DIY Barn Door Plans & Tutorial

Let’s kick this week off with a new tutorial, shall we?

I built these doors back in the beginning of March—you may remember seeing a timelapse video of the process in Episode 7 of my vlog series:Screen-Shot-2016-04-13-at-4.22.37-PMScreen Shot 2016-04-13 at 4.25.24 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 4.27.01 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 4.27.28 PM

Feel free to watch it again and refresh your memory, I’ll wait.

For those of you who requested a tutorial, the five week wait is finally over because I’m here with all the details!



My very first barn door experience was for our laundry room a year ago, and I knew it wouldn’t be the last.


It was an easy decision to build one for the new bathroom in order to free up limited space, and I figured I’d build a couple more for the downstairs theater room entrance while I was at it since that space was unfinished.

To find inspiration, I browsed through Pinterest (as always) and came up with two different simple and easy to build plans using inexpensive 1″ boards I could buy at Lowe’s.

After measuring for the sizes I wanted, I laid everything out in Illustrator to determine the cuts. Here’s the bathroom door plan:


The doors are built with a base layer of alternating 1×8″w (actual: 7.25″w) and 1×6″w (actual: 5.5″w) to achieve my desired width of 36.5″—it didn’t have to be exact, but I wanted it within a few inches. The height was simple at 7′ tall. The second (top) layer was comprised of 1×6″s that would hold all the boards together with two horizontal pieces, two verticals, and a cross bar in the middle for extra stability and style.

The smaller double doors for downstairs essentially followed the same process, with the 1×8″s replaced with 1×4″s and horizontal center pieces instead of diagonal (I decided to add this part in at the last minute so it’s not shown below, sorry!) The overall height was also taller at 90″.



I used the inexpensive whitewood from Lowe’s and the total cost for lumber came to $213 (with my 5% Lowe’s card discount).

Once my materials were unloaded, I used my Kobalt miter saw to cut my boards to length and did a dry fit to ensure everything lined up nicely.


For the diagonal piece on the bathroom door, I simply set the board down into position…


Used a straight edge to mark where it needed to be cut…


And set my saw to the correct angle, which ended up being a touch under 15 degrees.




The smaller doors were slightly faster without this step.


Before assembly, I used my Mouse to sand down the edges and make sure they were smooth and splinter free.

Then it was power tool time.


If you have super long expandable clamps, they’d be very useful here but I couldn’t find mine so I did the best I could—my wood was pretty straight so that made it easy.


I double and triple checked to make sure everything was square, then applied wood glue for my first piece.


After realigning the board, I attached it to the bottom layer with a finish nailer + 18 gauge nails, one or two per board—this is just to keep everything temporarily in place until they are screwed in from the back.


I repeated the process for the remaining four top pieces, then flipped it over.


Before attaching everything with screws, I made sure to drill pilot holes since this wood splits easily and I definitely wanted to avoid that.


I went along the sides and across the diagonal in the center, averaging a two screws per board, one for the top and bottom. There’s not an exact science to this—it’s just what seemed sufficient to me.

Once the pilot holes were in place, I used 1″ screws (the total door width is 1.5″ so you’ll need to be in the 1–1.25″ range!)


Because the wood is soft, I was able to countersink the screws by simply applying a bit more pressure rather than having to go through the extra drill bit step, which saved a lot of time!

Once all the screws are in, the building part is over and it’s time for prep work!

I used wood filler over all of the screws, nail holes and some knots and imperfections.


With six surfaces to cover, this took a little time…


Then I came back with my sander to smooth it all out.


Some of the board gaps were a bit larger than I wanted, so I filled it in a bit with caulk.



I’ve had bad experience in the past with knots and wood tannins bleeding through paint which I wanted to avoid, so I used Zinsser’s water based primer before painting, followed by Valspar Signature semi gloss paint color matched to Kelly Moore’s Swiss Coffee (this is all of the white in my house).


This wood is no fun to paint because it takes so many layers…


And these knots are the worst. If money was no object I’d spend more on better wood.

I ended up doing 2 thick coats of primer and going over the knots 3-4 times.


And it took at least three layers of paint on top of that.


It was a very long day and night.

But, soon it was all over and I got to add the finishing touches—$3 Lowe’s handles that I spray painted black.

For the track hardware, I used a 6 foot track for the bathroom and an 8 foot double door track for downstairs. At these prices, I’d never DIY my own barn door hardware… these work so great and they’re relatively easy to install. Save yourself the headache.

Barn doors for life.



I know you haven’t seen much of the newly remodeled downstairs area, but don’t worry—that’s coming next!


