve chosen the wood for your barn door, you’ll need rails and wheels.

DIY sliding barn door rails and wheels idea

One of the reasons we personally let this project drop to the bottom of the list for so long was figuring out the rail and wheels for the sliding action.

Typically buying the barn door hardware from somewhere costs several hundred dollars. And when we originally built this door, the big box stores didn’t even have barn door tracks or hardware kits.

But you can always get creative. This time my most talented hubby thought of using two of the kids’ broken scooter wheels minus the rubber and tubing!

RAIL AND WHEEL

DIY barn door & track materials

Materials for the track

  • 3″ x 1/8″ x 84″ long steel flat bar qty=1 (used as the track piece that goes against the wall)
  • 1-1/2″ x 1/4″ x 84″ long steel flat bar qty=1 (used as the track piece that sits out from the wall)
  • 1/2″ x 1/16″ x 2″ long steel tubing qty=7 (used as the spacers)
  • 5/16″ x 3-1/2″ long plated lag bolts qty=7 (used to attach the flat bar and spacers to each other and the wall)
  • Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint (to paint all the metal)

Materials for the barn door

Materials for the barn door handle

  • fitting black iron floor flange 1″ qty=4
  • fitting black iron 90-degree elbow 1″ qty=4
  • black steel pipe nipple 1″ x close qty=4
  • black steel pipe nipple 1″ x 16″ long qty=2
  • #12 x 1-1/4″ long screws qty=16 (to attach the handles to the door)
  • Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint (to paint all the metal)

Tips for making your DIY barn door

  • This really is not a beginner project, so be sure to get help or take your time with it. 
  • You will need to measure your own doorway and make adjustments to the measurements to fit, as our door opening was extra wide.
  • Make sure that you mount the DIY barn door track to studs in a few places so that it is sturdy.
  • Stain your boards before you assemble the door. 
  • Once you’ve drilled all the holes and before assembly, spray paint all of the metal flat bar, the wheels, and the lag nuts and bolts with oil-rubbed bronze.  Let dry.
  • All the long steel flat bar was purchased via Metal Supermarket.
grey-wash-wood-finish-sidebar

How to grey wash your boards

With a little trial and error, I’ve found a great way to get this look on any type of wood – old scrap wood, pallets found at the side of the road, and even brand new wood from the nearest Home Depot!

Grey wash materials

Grey wash tools

Grey wash instructions

  1. Sand each piece of wood. Get rid of any rough patches but keep any character marks like knots, stamps, and such. These look really amazing after this finish.
  2. Using a foam brush or foam roller apply Dark Walnut stain going with the grain to the wood in a well-ventilated area. Let sit for 5 minutes. Wipe off excess stain with a lint-free cloth or rag. Repeat on all sides for each piece. Let dry.
  3. Mix a small amount of light grey latex paint and water into a plastic cup. This will be a light grey wash. I used a mixture of about 1 part paint to 4 parts water, using CIL Stratosphere (the color) color matched into Sherwin Williams paint (at the store). Honestly, I just had them mix it into one of their “lower quality” sample pots, but I found it worked just fine. Using a foam brush apply to each piece of wood over the dry stain. This will lighten the wood and give it an aged appearance.
  4. Repeat on all sides for each piece. Let dry.
DIY BARN DOOR AND BARN DOOR TRACK

How to build your barn door – barn door & track plans

Dean and I really wanted to give you clear instructions for making your own barn door – but it’s a LOT to explain. We went back and forth between step-by-step instructions and a drawing. 

In the end, we decided it would be best to provide old-school hand-drawn plans and some explanation. 

Just click on the plan image below and you’ll be taken to a printable PDF. (Please remember this is for your own personal use and can’t be sold or otherwise modified or distributed.)

Next, you need to source the material for the rustic handles.

how to make pipe fitting handles

How to Make Pipe Fitting Handles

Since any large rustic handles that can be pre-purchased are rather pricey, we decided to DIY some really large handles using pipe fittings.

DIY Barn Door Handle Supplies

  • fitting black iron floor flange 1″ qty=4
  • fitting black iron 90-degree elbow 1″ qty=4
  • black steel pipe nipple 1″ x close qty=4
  • black steel pipe nipple 1″ x 16″ long qty=2
  • #12 x 1-1/4″ long screws qty=16

DIY Barn Door Handle Instructions

1. Twist one black steel pipe nipple 1″ x close into one fitting black iron floor flange 1″.

2. Add one fitting black iron 90-degree elbow 1″ to the nipple.

3. Attach black steel pipe nipple 1″ x 16″ long to 90-degree elbow from step 2.

4. Twist one black steel pipe nipple 1″ x close onto 16″ long steel pipe from step 3.

5. Attach one fitting black iron floor flange 1″ to the other end of the black steel pipe nipple 1″ x close from step 4.

6. Repeat Steps 1-5 for the second handle. See the photo above for visual aid. Set both handles aside until the door is assembled.

AKA Design neutral fall barn door corner

Have you ever built your own DIY barn door? Or installed a do-it-yourself barn door?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022