DIY Barn Door Tutorial

Building a unique sliding barn door for the doorway between our master bedroom and the bathroom was something I have wanted to do since we moved in. At first, I thought I wanted to use an old antique barn door, but then realized I wanted something more modern. Below I have my full tutorial on how I built our modern DIY Barn Door!

Here is a shot of the doorway where we are putting the barn door:

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.

Supplies
  • 1- cut to 35″W X 85″L X 3/4″thick plywood (this was specific to the size of the door we needed)
  • 2- 85″ L X 3 1/2″W X 3/4″ thick- maple pieces of wood (border pieces)
  • 4- 30″L X 3 1/2″W X 3/4″thick- maple pieces of wood (border pieces and centerpieces)
  • 10-12- 4’L X 1 1/2″W X 1/2″thick- maple pieces of wood (for diagonal strips)
  • Liquid Nails
  • Painter’s Tape (I like Frog Tape)
  • Miter Saw
  • Lots of Clamps (these clamps will save your life!)
  • Primer & Paint Niebla Azul (I got both from Sherwin Williams)
  • Optional: Paint Sprayer (Love this product)
  • Sliding barn door hardware
  • Barn door handle

*Something to remember: these measurements were based on the specific size of door we needed so make sure to consider that if you are making your own door.

Design

I came up with the design by doing some brainstorming and using Pinterest inspiration. I actually had about four designs I really liked and then I went to my Instagram followers to vote on their favorite.

In the end Instagram chose this design and I love it!

Onto my DIY Barn Door Tutorial:

Step 1: Cut Wood to Correct Sizes

We had Lowe’s cut a large piece of plywood into the exact size the door needed to be 35″ x 85″ X 3/4″. We cut the rest of the wood pieces (the pieces that make the design on the front of the door) to the correct sizes with our miter saw at home.

DIY Barn Door full tutorial using plywood from Lowe's.
DIY Barn Door full tutorial using plywood from Lowe's.

*Make sure to sand your large piece of plywood before the following steps

Step 2: Glue Border Wood Pieces to Plywood

Once you have your border pieces cut, use liquid nails and clamps to secure the border wood pieces to the base of the door. Make sure everything is lined up and looking straight! I also recommend lightly sanding every piece of wood before gluing them to the door.

DIY Barn Door full tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's
Step 3: Measure Spacing for Center Wood Pieces

Use your head and calculate the spacing you need for the two center wood pieces ๐Ÿ™‚ This is my Dad’s specialty so we usually let him do this part.

Step 4: Secure Center Wood Pieces to Base

Use liquid nails and clamps to secure the border wood pieces to the base of the door. Again, make sure everything is lined up and looking straight!

DIY Barn Door full tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's
(Please ignore our messy garage LOL WOWZER!)
Step 5: Measure for Diagonal Wood Pieces

This was probably the scariest part of building this door! It was very difficult to calculate the spacing between the diagonal pieces. Since we aren’t mathletes, we actually figured out the spacing by using trial and error HA! Yep, we laid the diagonal pieces on the door and kept moving and measuring each space until we ended up with the same space between all four pieces. It actually only took about five minutes!

DIY Barn Door full tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's

Once we found the spacing (about 5 3/4″) we cut 45 degree angles on both ends of each diagonal piece and then laid them out to make sure they fit properly… They did! It was literally a miracle sent from God that the pieces fit! LOL

Since we knew the three sections of the door were the exact same size we cut three copies of each of the four diagonal pieces. I then flipped the center diagonal pieces so that they were going the opposite way.

DIY Barn Door full tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's
Step 6: Secure Diagonal Wood Pieces to Base

Use Liquid nails and painter’s tape to secure the diagonal wood pieces to the base of the door. Again, make sure everything is lined up correctly.

Step 7: Let Dry & Remove Clamps and Painter’s Tape

We let our door dry for about 15 hours. By then the Liquid Nails had hardened and we were ready to take the clamps and painter’s tape off! This was the most exciting part, we finally got to see the design finished!

DIY Barn Door full tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's.  This is a very simple tutorial.
Step 8: Paint

This step starts out fun because you get to see the color make its appearance, but waiting for the paint to dry, cleaning the sprayer, and making a spray station indoors (because it is -30 degrees outside) is not really that fun ha!

DIY Barn Door full, simple tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's.  Blue painted barn door.

