Barn Door, Part1


I’ve said it before, and I’m saying it again… I have a really small house. My bedroom is not even 10×13, everything is cramped and I have a problem with the door swinging into my dresser. Also, the door likes to creep shut and when I’m going in and out of that room enough, it gets annoying. I usually prop the door open with a book, but then when I need to get into the dresser, I’m shoving the door and the book. Yes, I KNOW IT’S A WHINY PROBLEM, but still. So, with my talent of being able to justify anything, this is the perfect excuse to remove the door and install a sliding barndoor-style track. I’m splitting the post into two entries, this one to show the plan, and then I’ll show some how-two and the final install later.

Step one: Order your door track. I chose a medium-duty setup from McMaster-Carr. It’s unfinished galvanized steel, and I’ll probably paint it. Maybe? I’ve seen some really fancy tracks, but I like the raw look, and it was only $65 with $19 shipping. If you’ve looked at fancier track systems before, you’ll know you can drop A LOT of money.

Step two: Find a door. This is where you can make it interesting. Lots of great options to build a door out of a ton of different materials, but I decided to look for a vintage door of some sort. Thankfully Portland has an AMAZING place called the Rebuilding Center that is chock full’o awesome. I bought a vintage, solid wood door with antique safety-glass for $55. Apparently it was removed from a local college. Looks like Fir under the three coats of (quite possibly lead based) paint.

Next post will cover how to mount the track to the wall, assembling brackets to the door, and then hanging for the finished shot!

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16 Responses to “Barn Door, Part1”

  1. I’ve been debating doing this with our bathroom door. We have the same tiny space issue, and keep slamming the door into the linen closet I hope to one day turn into a shower.

    Curious to see how it turns out!

  2. Ken B says:

    Awesome post. This is what we have been thinking of doing to our conference room opening. So how does that Rebuilding Center compare to “The Yard”?

    • MMP says:

      Ahh, The Yard! I love that place too… so great. I wish we had something like that in town. As for comparison, think of the RC as everything from a torn-down house. Everything is used, lots of doors, windows, old lumber. Now, if the RC and The Yard had a baby… THAT would be the perfect store!

  3. This is going to be great! Can’t wait to see how it turns out.

  4. Anna @ D16 says:

    This is going to be great, Matt! I wanted to do the same thing outside of our bathroom door, but the floor slopes too much (6″ differential over 5′, yeow!).

  5. Sally says:

    We wanted to do this between our library and the kitchen but the cost was EXORBITANT!!! In Australia we don’t have the same range of hardware that you guys have. I couldn’t find anything less than $500 – well at least anything that looked nice. I was also concerned about the existing door mouldings and skirting board. I am ready to watch and learn!

  6. Maya says:

    The the door to the bathroom in our (tiny) master bedroom is a barn door and I love it. It was put in by the previous owners (looks like the door was custom-built) and actually serves as the door to the room as well. So when the door closes off the bathroom, the room doorway is open, or vice versa. Considering how small the space is it’s a genius solution, and since there’s only two of us in the house, we don’t mind not being able to close both doors at once :).

    Can’t wait to see the finished product! Really enjoying your blog, by the way. Found it via Anna at D16 and it’s making me a heck of a lot more excited to try my hands at some construction too.

  7. Hello, I’m really enjoying your posts, thanks. Just an FYI (and I apologize if someone else already mentioned this)… if your hardware for the door is galvanized, and you want to paint it, you will likely need to use a chemical scourer, otherwise the paint may not adhere correctly. I’ve been there. Looking forward to the continued project!

  8. No problem…I believe it’s called an “etch”.

  9. Dawn says:

    This is really cool. I love the look. Question: how did you deal with the trim. Did you leave it off or notch out the bottom of the door or??? Thanks for your help.

  10. Gil says:

    Just want to say thanks for posting this. I followed your steps and completed my first barn door! I used the same track system but i painted it after i prepped the galvanized (as mentioned above) and it came out awesome!

    Thanks so much and keep up the great posts!

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