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DIY Barn Doors (on a budget!)

I don’t know about you, but the one thing pinterest totally helped me fall in love with was the idea of interior barn doors. They kept popping up every time I logged on & I was so inspired. There were all kinds, all price ranges. But they were functional and beautiful & I had just the right place for them. This DIY Barn Door Project was my favorite & definitely inspired this project.

We’ve been converting a room in our home that has no doors into our hybrid office/guest room space. It used to be just an office. & then we added the daybed. Now with all of our rooms full upstairs, we need a little bit of privacy for our out-of-town guests downstairs. Barn doors seemed like the perfect economical solution…until I started price shopping…

Many interior barn doors are hung with Flat Track Barn Door Hardware. As simple as it is, each 4 ft track will set you back no less than $500. Not including the doors. Well…I knew we needed about 10ft of track. & we’re a military family. Translation: we’re moving soon & I do not put much $$ into my house–especially if I can’t take it with me. So with a hardware total skyrocketing above $900 before we even started talking about doors, I had to start brainstorming. What are the options? What do farmers use on their BARNS? Surely not hardware that costs $900 right? Well. The answer was NO.

A little creative thinking, some time googling, a few phone calls & a tip from my uncle (who used to own a farm store in Wisconsin) & I was at the Tractor Supply Store picking up hardware. Turns out you can buy a 10 ft box rail for $36 and trolley hangers for about $20 a pair. That makes my hardware investment under $100. Score one for my bargain shopping skills. ;) I’ll give you a supply list for our entire project–show you how we did it–& all for about $300. Not even kidding!

Barn Door HARDWARE Supplies:

Barn DOOR supplies (all purchased at Lowe’s w/ our 10% military discount):

  • Whiteboard Wood- 1x10x10 (x 8, used four vertically for each door, cut to correct height)
  • Whiteboard Wood-1x10x8 (x 2, used horizontally across top & bottom of doors)
  • Whiteboard Wood-1x6x10 (x2, used horizontally across middle of doors)
  • Whiteboard Wood-1x10x12 (used across the top to hide the track)
  • Whiteboard Wood-1x6x8 (cut lengthwise, to fix the whoops, more on that below)
  • L brackets (to mount track hiding piece)
  • drywall screws (to screw wood for doors together)
  • door pulls
  • Paint (I used about 2/3 of a gallon of high gloss white) & supplies to paint

& here’s how it was done:

The track plan:

The door plan:

& my awesome helper:

I painted all the wood before we assembled it into doors. Each piece took two coats all the way around

I used this paint…because it was the cheapest. It worked great! I rolled it on & used the brush to touch up the sides.

& please, please, please learn from my mistake. We got ready to assemble & pieced all the wood together…only to learn that 1 x 1 x 10 really meant .75 x .75 x 9.25. All my horizontal cuts were off because the wood was NOT the dimensions listed on the signs at Lowe’s! Apparently this is normal–so do your math in person! Do not trust the posted dimensions!

Post bedtime door assembly.

During assembly I decided against my original door plan & left off the diagonal accents. I like it better without them.

Next up…getting the track up so we could hang the doors! My hubby found the studs & drilled holes in the box rail while I was painting. We used really long screws to sink the track flush to the ceiling, making sure it was solidly into the studs above.

You’ll notice my rail is just a bit short for the opening. We didn’t have a saw that could slice through the metal box rail so we opted to get a rail that was about five inches short on each side. Since the doors aren’t that heavy, it’s structurally ok (the track can hold up to 400lbs) –but if you want it perfect, the rail should run wall to wall.

Here’s one door mid-installation with the hardware still exposed. You can see the “whoopsie” board on the right–it was our fix for the dimension problem above.

I painted another board to cover the hardware & we added L brackets to hang it into the studs.The L brackets had to be short, because they sat next to the track on the ceiling when mounted.

I then painted the trolley hangers white, because they stuck out just a wee bit from under the “hardware hider” & I could see them from where I stood below.

But I kind of love my barn doors. :)

& if you can use a power drill, stud finder & can sweet talk someone at Lowe’s into doing all your cuts for you…this project is easy as pie. Building “barn doors” is really not that hard!

Total work time: 2 naps & one evening.

You could totally do it.

Promise.

& they do slide. Just realized I have no pictures of them closed–but indeed, my DIY barn doors are functional! ;)

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Barbara - Thanks for posting the tip about the hardware! I was floored by the prices for “barn door hardware”, and lo and behold, the same places where you buy real barn doors also has the hardware!

