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How To Build A Barn Door

 

Today we’re going to teach you how to build a barn door! This DIY barn door is cheap to make and has a fun modern style. We’re also giving you a little weekly check in on our progress of our master bathroom renovation.

If you’re hopping over here from the Jeffrey Court website (or if you’re new here) – welcome! Making Manzanita is all about making your house a home you love. My hubby and I (with our two small kiddos in tow) are renovating our 2nd fixer upper. We love teaching our readers everything we learn along the way. Our style is modern farmhouse with some major boho vibes, which you’ll see reflected in this bathroom renovation. Enjoy!

This post and the Renovation Challenge is sponsored by Jeffrey Court. All opinions are entirely my own and do not reflect that of Jeffrey Court. This post also contains affiliate links, but nothing that I wouldn’t recommend wholeheartedly. Read my full disclosure here.

Well, it’s week 5 of the Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge, so this is our last weekly update. Ready or not, we’ll be sharing the big reveal with you guys next week! Who is excited?! 

Each week, we’ve been rounding up our behind the scenes videos for you, which has been SO fun…so here’s what happened in Week 5 behind the scenes: 

If you love DIY videos, be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel here!  

If you’re someone that stressed and anxious with tight deadlines, you’re going to want to LOOK AWAY today because our to do list is a bit longer than our time remaining… More on our Week 5 progress is at the bottom of the blog post!

One of the many things we did this week was built a DIY barn door, so we wanted take the chance to teach you how to build a barn door too! 

Barn doors are so popular and I’ve always been a huge fan, but we’ve never had anywhere in our homes where it made sense to incorporate a sliding barn door. But when we added the doorway to our bedroom from the master bathroom as apart of this renovation, it was the perfect spot to add one. 

Barn door materials:

Tools required for barn door build: 

  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Finish nailer
  • Air compressor
  • Tap set
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Roller (for primer & paint)
  • Paint trays
  • Putty knife
  • Router

1. Cut MDF panel. 

Using the table saw, cut one of the MDF panels down to a couple inches larger than the finished door will be. This is a little larger than the door will actually be, but we will trim it down later. 

2. Cut MDF slats. 

To save some money, you can rip larger MDF sheets down to 4 inches wide using the table saw. We ripped two of the other MDF panels into 4 inch slats so we had enough to cover both sides of the door. Alternatively, you could buy 4 inch wide MDF trim that is already cut down (but it’s a little more expensive)

3. Prime everything.

Apply primer on all sides of MDF (all of the cut slats and sheet) with a 4-inch roller. Let dry throughly.

Measuring the center of the white primed MDF sheet to build a barn door on a budget

4. Find center. 

Measure the center of both the vertical and horizontal edges of the MDF sheet and draw two straight lines with level and pencil in the middle. 

5. Mark wood for middle diagonal slat.

For this design, everything works off of the center X shape. Start with the first piece and have it go directly through the middle of the panel. You can make sure you are lined up correctly by measuring on the bottom where the corner of the MDF sheet hits the slat. Should be exactly 2 inches if you cut your slats to 4 inches like we did. 

Holding the slat into place (either with two people or with a clamp) you can bend down and draw lines on the bottom of the slat along the border of the MDF panel. These lines indicate where you need make your first cuts. 

6. Cut middle diagonal slat with circular saw. 

We made all of our cuts with a circular saw. This was just faster for us, but you could also use a miter saw and change the angle each time. Remember you’re going to trim down the edges of the door later, so it doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. 

7. Attach middle diagonal slat. 

Now it’s time to attach that first piece. Apply construction adhesive to the back and then push it down into place, paying close attention to make sure it’s lined up in each corner so the angle is right. Have one person hold board down and one person nail into place with the finish nailer.

Man attaching the middle slat on the wood barn door with X design
Marking the diagonal mark on wooden slat with pencil to build a barn door with X design
Marking the back of the slat using a pencil for DIY Barn Door
Cut the excess part of the middle diagonal slat with circular saw.
Applying adhesive glue to stick the first piece of the diagonal slat.

8. Continue with X design. 

Now you really just repeat the last few steps (mark wood, cut wood & attach) over and over and over as you make the X design. 

We found it easiest to do one half of the X design and line up all pieces on that middle vertical line. 

Create X design for the barn door and creating a space in between using nickels

You want know what the BEST spacer for things like this (or faux shiplap walls)?…Nickels. Free because you probably have a bunch laying around, right? 

Attaching the diagonal slats with nails.

9. Repeat on back side of barn door. 

Now, we actually decided to just do a simple horizontal design on the backside of the door (this will be the side facing the bathroom). We thought that the modern X design may be a little too busy (and it took WAY longer and to be honest, we’re in a bit of a time crunch here in Week 5 of this renovation). 

With the horizontal design, we didn’t need to mark each piece individually. We could just cut them all at once on the miter saw and then attached.  

Applying dry seal to the nails.

9. Fill nail holes. 

Using a putty knife, apply wood filler to all nail holes. Let dry and then sand until smooth. Clean surface well after sanding. 

Painting the barn door with white paint using a roller for tutorial on how to build a barn door

10. Paint barn door. 

I used a smooth finish 4 inch roller and applied two coats of this paint to both sides and all edges of the door. 

Handle attached to the barn door.
Drilling the barn door to fit the handle.

11. Attach handle and hardware. 

Attach handle and hardware to the barn door per your instructions provided with the items you buy. 

Route a line on the bottom of the barn door for a guide on the floor

12. Route out a line on the bottom of the door for the guide. 

You may or may not need to do this for the type of barn door hardware that you purchase, so be sure to check your hardware instructions. We used a router to get this line in the door. 

