how to build sliding barn doors

sliding barn doors
Tools Needed
1 Wood Glue
2 Wood Filler
3 Saw
4 Measuring Tape
5 1 pack of 1 ¼ screws (trim head)
6 6 1”X8”X8' boards
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Materials Needed
1 Wood Stain
2 Sanding Block
3 3 1”X1”X8' boards
4 Polyurethane
5 Drill
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Total Cost
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Estimated Time
4-6 Hours
Skill Level: Expert
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

sliding barn door

Sometimes it makes since to save a little money and try to preform a task on your own. If you are looking to save then you might want to try building your sliding barn doors from home. There is no doubt that the task will take up some of your time but if you are working on a budget then this might be the best choice for you.

You will need to make a trip to the hardware store to make sure that you have all the supplies needed. Once you have everything, you are ready to get started. Don't worry, with the right tools and direction you are sure to have your sliding door built and functioning just the way you would like.

Step-By-Step Instructions


Measure and Cut

sliding barn doors measurements

To get started you will want to measure and cut the lumber. On the 1”X8” board you need five pieces that are each 84” in length. You will also need to cut three pieces that are 29 ¼ inches long. Next, you need to use the 1”X4” board to cut two pieces each 84” in length. You will need to set aside the other 1”x4” board that you have to use later.

You should always measure two times before cutting and make sure that you use safety glasses. These glasses help to keep your eyes protected while you are cutting and small pieces of board are flying around.


Arrange Boards And Start Assembling

barn door slabs

Take the five pieces of 1”X8”x84” that you cut and place them all side by side. Making sure that the pieces touch completely and are all even with the height. Now, you can take the two pieces of 1'X4'X84” and place one on each side of the 1'X8'X84”.

Now you need to place wood glue on the outside of the  1'X4” and place this piece flush on the top side of the 1”X8” to basically make a border around your sliding barn door. Now you need to use the trim head screws that you have in order to secure the two boards together. Space the screws out. Making five rows of two on each row of the board you are securing. Be sure not to split the word by over forcing the screws. When this one is complete do the same with the other 1'X4”X84” and the 1”X8”x84” boards.


Placing The 1”X8”X29 1/4” Boards

hanging barn door

Now you need to place the other three boards. These will run between the boarders that you just made to secure all the boards together. Wood glue these boards and then secure them with screws just as you did with the other boards. When securing these however, make sure that you get at least four screws in each of the three boards you are installing these across. Place one of the boards at the top of the door and the other at the bottom of the sliding door.

For the third piece of board you will need to measure 34” down from the doors top and then make a small pencil mark. This needs to be done on the left, as well as the right side, of the door. After the mark has been made you can now place wood glue on the third board. You will want to place the top of this board where you drew the lines when you measured. Finally screw this board in.


Making The X Pattern

barn doors

You can now start making the X pattern. To do this you need to place the other 1'X4” board that you have across your sliding barn door's bottom half. You should line the edges of the board up with the cross piece sections and the bottom corners.

Take a straight edge and use a pencil to mark a line on the 1'X4” board that will match the angle of the cross-piece and bottom sections. This will provide you with the angle for the cuts that you need to make. Line the saw up with the marks that you made and cut the board.

Now you can use wood glue on the piece, fit it into place, and then screw. For the cross of the X pattern use the board that you have remaining. You need to line it up and use the straight edge to draw a line where the board should be cut, so that it doesn't overlap the board that you just placed. Cut and then fit this board into place. Do this with the left over piece until you have the whole X pattern is fit. Glue these boards and put them in place. Finally screw them down and your pattern should be complete.


You should take the wood filler and place it into all the holes that were created as you placed the screws. Use the tube of filler to dab a bit in each hole and then smooth it out. When the filler has dried completely it is time to sand the whole door down. You should always sand with the grain.

Once sanding is complete, you can stain the door. When staining use a rag and go with the grain of the wood as well. Make sure to stain and sand both sides of the door. When the stain is done drying you can apply the polyurethane using a paintbrush.

Install any door hardware that you desire and your sliding barn door will be complete. If you want double sliding barn doors then you can use double the wood and make a second door. Other than that all that is left is to install them where you desire.

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