We used this HomeRight sprayer to paint the door. I promise I will do a full blog post reviewing this sprayer so you can see it in action, but for now I hope you wil be content with the finished product ๐Ÿ™‚

Step 9: Stare at the Beauty of this DIY Barn Door ๐Ÿ™‚

I think this door has now surpassed my favorite DIY project, our DIY Railing! I’m so happy I get to wake up to this beauty every day and feel so proud we made it ourselves ๐Ÿ™‚

The sliding barn door hardware we used is amazing! After looking at the instructions for a while and getting a grasp on how it all worked it was actually easier than I thought to install. The key was to make sure everything was level. We also bought a large handle from Amazon to complete the look of our modern barn door ๐Ÿ™‚

Hardware | Handle | Paint Sprayer | Liquid Nails | Frog Tape

Miter Saw | Clamps

DIY Barn Door full, simple tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's.  Blue painted barn door. #Slidingbarndoor #barndoor #moderndoor #DIYdoor
DIY Barn Door full, simple tutorial using plywood, maple wood pieces and liquid nails from Lowe's.  Blue painted barn door. #Slidingbarndoor #barndoor #moderndoor #DIYdoor

I really hope you enjoyed this project! Thanks for following along ๐Ÿ™‚

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39 thoughts on “DIY Barn Door Tutorial”

      1. Debbie mcvadon

        What does the other side of the door look like? Did you do the same design on the other side?

        1. LiliesandLife

          The back side of the door is just the smooth, painted plywood. We didn’t put a design on the back because it wouldn’t be seen very much.

    1. LiliesandLife

      Thank you, Kyra!! I love DIY projects!! And most of the time they turn out haha ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Cassi Crossman

        Thanks for this DIY tutorial! We are going to use this to build ours this week! So excited ๐Ÿ™‚
        Quick question, what did you put on the edges of your door? Or did you leave the plywood and maple wood exposed on the sides? Thanks for your time!
        Cassi

        1. LiliesandLife

          I’m so excited to see you door! Make sure to send me a picture or tag me on social media ๐Ÿ™‚ So we ended up just sanding the edges A LOT and then decided we were fine with it being a little rougher knowing most people wouldn’t see the edges. You could always sand, fill with wood filler and then sand again for a smoother finish. Good luck!

  1. How did you not end up with an exposed plywood edge all the way around? Looking into ideas for my house and your tutorial is great! Just wondering how the edge was treated.

    1. LiliesandLife

      Ceci, we just filled in the edges of the plywood as best we could with spackle and then sanded the edges as best we could. It isn’t perfect but I think only I would notice it ๐Ÿ™‚ does that help?

  2. I’ve been considering a barn door between our master and master bath as well. Yours turned out amazing!! I have a couple of questions though – Do you have a handle on the bathroom side? Did you put the diagonal designs on both sides of the door? How is the noise permeability to the bedroom compared to a fitted door? This is a great tutorial and I can’t wait to get started on my barn door!

    1. LiliesandLife

      Rachel, thank you for reaching out ๐Ÿ™‚ There is a handle on the other side, it came with the hardware I linked in my post. The handle is flat against the door so that it doesn’t hit the wall/trim of the doorway. The diagonal design is only on the outside. I wake up before my husband every morning and he doesn’t hear me in the bathroom. It won’t block the noise like your typical fitted door though. I probably wouldn’t put a sliding door on a main bathroom that others use just because it also isn’t as private. But for a master bath, it is perfect! I hope this helps and good luck with your project ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. My husband and I made ours this weekend! It turned out wonderfully. Thank you for the inspiration! We made ours in white.

  4. Phillip Farmer

    Did you screw the mounting hardware into the plywood on the top or into the maple pieces?

    1. LiliesandLife

      Liebe, We did not. We just sanded the backside and painted it the same blue. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Your tutorial has given me inspiration. One of the best out there and the door is amazing. I plan on putting this in an area where both sides will be visible. Any suggestions on making this two sided but still being within the standard thickness?

  6. Bill Corrigan

    I am concerned over time the door will warp or bow. Especially if the door is exposed to cooler or drier environments on one side. Have you noticed and changes after having the door hung for some time? Thanks

    1. LiliesandLife

      Nicole, You could definitely do that!! Just make sure you take into consideration that your doors may need to be a different size.

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  8. The door is lovely! Do you have anything on floor to guide the door or prevent it from swinging outward? The one we installed in our kitchen came with a guide that mounted to the floor, but I’ve wondering what people use in carpeted rooms with barn doors. Thanks!

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Emily (1)
Hi, I'm Emily

Iโ€™m an Interior designer, decorator and blogger.ย  I help overwhelmed homeowners and DIYers bring timeless design and function into their home so they can love their space and the life they are building within it!ย ย Thank you for visiting ๐Ÿ™‚

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