DIY Barn Door Hardware

WARNING – long and picture heavy tutorial to follow!

Remember my last post and I said I had something BIG planned for this door?

Well that something big was to replace the existing door to leading to our laundry room with this beautiful door and mount it on sliding barn door track.  Here is what the door looked like previously (ignore the missing trim around the door – we removed it before I remembered to take the before picture).

The plan was/is to install 2 of these doors in our house.  But the price tag was far too high for me to swing…especially for 2 doors.  It’s been a while since I checked, but I think the cost would be around $350 per door just for the hardware.  After seeing that, I searched E-bay and Craig’s List for a bargain, but never found one.

A friend of mine came over for Super Bowl and I told her what I was looking for.  She told me about her neighbor who made  his own hardware for a door in his house.  I was skeptical so the very next day she went over to his house, e-mailed me a couple of pictures of his door and gave me his contact information.  I was blown away how good it looked!  So I contacted him and he told me roughly how he did it.

First of all you need to find a door that is bigger than your door opening.  Antique pocket doors work great, but unless you get lucky you’ll pay a high price for those.  My sister found me 2 doors at an estate sale for $10 each.  At the time, I was looking for doors for my desk made out of doors (seen here).  But when I saw how nice the doors were (with the hardware intact) and how big they were, I saved them for the barn door project.

I didn’t get a very good before picture did I?  Oh well here is one of them in the garage getting ready to be stripped.  But first I had to remove the hardware.  Isn’t it gorgeous?

While I worked on the door, my husband work on removing the trim around the door, repairing the wall behind the trim, and working on the hardware.

After much debate between the 2 of us as to what we wanted to do about the condition of the wall behind the trim, we finally decided we wanted to go the easy route.  Rather than take the time to repair with sheet-rock, we went to the hardware store and purchased a single piece of lattice that was wide enough to cover the opening.  We got 22 feet of lattice for $14.74 .  We sanded down the wall around the opening, installed the trim and once we painted the wall (and trim) it is barely noticeable.

Here is a list of supplies that we picked up from Home Depot for the hardware that mounts to the door:

(NOTE:  this picture was taken before we went back to the hardware store to pick up supplies we didn’t purchase enough of to begin with.  But this picture shows what the supplies look like and how they are used in the project)

2 (3″) pulleys – this is a garage door part – $8.98

2 hex bolts (this replaces the bolt that comes with the pulley – receipt doesn’t mention the size) – $2.16

2 (3/8) hex nuts (this fits above bolt) – $.70 and 2 lock-washers to fit – $.40

4 frame anchors – found with the decking supports  – $11.92

2 (1 1/2 x 1/4) lag screws – $.42 and 2 lock-washers to fit $.40

8 (1 x 1/4) lag screws – $1.20 and 6 lock-washers to fit – $1.60

4 (5/16) washers – $.48

The first step was to alter the frame anchors to fit the door.  Because the thickness of the door was a bit shorter than the length of the short part of the frame anchor, my husband had to grind down  the short ends on all 4 frame anchors.  Once the correct length is achieved, he drilled 2 holes in the short side of each frame anchor, making sure the holes match up when the frames are assembled.  Long screws will go into these holes to help hold the door in place from the top.

2 more holes are drilled into the long side of 2 of the frames to help hold the door from the front.  You can see where we drilled these holes in the picture below.  They are the 2 holes to the right of the bolt on the left frame (the 2 smaller uneven holes aren’t used).

Here is the hardware needed to install the track to the wall:

6 (3 x 5/16) lag screws – $2.76 and 6 lock-washers to fit – $1.20

36 (5/16) washers – $4.80

For the track itself, you can purchase 1/4″ thick steel at Home Depot.  We originally picked up 2 (3 foot) lengths for $8.79 each.  We then sent this steel to my brother to weld together to make it into a 6 foot length.  However, he instead picked us up some 1/4″ thick steel from Metal by the Foot for less than $6.00 so we returned the steel to Home Depot.

The number of lag screws, lock-washers and washers will depend on your situation.  Our steel is 6 feet long.  When placed on the wall, there were 6 studs.  You may have more or less.  We marked the studs on the wall and held up our steel exactly where we wanted it place.  We then placed a mark on the steel where the studs were located and drilled holes in the steel.

The washers act as spacers that go between the wall and the steel so that the steel isn’t flat against the wall.  I think we ended up using 7 washers on each screw.  Here is the best picture I have to explain this (I am looking up from the floor to the ceiling).  If you don’t have enough space between the wall and the steel, the actual door hardware will rub against the wall.

Here we are installing the hardware onto the door.

After everything was installed it was time for the dry-run.  Which worked out pretty great except we noted several items that we had to go back to the hardware store for.  We originally started with 6 washers as spacers but had to add a 7th because the door hardware was rubbing against the wall.

After the dry run, we removed everything and I got to painting.  Like how I did the screws?

Here is another picture of the door assembly, this time it is painted and I think all the pieces are there.

Here is the installed track:

And the installed hardware on the track:

Houston…we have a problem.  The lock-washers didn’t get painted.  So I took the spray paint and sprayed it inside a glass jar.  Then I took a small paint brush, dipped it into the paint and did some touch up work.

Ahhhh….much better!

Next up was the “handle”.  I decided to re-install the original door knob on the front…

and the back…

We weren’t able to install all of the handle hardware on the back of the door.  When/if you install a knob on the back of the door, you have to make sure that the knob doesn’t stick out too far or it will get caught up on the wall when you go to open the door.  We got lucky, because the hole for the door knob in our door was so big we were able to push the knob way in and were surprisingly able to use the original knob.  Here is a view from the side…notice how far the knob on the back is pushed in so it can clear the wall.

So here the door in it’s nearly finished glory.  Things to notice, you don’t really notice that we slapped up some trim rather than repairing the wall and how beautiful the actual door came out after stripping, staining and waxing it.  What not to notice…the boring laundry room (another project yet to be completed).

We still need to add a few things.  My husband wants to add a stopper so somebody doesn’t pull the door off the end of the track.  We also are looking for a teenie tiny caster (less than 1/2″) to install at the bottom and back of the door (to roll along the woodwork) to help prevent swinging when opening and closing the door.  Neither of the above 2 issues are big issues right now, so it may be a while before we get to them.

For a recap, the total for this project was $67.76 (plus a can of spray paint).  But if you subtract out the price of the lattice (because it’s not part of the door hardware) and the price of the door itself, you should be able to make the door hardware for under $45.  That is a savings of over $300!

I hope I inspire somebody to make their own and I’d love to see the results!!!

Linking up to:

The Lettered Cottage
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53 Responses to DIY Barn Door Hardware

  1. Oh this is a great post – I’ve been thinking about doing one of these doors in my house! I linked you on my sidebar under “my favorite projects” yay, thank you!

  2. Jennifer says:

    I too have spent hours looking for hardware. I don’t understand why it is so expensive!!! Totally inspired and I think you are awesome for thinking outside the box!!! Thank you!!!!!

  3. Sommer says:

    Oh! Ohmigosh. