DIY Barn Doors
Barn doors were a no brainer in our most recent Boxwood renovation. The dining area had doors on both walls, one leading to the basement and the other a master suite. Since this dining room was already a bit cozy AND because it's one of the first things you see when you walk in the door, regular hinged doors just wouldn't do. The problem arose when the doors were two different widths - there was no way I was going to find reclaimed barn doors that looked good together and were the perfect sizes. There are many companies that build beautiful custom barn doors BUT I was 100% sure that our finance department would not OK that expense (right Nate?).
So...time to get out the tools...
- Start with good ol' pine 1x6's for the boards and 1x4's for the cross pieces (and yes I got a couple of raised eyebrows from the boys when I suggested this). Choose a length longer than the height of your door to allow for cutting the ends. Make sure your pieces are as straight as possible...it took me a couple of trips to get enough straight boards.
- Since I wanted the doors to cover the trim we used 9 boards for our 4' wide door and 7 boards for our 3' wide door.
- On a flat surface butt all of your boards up as close together as possible. Try to get ends lined up fairly close but we will be cutting both the top and the bottom so that the edges are straight.
- About an inch from the bottom of your "door" draw a line with a carpenter's square and a straight edge. From that line measure the desired height of your door and draw another line.
- Cut your 1x4 cross pieces to the width of the door. Place one piece approx 10" above your bottom line and one piece 10" below your top line. Nail to each board.
- Place your door upside down on sawhorses. From the back side use screws to secure your crosspieces...preferably 2 screws for each board. Fill holes with wood putty.
- Flip the door back to the front side and using a circular saw cut both ends along your lines. Now you're ready for the fun part!
- Using an orbital sander and 60 grit paper sand both sides of your doors paying special attention to "wearing" down all edges and corners. When your door is "weathered" to your satisfaction sand again with 120 grit paper.
- Paint both sides of your door with one coat of a lighter color paint (I used Ben Moore's Edgecomb Gray). This does not have to be a perfect application as we will sand a fair amount of the paint off in the next step!
- Using fresh 120 grit sandpaper, sand over your painted door after it has dried. Do not worry if you remove the paint in spots...you want to "weather" the paint. I like to sand the paint off the edges of the door where any natural wear and tear would occur
- Now using the Karate Kid wax on/wax off method wipe wood stain over the painted door and immediately wipe off with a clean rag. Work in sections so that the stain doesn't have too much time to sink in. The color of stain you choose depends on how aged/dirty you want the door to look. The darker...the dirtier.
- The stain is meant to sink into the sanded wood more than the paint and it is ok if the stain is darker in some areas than others. It does not have to be perfect!
- Step back and admire your completed work! Once dry...hang.
My barn door hardware was purchased from https://www.etsy.com/shop/ABAHardware