Friday, November 14, 2014

DIY Sliding Barn Door

As you may have seen on this blog, we did a major diy renovation on our master bath not so long ago.  We have a very small master bedroom (1960's house) and we just do not have the room for a normal bathroom door. And because of the plumbing in the walls, a pocket door was out of the question. So we did a sliding door on the wall.  We did this a few years ago before the sliding barn doors were all the range on pinterest and HGTV.  We just used a plain, cheap, basic door and painted it the color of the wall so it would "blend in." Well, it doesn't. It just looks stupid. So I finally got it together to make a pinterest inspired sliding barn door! And here is how I did it...

I used exterior tongue-and-groove board normally used for house siding, just like this blogger did for her lovely door! One reason I chose these is because this is the door to the bathroom and I did not want anyone to be able to see through cracks in the boards. These interlock together so no cracks between boards. (Also it'll keep steam and smells in!)  You'll want your door to be slightly wider than the opening. In my case, I needed a 30" door and my boards are 5" wide (they say 6" at Home Depot but they are really 5" when put together), so I purchased 6 boards. I also bought two 3" x 1" pine boards for the cross pieces and the top of valance over the door, and a 6" x 1" for the front of the valance. I bought one 2" x 1" piece of pine and a piece of "strapping" for the door trim, which you will see in photos later and better understand. Finally, I bought an extra piece of strapping to use to install the valance.  In addition to the wood, I also bought some stain (Espresso by Minwax), and a few cheap foam brushes. It was around $50 for all of it. You will also need wood glue and some stainable wood putty (I already had this at home).

*FYI* In case you didn't know, wood is never really the size they say it is on the tag in the store. A 2x4 is not actually 2" by 4"! So always measure and make sure you know what you're buying.

I did not buy the sliding track since we already have it. Again, we bought ours before it was all the rage and the kits were everywhere. It was difficult to find. We have this one from Johnson Hardware. I can't say I love it, but it works fine. It's just not very pretty. I'm going to make a wood valance to cover it up, so it won't matter in the end. If I had it to do over again, it'd get a prettier one like this or maybe this! There is LOTS of info on Pinterest about how to make these for way cheaper, so before you invest all that $$, check it out first. Ours was relatively cheap, so at least there is that. Had I spray painted it oil rubbed bronze before hubby put it up it might not be so bad, but DH says it was a PITA to put up and he's NOT taking it down for me to paint it.

Step one is to fit the boards together. This wasn't as easy as I thought it was going to be, but I got it done!! I just filled the little slot with glue and used a rubber hammer to help lightly bang them together.  Once I had all 6 together I went to the garage to get the ratchet straps and..... oops! Hubby loaned them to a friend! DRAT! So I had to compromise and use bungee cords. Not the best thing to use, but it's what I had. I put scrap pieces of wood across to make sure it stayed flat and tied the bungee cords as tight as I could get them - let the glue dry overnight.

One thing to note - no wood is perfectly straight, and these were no exception. Once I got them snug in the slots at the top, the bottom would pop out. I'd fix the bottom and the top would pop out. The bottom of my door is going to be about half of an inch wider than the top because of this. I'm ok with that since it's a "rustic" barn door and when it's up you won't be able to tell - but just be aware that this could happen. Had I had those ratchet straps I might have been able to work it together a bit better, but alas.... 

As you can see, I did not yet cut the boards to length. I decided to wait until I had it all put together to cut them to 80".  The boards came in 8' lengths, so I will cut down the bottom later.

Next I attached the cross boards (here you can see them laid out but not yet attached). I've seen this done in a zillion different configurations - a Z pattern, an X pattern, an X on just the bottom, 2 cross boards, 3 cross boards, etc etc etc.... do whatever makes you happy. I decided to go simple with three cross boards mostly because I'm lazy and didn't want to deal with cutting more pieces of wood. (Maybe I should rename this blog the lazy, cheap, DIY'er? lol!!)  I placed them 6" from the top and bottom and one in the middle. (Again, I'll cut off the bottom later so it looks too long, but it's not.)

I screwed them in with 1.25" wood screws using two screws on each end and 1 screw on each board in the middle.

I sunk each screw in a little (hubby has a great little impact driver that is so light and easy to use!) so I could then use stainable wood putty to fill the holes and hide the screws. Do you have to do this? Nope. It's a barn door. It's ok for it to be "rustic!"

But I did not like the shiny metal heads of the screws, so I covered them up. I let the wood putty dry overnight, and the next day I sanded them smooth. I also lightly sanded the corners of the cross boards. This is the only sanding I did. Again - RUSTIC! ;)

See the puttied holes?

The other side of these boards looks like bead board. We have bead board on the ceiling in the bathroom, so I thought this would look really nice as the part that faces inward.  The same night that I did the wood putty in the screw holes, I flipped the whole thing over and stained the other side. That night, the wood putty and the stain could dry. The next day I sanded (as described above) and then stained the front.

I'm sorry these photos are pretty bad - my basement has horrible lighting! But you get the idea. Stain = pretty!!  I also cut the valance boards to length and stained those too, as well as the side trim boards.


Now that it was fully stained, it was time to cut the door to size.  Another part of why I hesitated on this was I had not yet had the conversation with DH about the track and I wasn't sure if he might want to move it up and make it taller - I think that would have looked nice. If so, I could have made the door a bit longer. But since he said he did not want to move it, I can go ahead and cut the door down to 80".  I marked it off and used my circular saw with a steady hand to cut it.

Then I attached the rollers to the top and took it upstairs to make sure it was going to fit! IT DID!

(Sorry this photo looks dark and curved - it was night and I had to use the panorama function on my phone to get it all in the shot - stupid small bedroom!)

I jumped ahead a little in these photos because the trim on the side is already there. That is just two boards (2x1 and 1" strapping) screwed together to make a nice edge for the door to meet up with. You don't need to do this if it's a pantry or something other than a bathroom, but if I did not do this there would be a gap you could see through when the door was closed - that looks right at the toilet! So it is necessary. Plus, it looks pretty. Now imagine a nice wood-beam looking valance over that ugly silver track! That is next!

(This is getting LONG! Yay if you're still with me!)

I should mention the hardware that I bought. After looking at Home Depot and Lowes and coming up empty handed, I found a barn style pull online that I liked. Links: Iron pull 

Ok, so now that the door is stained, cut, and fits, and the trim on the side is done, it's time for the valance. This is just two boards screwed together with metal brackets.

Unfortunately I got going on this and totally forgot to take photos. But it's seriously just two boards screwed together with these things. That's it!

Then I mounted on of the 1" strapping wood pieces on the wall just above the track, making sure to get it screwed into the studs. (Buy a stud finder - they rock!)   I sat the valance on top of that piece of wood and screwed down into the top of the valance right into that piece of wood. That's it! 

(drumroll please)

And here is a close up of the handle installed:

So what do you think?? We LOVE it and are delighted with how it turned out! And I'm proud that yet again I've accomplished another project all by myself with no help from the hubby! Girl power! :)

Be sure to check out my DIY Butcher Block Countertops and my DIY Painted Kitchen Cabinets for more info on similar projects to this one!

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