Finished image of the How to Build a Barn Door

13. Hang barn door. 

We used this barn door hardware kit to hang the door on the wall. Just follow the instructions provided with the hardware that you purchase. 

Full image of the built white modern barn door with x design hanging in bedroom

Isn’t it pretty?! 

Close up image of a black modern handle of the barn door

We still, obviously, need to do a lot of touchup to the paint and texture from cutting open the door way, but that will come. 

White sliding barn door with modern black hardware hanging in a bedroom with white and green two tone walls

I’ll be sure to update this post after we wrap everything up to share some more pretty pictures of the DIY barn door in all her glory, but until then I’m just going to be over here staring at this beautiful thing! 

[UPDATE: Here are some updated pictures of the barn in “all of her glory” after we finished the bathroom renovation.]

Cost to make DIY barn door: 

Total cost to make barn door: $255.15

Considering how much we’ve already spent on this bathroom renovation, this bathroom door is a ton of bang for your buck. Can’t believe this all only cost us $250! 

UPDATE: We’re all done with the bathroom now, check out how it turned out here!


Ready to see our Week 5 progress? 

Oh my freakin’ goodness….. guys. We have one more week of the Jeffrey Court Renovation Challenge. You can check in on how all of the other designers are doing here.

So this how we started Week 5: 

Sealed sides of the bath room wall.
Painted green wall for the bathroom makeover during renovation

Ok – I’ll just be honest. I’m kind of freaking out. I really have been majorly stressing for the last few weeks, especially with Logan being out of town last week. I felt like we were really behind.

And Logan, on the other hand, has been totally chill. Wasn’t worried at all. 

That, right there, is the epitome of our personalities! Now that we’ve been renovating together, side by side, for 4 and half years… I’ve learned that’s just how it works. I freak out. He remains calm. And then all the of the sudden at the end, he works like a dog to catch up. 

Well, this week – he finally switched over into crunch mode. It’s game on. 

He got back from his trip and we THOUGHT it was a full on tile party, buttttt there was still quite a bit of tile prep needed. And things that required drying time that slowed us down. Now today…. in the last day of Week 5 we are FINALLLLLY starting to lay our first tile. 

Bathroom walls sealed with RedGard and ready for tile, modern marble floor tile installed on the shower floor

In the middle of tile prep, we were out in the garage busting out DIYs left and right – like the barn door, a DIY wooden hamper, wall decor, etc. I’m keeping a few things up my sleeve so there are a few surprises in store for the big reveal next week. 

Wet tile saw set up in master bathroom during renovation
White marble hexagon bathroom tiles on the shower floor attached with clips for spacers

So here’s everything we got done in Week 5: 

  • Countertop installed – this was the ONLY thing that we hired out
  • Built DIY barn door – see above for the full tutorial on how to build a barn door
  • Build DIY wood hamper – you won’t believe the fun twist to this DIY, which you will see in the reveal next week
  • Wall decor – and it is seriously the coolest thing I’ve made in a long time….  🙂 ! 
  • Finished running errands and ordering all final decor – There was a lot of little decor things I still needed. Everything has been ordered by now and is on its way to the house! 
  • Tile prep – Finished shower pan, dry fit tile for shower floor, applied RedGard to waterproof the shower
  • Tile shower floor – Right before posted this blog post we wrapped up the shower floor tile, woohoo! 

You’re probably looking at us and then down at the to – do list below and thinking there is just no way they can pull it all off in a week. And I don’t blame you.

We still have a lot on our plate for the last week here, so keep your fingers crossed that everything goes as planned and we can actually pull this one off. 

UPDATE: We’re all done with the bathroom now, check out how it turned out here!

Project list for our bathroom renovation:

  • Demo entire bathroom
  • Cover up doorway to hallway
  • Open new doorway to master bedroom 
  • Rough in new plumbing (toilet, showers, sinks) 
  • Add new subflooring 
  • Create shower pan 
  • Add recessed lighting 
  • Add new vanity light electrical
  • Add bathroom exhaust fan
  • Install shower niche liners
  • Install insulation 
  • Add sheetrock
  • Tape and texture drywall
  • Paint walls 
  • Tile shower walls
    • Install shower niches with accent tiles
    • Tile around window and in windowsill
  • Tile floor – in process
  • Install new toilet
  • Relocate vanity
  • Install new countertop 
  • Tile backsplash on vanity 
  • Install fixed shower door panels
  • Install shower heads
  • Build DIY laundry hamper – in process
  • Install floating shelves
  • Build DIY barn door
  • Install vanity lights
  • Install trim and baseboards
  • Install bathroom accessories
  • Hang shelf for mirrors
  • Hang mirrors
  • Decorate! 
How To Build A Barn Door

How To Build A Barn Door

Yield: 1
Active Time: 3 days
Total Time: 3 days
Difficulty: Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $250

Do you want to build a barn door? You'll love this step by step tutorial for how we build this modern white X design barn door with MDF.

Materials

Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Finish nailer
  • Air compressor
  • Tap set
  • Hammer
  • Circular saw
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Roller (for primer & paint)
  • Paint trays
  • Putty knife
  • Router

Instructions

  1. Cut MDF panel
  2. Cut MDF slats
  3. Prime everything
  4. Find center of MDF panel
  5. Mark wood for middle diagonal slat
  6. Cut middle diagonal slat with circular saw
  7. Attach middle diagonal slat
  8. Continue with X design
  9. Repeat on back side of barn door (or do a different design, we added simple horizontal slats)
  10. Fill nail holes
  11. Paint barn door
  12. Attach handle and hardware
  13. Route out a line on the bottom of the door for the guide
  14. Hang barn door

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