When my dad was here, we built a 6 ft wide by 7 foot tall barn door to slide over the office opening in the entry way. I purchased barn door hardware from the website rusticahardware.com which allowed me to customize it to my needs. With the hardware purchased, I could draw the plans for the door. I configured the door based on one very important measurement for the hardware – the door had to be no more than 1 3/4 in thick and no more than an 1/8 smaller than that.

This measurement drove the design. I cut plywood to size and glued 1×6 planks of MDF on top of it. DIY Barn Door Tutorial, sliding track hardware

To frame out the top portion I glued and nailed 1×3 pieces of pine. DIY Barn Door Tutorial, sliding track hardware

To frame out the entire door to hide all unfinished edges, I glued and nailed 1×2 pine to the outer edges. DIY Barn Door Tutorial, sliding track hardware

We built the door in no time just hours before my dad flew home. I thought, “I’ll paint this thing tomorrow and have it hanging by the weekend.” I should know better than to make such far reaching claims. It took some time just trying to figure out what color to paint it. It’s big and takes up a lot of wall space. I color matched the blue/gray from our curtains and after priming, I painted two coats. I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing. Until my husband walks by and says, “That’s not the final color is it?” He claims he was just wondering because he was unsure – but of course if someone says that you start to question. For days I walked by the door in the garage wondering if I should repaint it. I finally painted a scrap piece and set it against the wall in the entryway to get an idea of what the door would look like.

It didn’t take long before I was back at Home Depot buying more paint. But painting it was so tedious that I thought I would spray paint it this time. I had painted some benches a while back and they turned out great, so I bought the same color and started painting. DIY Barn Door Tutorial, sliding track hardware Coat after coat after coat I sprayed the door. After 9 cans of paint – I loved the color and coverage, but the sheen was splotchy and I was devastated. No matter what I did I couldn’t get it even. I researched on-line with no luck. I tried a wipe-on polyurethane in one section just to see if I could get an even sheen – no luck. I was deflated. I hate when I waste time and resources working on a project!

I knew I had to paint the whole thing again with a brush. But of course spray paint is oil-based and I was using latex paint, so I sanded the door for hours. I didn’t take all the paint off but I made sure the old paint was good and rough. I meticulously cleaned the door and painted by brush (color matched to the spray paint) the door with two more coats. The door might very well be 10 lbs heavier just with the addition of paint alone!

After attaching the hardware, we were ready to hang it last night and with some help from family (it’s a very, very heavy door) we managed to get it on the wall – and I sang praises when that heavy door didn’t rip the hardware right off the wall! I was a little concerned. Maybe more than a little.
DIY Barn Door Tutorial, sliding track hardware
DIY Barn Door Tutorial

Thank heavens this is done. Building it was a breeze (which is usually how my projects go) but the finishing detail (paint/stain) always takes longer than I anticipate and its not the part I enjoy. Steve and I are both excited to reclaim the garage that has been overtaken by the project for over a month now!

It’s done and I love it and I’m so happy I went with the punch of color as opposed to the neutral blue/gray. More importantly, I’m free to start something else!