The house renovations continue and slowly, yet surly, things are starting to come together! We’ve always planned on separating our music room and living room with some sliding barn doors, however choosing a style was a whole other problem. We were so close to going with a weather wood look, almost decided on a complex herringbone design, and at the last minute decided to keep things SIMPLE! Whatever style you are after, I think you can use this tutorial as a great starting point. For our sliding doors, we wanted to mimic the craftsman design of the rest of the doors in our home and keep things clean, bright and WHITE.John was anxious to get the doors up in an effort to protect his pride and joy from our two
terrors youngest…and no, I’m not referring to myself, rather a beloved musical instrument, or two (or five). As I’m sure you can imagine, despite being quite heavy, there is no stopping a determined child……but it was a valiant effort babe! And in the end, we have some beautiful doors that separate the two very different rooms quite nicely and act as more of a statement wall, not to mention a fantastic backdrop for family photos! It was definitely cost efficient to built the doors ourselves and I LOVE how they turned out. However, since the only role I played in this project was a bit of paint touch up (which was Snowbound by Sherwin Williams) I’m gonna go ahead and sign off and leave the tutorial to my main man.*Please read all instructions before beginning as I ran into a bit of a problem along the way!
The first thing you need to do is choose your hardware. We purchased two of THESE “barn door” hardware kits from Lowe’s. The kit came with great instructions and recommendations for how to measure your door opening, placement of hardware, etc.
The measurement of the door opening will determine the size of MDF slabs that you will need. I gave my self a few extra inches on the size of the door as we wanted additional coverage on either side of the opening when the doors closed. I used 1/2 thick MDF and had Lowe’s cut 2 slabs the exact size I needed for our 2 doors. I also purchased 1/2 inch thick x 3 1/2 inch wide door/window trim to accent the sides of each door and add a cross bar. I used this to tie into the rest of the door and window trim in our home, but ended up causing a bit of a problem as I will explain below.
On a flat and elevated surface in our garage (a long table) I painted the MDF slabs with primer and a few coats of paint. Once dry, I used liquid nail to glue the accent trim to the painted board. I also added a few nails to secure each piece of trim using a nail gun. After puttying the nail holes, I caulked around all the seams with white paintable latex caulk. I then painted the trim pieces. When thoroughly dry, I flipped the doors over and added the trim to the back sides.
Once the doors were painted and fully dried, I began to assemble the hardware…and here is where I ran into a major problem: the doors I built where thicker than the bolts were long. I could not fasten the hardware to the doors. My first thought was to buy longer bolts, but then realized a longer bolt would actually scrape on the wall when opening and closing the doors. So to solve the problem, I countersunk the nuts on the backside so that they were flush with the door. It ended up working out just fine, another option would be to use something thinner than the 1/2 inch thick trim I used.
Above the door opening we added a header similar to the rest of the doors in our home. The header is necessary to keep the doors far enough away from the wall to slide back and forth without hitting into your baseboards. Making sure the header (and hardware) is EXACTLY level is key. Otherwise, the weight of the doors will cause them to slide on their own. There are tips for size and placement of the door header in the kit instructions if needed.
When adding the hardware to your doors and header, follow the kit instructions carefully. Make sure to give yourself enough room for the doors to slide without scraping along the floor. Floors can be uneven so give yourself plenty of room.
Once your hardware is in place the rest is simple and straightforward. Set the doors in place on the hardware and add some handles if desired. Our handles are also from Lowe’s. Good luck and feel free to send any questions our way.