cotton and blooms

March 20, 2019

Barn Door diy

For the life of me I don’t know why it took me so long to start this project. I have about a zillion reasons why we need these throughout the house. We bought our home in September of 2018, “as-is.” As you may know, “as-is” is code for “there are so many things that are not market ready with this house that we’re calling it and just telling you now, we will not be fixing sh*t.” So you may be thinking, K crazy why’d you buy it then. Because we’re gluttons for punishment. And we like the prospect of sweat equity. And yeah we’re a little cray. Cosmetically YEAH we have had our work cut out for us. There are also structural elements that we have had to address-new roof, new drywall, new carpeting etc… because of the water damage from the leaky roof. One of the things I’m embarrassed to say that we have just pushed back  in lieu of more immediate fixing is the doors. Among other things, the water that came in caused our particle center interior doors to swell at the bottoms. SO they take a little bit of oomph to open and shut. I can feel you cringing. Me too. Read on for how we made it better.

choose a style

 I have seen quite a few different styles of barn doors while scrolling through pinterest. I’m drawn to an X cross-brace design across the lower half of the door.* But you could modify this to work for many a different type of design. After our door trim and baseboard adventure I’m still up to my neck in 1x4 boards and I thought perhaps I could whip something up with a 1x6 across the top, middle, and bottom for variation and a little added interest.

The girls and I were meandering through our home away from home, The Home Depot, for the four thousandth and sixth time as one does in the midsts of home renovations when I came across shed panel siding. Perfecto! It has the perfect vertical grooves to be a slab for a barn door. And it is $35 a sheet. That is what’s up. 

I had this wonderful gentleman help me cut two of them to 6.5′ by 40.” Our opening is 6′ 3″ by 39 1/4.” We want the door to be just larger than the width of the opening including trim and three inches above in order to mount it. 

Side note: If I ever make it big, I’m gonna own this boss hoss of a saw.

*Indecision queen here, I ended up changing my mind. If you follow me on instagram, you can see the thought process in my highlights, but I ULTIMATELY decided on a double Z design! BUT TRULY, with the shed panel siding hack, you can change your mind on a dime. WIN.


cut list

3 – 1×6 @ 3′

2 -1×4 @ 6’6″

2 -1×4 (these you will have to lay down and trace to cut with either a jigsaw or circular saw.

1 – shed siding panel @ 6’6″

Total cut estimate: ~$75 😍

tools and materials

jig saw or circular saw

finish nailer — I freaking love my Ryobi Airstrike. I bought mine certified refurbished and it has been ah-may-zing. No noisy air compressor. Great for people who do projects when kids are asleep.

Orbital sander, detail sander, or sanding block if you’re looking for an arm workout.

Paintable caulk

Wood Filler

Paint and primer of your choice — We used Kilz waterbased primer and Sherwin Williams Alabster, which is my favorite paint color. ever. It elevates everything in every light. 

smooth or scratchy?

Once I got the panels home and laid out on my work table, I realized just how rough the texture was. Though this could be a desired style, I was going for more of a polished look. If you’re the same way, you’re going to want to sand down the surface with an electric sander and fill in any leftover grooves with some wood filler and a putty knife. I looove this one by Dry-Dex. It goes on pink and dries to a natural wood color to let you know when it’s ready to sand. If only all things were that straightforward. 

make the cuts

When you’ve arrived at your chosen texture finish, it’s time to start measuring the wood pieces to frame up the door and make it all pretty. I took my 1x6 boards and lined them up to the top and the bottom first. Clamp them down to the door so they don’t go anywhere. Now you’ll want to find the exact center of the door. There are multiple ways to do this, but I plopped my center 1x6 board down and measured its distance from the top board and the bottom board until they were the same. Because math is hard. If you’re reading this and you’re thinking THERE’S A BETTER WAY, rock on.


Next I clamped that one down and cut my 1x4 boards into 4 segments that would go on the side edges in between the horizontal 1x6s.  

Finally, the diagonal boards came into play. Again, there MAY be a better way to maneuver this step, but I tend to veer toward easy/simple.

Lay the 1x4s down where they look centered and symmetrical. Next, take a straight edge and line it up along the 1x6 and the 1x4 that form the corner right angle.  You can trace the lines onto the diagonal 1x4 where you will need to cut to make it fit. Voila folks! Both boards fit pretty tight. There was a teeny tiny gap where my circular saw didn’t cut completely straight, but I took the wood filler to the gap and it’s invisible now. 

Hammer time

Actually not hammer time because the RYOBI Airstrike takes away your need for a hammer BUT that’s what we call it, so there you have it. It’s my favorite tool in my arsenal, hands-down. With the boards clamped down to the panel, you can nail them in, spacing the nails about every six inches. 

Once everything is fixed tight to the shed panel slab, do a little dance, and you can move onto filling in the nail holes and the lines where the boards meet. For our door, I wanted the double Z frame to look like one continuous piece. If you are looking to achieve a more rustic style, you could choose to skip filling the lines! Once the Dry-Dex fades from the pink to the natural wood color, you’re in the homestretch and ready to sand! 

Sizing up the door after the wood filler was smoothed over with my sander, I used a little bit of paintable caulk in a couple areas where the diagonal boards met the right angle in order to firm everything up and make it completely even.


Lastly we’re ready to paint! I’m planning a painting spree for all the baseboards and moulding and doors, so I haven’t hit this guy yet. I’ll use a brush and a mason jar of my primer and follow it up with two coats of Alabaster by Sherwin Williams. However, you could use a foam roller or a sprayer, WHATEVER you prefer!



What do you think?

I love the way it turned out! And for less than $75 it’s hard to beat. The best part of interior barn doors, aside from being a killer farmhouse staple, is that they eliminate the space from the door swing. Our previous door was a death trap that kept nearly knocking people down our basement steps. So we’re THRILLED with the new addition! What about you? Do you have a space where a barn door would be perfect?