D.I.Y. Sliding Barn Door

This fun project is a throw back from when we moved in with my parents at their old place while we were building “our family compound”.  We were kindly offered two bedrooms and a bathroom as our own separate unit.  The only  inconvenience was that we had no privacy as the “unit” was located right by the main entrance to the house.


So my mom came up with the solution of building a sliding barn door and separating the unit into a cozy private area.

We made several trips to Home Depot and Hobby Lobby checking off our “ingredient list” after which we started building the door.

Step 1 – design,measure & sketch 


We sketched the plan for the door with all the adequate measurements and decided  on the core design (all directed by mom’s and my design ideas).

Step 2 – prepare & put the structure together


For this project we used 2in. x 8in. x 8ft’ pine wood boards. Cut all the pieces into the same length, glued (with wood glue) and clamped all the planks. You Can never have too many clamps!  Using a caul or basically a flat piece of wood to clamp other pieces without damaging them, also it keeps the whole structure straight.


Using biscuits to help the glue up process.  Basically thin slivers of wood between each plank to keep them lined up while the glue dries.

Step 3 – perfect the surface 


File and smooth until happy….it took forever until Mr. Z was happy.

Step 4 – initial staining

To achieve the old barn door look we made the “wood aging potion” out of steel wool and vinegar.  Let the mix stand couple hours in the sun, then start testing on the wood by rubbing it onto the surface, slowly you will see how wood gets darker and darker.  We also experimented with tea bags adding to the mixture to achive a deeper color.  It took several coats (letting the wood dry in between) until we were happy with the results.

Step 5 – final staining and sealing


We also used a commercial stain to add a deeper color that will also protect the wood.

We chose Dark Walnut shade by Varathane.

Further, we used chains and some heavy equipment to create dents and scratches on the wood to create that desired old barn wood look.

Step 6 – decorating & hardware 


Purchased the metal decorative items (similar item) and the door handle at Hobby Lobby (make sure to check when they have to 50% off deal on desired items).


Then we used some large galvanized bolts and did not even bother to paint them so that it created an authentic look.

Step 7 & Final – mounting on the wall

If you are getting the sliding door mounting kit through, please make sure it is made for American standards so that you won’t end up missing all the studs and having a panic attack about the whole thing not working. There are many beautiful designs on

Luckily , Mr. Z always makes thing work!  He ended up making extra holes in the metal bar and drilled through the new access.

There its was, a beautiful D.I.Y sliding barn door!




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