The whole space looks so much more polished with these babies.


I’m anxious to show off the rest of this space soon!

What are your thoughts? Do you like the clean look of painted white, or the more rustic feel of the salvaged barn wood in the laundry room? Have you ever built your own doors from scratch before? I love that it’s an affordable option if you can’t find an existing door to repurpose or salvaged wood. Whether they’re a trend or here to stay, I can’t get enough and don’t think I’ll ever stop using them!

Another vlog is right around the corner… in the meantime, catch me on instagram, facebook and snapchat @ jennasuedesign!


Want to get the look? Here are some of the products I used!


32 thoughts on “DIY Barn Door Plans & Tutorial

  1. I love this as we are wanting to do barn doors for our master closet and bath (both very tiny). What does the back of the door look like? Also what are your thoughts on these for bathroom doors in terms of how sound proof are they? We have a very thin pocket door right now that I absolutely hate, am hoping the barn doors will drown out sound a little better!!

    1. I was wondering about the gap between the actual door frame and the sliding door — I feel like I would never be really comfortable inside the bathroom. I trust Jenna’s opinion though.

      1. You’re not able to see through anything since the door is wider than the doorway, but the sound is probably comparable to a standard hollow core pocket door since there is that gap. Since it’s a master bathroom I don’t think privacy is as big of an issue, at least for me… I guess it just depends on your personal comfort level 🙂

    2. The back is still plain as it’s pretty easy to slide open without a handle, but I have been meaning to drill a small hole using a paddle bit for something to grab it with. The sound is probably comparable to a standard hollow core pocket door since there is that gap. Since it’s a master bathroom I don’t think privacy is as big of an issue, at least for me… I guess it just depends on your personal comfort level 🙂

      1. FYI just wanted to pass some good money saving tips for ya. I found some awesome barn door harware for a low cost on amazon for $40.00 that comes with 2 bars for the rollers and already all black.!! Really heavy as well. Second tip for you is its much much better in my opinion to use poplar wood. Not so many knots and very affordable. Just trying to help. Nice job on the doors. Love them!

        1. I din’t see a link to the hardware. I have been looking on Amazon for hardware. Which set did you buy?

  2. Lovely, as always!
    I have some door pulls and knobs that I’m tempted to spray paint, but I’m concerned that the paint will wear off. Does the spray paint come off the handles?

  3. Hi! I’ve followed your blog for some time now and hope you don’t mind me pointing this out. Your gorgeous photos and tutorials are all over Pinterest but very often not with a direct link to your beautiful blog. I myself often try and pin directly from your blog to give you credit and a direct link but it is extremely user unfriendly. Such a shame that you are msding out because your blog isn’t user friendly.

    1. Hi Fifi, thanks for the comment! I’m not sure where other people are pinning from but it will link to whatever blog url you are pinning it from. I always pin from the direct url but others may be reading from the main site so it will link there instead. I recommend downloading the bookmarklet from Pinterest so you can easily pin from any website!

  4. the doors look amazing!! I just bought my hardware from eBay and am going to make the door this weekend. What size screws did you use on the back side?

  5. Love these! Question-did you use the same process with your bathroom shiplap walls or past shiplap regarding the primer and covering of knots, 3 layers of paint, etc.? Worried about knots bleeding through if I ever get to do my bedroom wall ?

    1. I used plywood for the planks in both bathrooms–those don’t have knots and it’s a very different process! If you search shiplap you’ll find a video tutorial for those 🙂

      1. Oh, I didn’t realize the bathroom wood was different, even though I have watched all your videos and read all your posts. I just remember you having the problem of knots in one of your bedrooms(?) once and in your kitchen. So, plywood was not used in your kitchen, then? Forgive me for being so ignorant, as I really am trying to pay attention and learn before I attempt anything. I am super scared sometimes to try things, and worry I will do it wrong! Thanks.

  6. You did an amazing job! Thank you so much for sharing the how-to’s! We’re building a house soon and really hope we can follow your tutorial to build our own doors! I noted the paint and trim on the room with the rustic stained door was just what I envisioned for our house. Do you know what colors you used for the walls and trim in that room? Thanks !

  7. WOW. Love the tips for where to find the hardware and the HOW TO’s. The look you got is just wonderful!

  8. the best explanation by far .. thank you so much – have ordered the barn hardware looking to do a large door for our shop storeroom all the way over here in Australia,
    your a legend.

  9. Hi there. These are beautiful! Can you share the colour and brand of paint you used to paint them?

Comments are closed.