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Billie - What a beautiful blog you have created and a wonderfully instructional post about barn doors. I recently posted an article on my blog about barn doors ( http://billiemakesahome.info/?p=299 ) and you my friend have provided me with even more inspiration to create a barn door.
Thanks
Billie
Billie recently posted..The barn door has it!

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Lisa - Thank you so much for this! I’ve been running into the same exact issue. I only need to put doors on a shed that hasn’t had doors in many years (not a $900 priority in any way!)

So far I had figured out the trolley hangers, but was stuck on the bar itself. My shed doors have been leaning up against the side of the shed ‘weathering’ for years now… ;)

Thank you!

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Ellen - You could try putting rubber bands around the wheels, like the thick rubber band off of broccoli. This would cut down on the metal on metal noise.

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Ellen - I also made a barn door a little while ago and purchased all the hardware @ Lowes online and it was ready to pickup at my local Lowes in about an hour. Hardware looks the same as what was used here, I also picked up “hangers” that go with the rail because I did not mount mine into the ceiling but instead into studs in the wall and these hangers made it easy because then I did not have to drill through the metal rail.

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-shawna- - it’s heavy duty. It’s meant to be on a real barn, so it’ll last forever! I can’t answer long term though, as we’ll be moving in a year!

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Seattle Garden Design - Thank you! I am so excited about these doors. They are truly stunning and exactly what I’ve wanted for years. Can you keep us updated on how well the track holds up with wear? We are going to do this for the house in NY in a few years. Thanks!

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-shawna- - As long as you link me back, that’s totally fine! :)

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Ryan @ Barn Homes - Great and thorough tutorial, and the barn doors look great! Is it alright if I share this on my blog?
Ryan @ Barn Homes recently posted..Barn Reconstruction for Entertaining

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-shawna- - I have two walls behind mine, so they don;t swing. You can purchase floor guides, like most closets have, if you are concerned!

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-shawna- - I do not remember!

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Tiffany - Hi, I’m new to this site. My husband & I are looking to have a barn door for our theater room. What are you measurements for this space?

Thanks
Tiffany

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Caryn - I just ordered all the pieces and parts to make this fabulous design you have so kindly pictured and shared, to replace two current standard doors – but someone has pointed out that the bottom is not secure and it will swing like a doggy door. Have you found this not to be a problem?

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Steel Building Supplier - I want to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have done a fantastic job ..

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Kristen Ducy - Love the solution! I am an Interior Designer and my current client is flipping homes on a low budget. Funny I thought the same things, what do farmers do, surely not spend 500.00 per hardware set. Thank you for the idea.

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-shawna- - I decided the width based on how much space I wanted between the doors when they were open. :)

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Tay - I love your barn doors. My husband and I are doing home renovations and would like to but barn doors between our living room and front hall entrance. My question is, how did you decide how wide to make each door? Thank you.

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Everett’s Dreamy Nursery » styleberry BLOG - [...] to have a bed in here, but I later changed my mind, when I figured out a way to make it work in our guest room/office space. So orange, turquoise, lime, white, grey and pops of bright red were where I was headed. [...]

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-shawna- - Tractor Supply Store carries them all!

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-shawna- - I think the flat track hardware is smoother and quieter, if you can afford it!

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Kodiak B - Ah — so not great for a cutting a “nursery” out of our one bedroom? Any ideas on cutting down the noise or impossible . . . ?

It’s really wonderful you give such great guidance. Thank you so much.

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Natasha Swint - I am having trouble finding the trolley hangers and rails. Can you give me any suggestions? Thank you

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Sliding Doors | 11025 Old Washington Hwy - [...] DIY Barn Doors on a Budget by Styleberry Blog [...]

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-shawna- - yes–directly to the ceiling! drilled holes in the steel to match the studs. It was super easy!

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Heather - Hi – I just found your post as I’m looking to do an inexpensive barn door installation for our laundry room. You installed the box rail directly into the ceiling instead of using the brackets, right? How did you do the mounting that way? Just up through the holes in the top? My door frame currently goes right up to the ceiling, so I think that would be the easiest, right?
Thanks for the inspiration and the clue on how to find cheaper hardware! I was getting frustrated with the potential cost.

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-shawna- - I slid the trolleys on the track, then attached the door to the trolleys at the correct height. Good luck!

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beth - Hi Shawna,
I am in the process of getting a barn door made. I have one question about your installation – how did you slide your barn doors into the track? Did you have to slide them in before the track was installed or do you have room on either side?

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-shawna- - It all depends on the weight of the door. My doors are really light & they are quite easy to slide back & forth! Noisy, but easy.

