Sunday, February 14, 2016

Easiest and Cheapest DIY Barn Door Ever- Part 2: Making the Door


Once we found our bargain sliding barn door hardware (Read Easiest and Cheapest DIY Barn Door Ever- Part 1 if you missed it), we had to figure out how we were going to make this great big rustic looking barn door I wanted. We planned our door to be 55" wide and 8' tall. We picked 8' tall because had the room for it on our wall, and we wouldn't have to cut the wood...still trying to keep this project simple and easy.

Tongue and Groove Revelations

Again, I googled "DIY Barn Door," and found tons of helpful blogs, tutorials, instructions, and ideas on how we could do this. Most of these included gluing several pieces of 1"x6" pieces together and then clamping, tying, or using any method to get these pieces to stick together, and letting them dry this way. This seemed like a total pain to me, and then I had a stroke of genius: tongue and groove wood. If you google and pintrest what you want to do until you are blue in the face, you will come up with the best way for you to do it before you actually lose your sanity! So, this little idea is what makes this the cheapest and easiest way to create a big, beautiful, rustic, expensive looking barn door....without spending that much money!!

We were giddy when we got to Home Depot and saw 1) how nice the tongue and groove wood looked (and it is actually very sturdy once put together); 2) how light it would be compared to using other types of wood (we didn't want it to be super heavy on the track); and 3) how EASY this was going to be!!!! Mike was looking forward to a project for once, instead of dreading what landmines were waiting for us along the way.

Short and Simple List: Materials for building a Tongue and Groove Barn Door

Here is what we used to make our barn door:

- 10 pieces of tongue and groove pine, 8 ft tall (or however tall you want it- it comes in 6 ft, 8 ft and 12 ft at Home Depot. We used this one, which I was estatic to find because it  was about $5 per board: I also like this board because it has a beadboard-like pattern on one side.)

- 1x6 Trim pieces (For our design, we used 2- 1"x6"x8" pine boards, and 1- 1"x6"x12" pine board, which can be found at Home depot here:, and here:

-Wood glue (We used:

- Clamps to attach the trim while it dries (Harbor Freight has good ones cheap: This photo shows various random clamps we had to use:

- Paint

Tools Needed:

- Saw- if you need to make any cuts. If you don't want to make the cuts yourself, Home Depot and other stores will make simple cuts for a minimal charge. (we used our table saw)

*Note: If you have the store cut your wood for you, make sure to cut a groove off one board and a tongue off another board so that you can use those pieces for the sides of the door.

Assembling the Door...Also Short and Simple

It took us only 2 days to make the door, and the only reason it took that long was because of the time it took to let the trim dry on the door. The glue says it sets within 60 minutes, and cures within 24 hours. We wanted to play it safe and waited the full 24 hours to move the door.

First things first, we had to have a place to assemble this massive door. Mike used two wooden sawhorses we have had for a while, and we have gotten a TON of use out of them. If you do a lot of projects (or plan on doing a lot in the future), you can make a small investment and get two of these for less than $40: We use scrap pieces of plywood over them to make a table. But, any flat surface will do- just make sure you have enough room for the size of the assembled door, and that its in a place where you can leave it for a couple of days without needing to move it. We also put plastic under our makeshift table because the glue can drip a little.

Our makeshift sawhorse table:

When we got our materials home and carried it up our TWO flights of stairs (this part always sucks), we laid the pieces of tongue and groove wood out on our sawhorse table to see what side we wanted to use and what it was going to look this:


Envisioning how our trim would look when it was finished:
The other side of the wood has lines in it, like beadboard (the pictures on the Home Depot website show the design). I wanted that side to face the hallway when the door was closed so that side of the door would have a little character.

To make the sides of the door look like normal pieces of wood, Mike cut the groove off one board and the tongue off another board. We laid these pieces on each end before we started gluing the boards together.

The next step was to put glue in the groove on the board, one board at a time, and secure it into the tongue on the next board. This was super easy with two people- having one person on each end of the boards helps line them up easier, and then pressing them together is easier too. We found after a couple of boards that if we stopped the glue about 6 inches from each end, the glue wouldn't drip out at the ends.

It took probably 10-15 minutes to do this, and then we were done! We let the door dry overnight.
Mike tied it overnight to make sure it stayed in place (I don't think this is necessary for tongue and groove wood, but it's good to make sure it stays super tight):
Adding Trim to the Door

After the glue on the boards dried for 24 hour, we added the trim. If you look at barn door designs online, your brain might explode from all the different options you have. Some people like trim around the edge and one long, diagonal piece across the middle of the door (that was a little more country than rustic for my taste). Other people get super creative (and complicated) with herringbone wood designs on the front of the door. In keeping with my quick, easy and simple plan, this is the design we decided on for our trim- trim around the sides and one board across the middle:
So, we had two pieces of 1"x6"x8' pine boards for each side of the door. Mike glued those, put them in place and clamped them down to let them dry:

In the meantime, he measured between the two side trim pieces and cut 3 pieces out of our 1"x6"x12' board for the top, bottom and middle pieces. He waited until the side pieces dried for a while so that they wouldn't move when we added these piece in the middle. Once those were glued down, he clamped them and let all of the trim dry overnight.
That's it! Our barn door was built!! (Or, at least we thought that was it- more on that later....but as long as you have your measurements right and you've account for the height of the track, your barn door would be finished at this point!)
Mike painted 2 coats and then the door was really done:
So all these materials together cost us around $80 to make a 55" wide, 8 ft tall, solid pine wood barn door- an AMAZING deal compared to other doors I have seen ranging around $300 and up (and you won't get one this size for even that amount of money).
We found this beautiful doorhandle on Ebay to add when we're completely finished- keep in mind that you need a very large handle for a door this size. This handle is 8" tall.
Now comes the real fun (sarcasm this time)...hanging the track and this massive door.
Easiest and Cheapest DIY Barn Door Ever- Part 3: Hanging the Hardware and Door (Coming soon....I promise)


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