I had wanted a barn door in this hallway space for a while. But it was just another project on my list… Then out of the blue my husband rang during the week and said he’d grab the work ute and come with me to get a new door for “that barn door thingy you want to do…” I was like YAAASSSS!!!
This is not an expensive DIY project, but it was fiddly and took a few days to get it to come together.
Things I needed:
- Sliding door hardware
- Plywood to close existing cavity
- Door handle
Follow along belong to see how I went about creating a new sliding barn door…
We have a big hardware place (with lots of seconds, or unwanted stock) about 20 minutes out the road. It’s called Campbell’s of Oura. I love this place! I have frequented it many many times over the years. About 12 years ago my husband I renovated a little house and this place came in very handy at the time.
So I found a door! I had certain measurements I needed, so make sure you look for a door when you’re well planned. It took a while to sort through all the styles and types, but I was rapt with this one. It cost me $80.
Key points with the door:
- If you are going over an existing door area you’ll need to make sure your door measures up
- Width-wise it doesn’t matter too much so it can be a bit bigger
- It also needed to be a hollow (not solid) door so the hardware would hold it easily
- Height-wise we had to cut about 90mm off the door so it sat perfectly inline with the existing architrave. If you’re cutting a hollow door down you’ll need to make sure it holds together on the bottom and doesn’t fall apart. My husband added some screws in the panels underneath.
- We used a nifty hand held battery powered circular saw to cut off the bottom. Anyone can do this!
Above you can see the door. It’s a little too tall, but with a couple of modifications it was going to be fine.
Then I bought the barn door hardware from eBay. It needs to be double the width of your door obviously. So I went for a 2M long sliding track. It cost $62 including postage and was here in 2 days.
I will say this was the fiddly part. The sliding track obviously NEEDS studs to hold on to. Because we were working an existing cavity slider we knew it had some studs already around the space, but not enough.
The RED above is where existing studs and holes in the sliding track matched up. That was good! But then the hole on the very end of the sliding track (to hold the weight of the door up when it was open) didn’t have a stud. So, in the GREEN is where we drilled a new hole in to the sliding track to match a stud. On the very very end of the sliding track on the right is nothing. It wasn’t needed because we had enough support with the new hole.
TIP: Be prepared to drill through the sliding track and create new holes to match your existing studs. To find the studs use a stud finder. They are pretty cheap from Bunnings.
Now the door was on and looked good! It does clear the architrave by about 3mm so that’s good (no rubbing). If it didn’t clear it, we thought we’d have to pack the sliding track out a bit, but all was ok.
As you can see I had an existing cavity slider behind it and I wasn’t happy to just leave it. The new barn door would look like a weird add-on if I left it. We decided to get some 3mm plywood and ask Bunnings to cut it. We tacked it on, painted it up and now it looks like it’s been there forever! The plywood cost about $25. We had to buy a whole sheet (to get the length), but we only used 2 small strips for the top and side of the cavity.
Lastly was a coat of paint on the entire door and a new handle. I opted for a matte black flush pull from Bunnings $8.90. We have this little renovator tool from WORX which is a treat! It comes with all these attachments and we use it for just about every job we do! (not sponsored, we just love it ). It easily cuts out the space for the handle.
Ta-dah! We’re done. And LOVE it. While I do think this is a relatively easy DIY, it does take a little thought and planning. The main dramas would be the door size (and being confident to cut it if needed), plus the studs and lining them up. BUT if you’re in to DIY then go for it.