I think it’s safe to say that we all love a sliding barn door. Am I right?
It’s also safe to say that this is one of my favorite DIY projects of all time! I am so in love with this door it’s almost ridiculous. Almost.
Curtis and I had such a great time building this together.
I use to have a curtain hanging here to serve as a closet door, but when we did our foyer & hallway makeover last year I knew I wanted a new door so the curtain came down. Basically this closet has just been open for over a year. It’s sad how easy it is to get use to a hideous sight just because you walk past it 10 times a day. There weren’t a lot of options here, the opposite wall is only about 3 feet away. It didn’t take long to decide on a sliding barn door.
The first thing you need to do when making a sliding barn door is get some measurements. Our closet opening is 48 inches x 80 inches. In order to completely cover the closet opening we added a few inches to the width and height of our door. Our door size is 54 inches x 84 inches. That doesn’t include the trim, casters or eye screws. You also need to figure out how long the steel pipe needs to be. We doubled our door width of 54 inches to get 108 inches, which is 9 feet of galvanized steel pipe.
We started by building a frame using 1 inch x 2 inch boards. The frame is 54 inches x 84 inches (the size of the door).
At both the top and bottom of the frame we added some 1 inch x 2 inch scrap pieces for reinforcement for the casters and eye screws that will be attached later. Both the casters and eye screws will be screwed into the frame 8 inches in from the edge so make sure the scrap pieces extend at least that far.
Next, we attached 3/8 inch plywood to one side of the frame using a nail gun. We did not cut the plywood to size first. You want the plywood to be exactly flush with the edge of the frame. Using a router and a 1/2 inch flush trim bit we were able to trim the plywood perfectly flush with the frame.
Once the first side of the door was trimmed we flipped the door over. We attached these blocks on the back where the handle will be screwed into the door.
Since our closet door slides open into a hallway the back of the door will be visible when it’s open. So we added plywood onto the back of the door as well. Most closet doors would slide along a wall and if that were the case we wouldn’t have put a back on the door.
Sand the edges and both sides until nice and smooth.
Now we’re getting to the fun parts. We painted 2 coats of ultra white primer + paint onto both sides.
After the paint was dry we attached the handle to the door.
The handle is made from:
– two 1/2 inch floor flanges
– two 1/2 inch connector nipples
– two 1/2 inch 90 degree elbows
– one 8 inch pipe
Being huge Beatles fans we decided to paint a yellow submarine on our door. I absolutely love this! It’s just so us. We had to cut out the vinyl in four different pieces to get the submarine as large as we wanted it.
Once the submarine was painted and dry it was time to add the trim. We used 1 inch x 3 inch trim around the door. And the final step before taking the door into the house was adding the eye screws and casters. Measure 8 inches from the edge of the plywood, not the edge of the trim. Make sure to drill pilot holes to prevent wood splitting.
These are 2 inch fixed rolling casters. Make sure to get the fixed rolling casters or you’re gonna have some problems.
Before you attach anything to the wall put the pipe through the eye screws on top of the door. The pipe is meant to be a guide for the door. The weight of the door should be sitting on the casters not hanging from the pipe. Ideally you want the pipe exactly in the middle of the eye screws. The guide pipe is made the exact same way as the door handle except with a longer piece of pipe in the middle. Attach one of the floor flanges to the wall making sure the screws are in a stud. Get the other end of the guide pipe all screwed together then attach it to the wall. Again, making sure to screw the flange into a stud.
And the door is finished!
So we didn’t quite get the pipe perfectly centered in the eye screws and you could hear the pipe rubbing on the eye screws when opening and closing. No problem. I wrapped some string around the eye screws where it was touching and it quieted the door to almost noiseless.
There’s a great reflection in the mirror tile wall of the yellow submarine barn door.
Remember how I mentioned that the back of the door is visible when it’s open?
Like I said, this project was ridiculously fun to build and it is the perfect choice for a closet door.
Until next time….