How to Make a DIY Rustic Barn Door and Hardware

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High style with low-cost lumber — and a few tricks.

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Time

Multiple Days

Complexity

Intermediate

Cost

$251-500

Introduction

If you’ve investigated rustic “barn” doors, you’ve probably gotten sticker shock. Here's how to save your money by taking the "DIY" approach to building a barn door.

Tools Required

  • 3/8-in. rabbeting bit
  • Angle grinder
  • brush knot cup
  • Router
  • standard DIY tools

Materials Required

  • 1-1/2-in. wrought-head nails (40)
  • 1x6 x 8 ft. No. 2 pine boards (12)
  • Barn door hardware kit
  • Brush or roller for poly
  • Dark stain (1 qt.)
  • Gray stain (1 qt.)
  • Knot cup brush for grinder
  • Light gold stain (2 qts.)
  • Polyurethane (1 qt.)
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Here’s How to Make Your Own Barn Wood:

Project step-by-step (16)

Step 1

Know Your Options for Barn Door Hardware

Before you start shopping for barn door hardware, take a careful look at the area where you would like to install the barn door and figure out what door setup works best.

  • If you want to cover the opening with one door, you’ll need an area on one side of the opening that’s wide enough for the door.
    • Pro tip: Make sure there aren’t any obstructions like light switches, sconce lights or heat registers that would be covered by or interfere with the door. If there’s not enough wall space on one side of the opening, you can install a pair of doors that slide to opposite sides or buy special bypass hardware that allows the doors to stack.
  • Barn Door Hardware Sources:

FH17JUN_579_50_M01_preview_v1 barn doorFamily Handyman

Step 2

Measure the Opening

  • To determine the door width, add at least two inches to the width of the opening or to the outside dimensions of the door trim.
    • Pro tip: Sliding doors should extend at least an inch beyond the sides of the opening that don’t have trim or an inch beyond the moldings of openings with trim. You can add more overlap for extra privacy.
  • Choose your barn door hardware before determining the door height. Check the measuring instructions or ask the manufacturer for help arriving at the door height. In most cases, measuring to the top of an opening with no trim, or to the top of the trim, and subtract 1/2-in. from your measurement will give you the minimum door height required.
    • Pro tip: Make sure you allow enough clearance above the opening to lift the door onto the track. This distance varies depending on your hardware, so again, check with the manufacturer.

measure barn door openingFamily Handyman