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Leanne - Can you tell me if they are heavy to slide back and forth? We are doing an addition for my healthy 89 year old mother in law and I thought we could use these as the door between her living space and our dining room. My husband is worried that they would be heavy for her to open……………….
Thanks!

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-shawna- - I have walls behind mine on both sides!

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-shawna- - yes! Only at the top! I have walls behind them though. :)

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Ashley - Hi there! I was googling sliding barn doors to explain to someone that the don’t need a track on the bottom side. Since you’ve just completed this project fairly recently I thought maybe I should ask you if the doors are only anchored to a track at the top?

Thank you!
Ashley
Ashley recently posted..Hammer Time

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Sandra - Love your barn door! I was looking for a sliding door solution and was shocked a the prices. You’ve motivated me to DIY the project as you outline in your blog. How did you keep the door from ‘kicking’ out near the floor? Do you place some sort of guide in the floor?

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Diana Krueger - Wow thanks for the step by step and the clue on where to buy the hardware cheap. I am in need of garage doors but don’t want to spend much this may be my solution.

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-shawna- - LOUD!!

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Gwynne - I am putting a sliding barn door between master bath/bedroom. I was considering the box rail from Tractor supply but was worried about the noise. How noisy is this when it slides?

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Holly - Hi there! I’m planning on putting a sliding barn door in my game room and am wondering whether I need a floor track. I didn’t see one in your pictures. I’m slightly concerned with three small kids and a big dog that my door will be pushed. Does your door have much back and forth “swing”? I’m not sure how necessary a floor track is and would appreciate your input. Thanks so much!
Holly

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-shawna- - I bought elsewhere but had a terrible shopping experience. Shop around–but at your own risk!

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-shawna- - flush! into the studs in the ceiling.

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Victoria - Love this idea!!! I do have one question for you…
did y’all mount the rail flush to the wall or left a slight gap?

Thanks

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Anna - The trolley hangers shown actually price out at 45$ EACH. You must have caught a sale.

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Amy Renea - Hey Shawna!

Just wanted to let you know your project has been featured at Houzz today ;)

~Amy
Amy Renea recently posted..Designing a Space for Photography — What You Need to Know!

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DIY Barn Doors on a budget! » styleberry BLOG | vintagemodern57 - [...] DIY Barn Doors on a budget! » styleberry BLOG. [...]

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Shaun @ snackasaurusrex.com - Awesome information! We are looking to put a barn door into our pantry, but like you found it a bit expensive and knew there was a cheaper way. Thanks again!
Shaun @ snackasaurusrex.com recently posted..Light, Hot Tuna

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Best of: Barn Doors « - [...] White Bedroom Barn Door by StyleBerry [...]

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Rebecca - Well done Shawna! The doors look great!

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-shawna- - canvas on demand 16×24. :)

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Tori [at] FIToriBLOG.com - off subject – what kind of print is that halloween pic of caroline on your armoire?

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-shawna- - track hardware: $100
wood/paint/screws: about $175

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-shawna- - I won’t leave until you do!

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-shawna- - They are doors that close all the way! There is an arch & walls behind both sides & they close in the middle. You can see the archway “before” here: http://styleberryblog.com/ikea-expedit-built-in-desk-the-turquoise-workhorse-office-guestroom-in-progress

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Katie - Fantastic!! I am so inspired, I definitely want to do this in my house. Could you give a rough breakdown of cost? Thanks!

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Jennifer Chaney - Girl. You are SO talented!!! We’ve been wanting to do this for ages, too, but the hardware always stopped us. Thank you for this! My very frugal husband thanks you, as well. :)
Jennifer Chaney recently posted..Bay Area Beginning Photography Class :: Next Class of 2012 Announced

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Marcie White - Seen these doors in person. Simply Amazing! Shawna you did a fab job and are such an inspiration!

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Denae @ New Mom Adventure - I am all kinds of confused. Are they overlapping doors? When closed, do they look like a wall? From the pictures they look like floating panels, not doors that close all the way.
Denae @ New Mom Adventure recently posted..Tackle It Thurs: Momma needs a Getaway

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Lisa - So neat!! I cannot wait for my little one to start napping longer so I can do fun projects too! Thanks for sharing!
Lisa recently posted..Project 52 ~ TWO

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Michele (Pinkle Toes) - holy moly, this is amazing! I so want to come visit your home someday…

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caits - Totally love!!! Wish I had a place in my house that needed privacy like this!! Definitely going to remember this for the future. :)

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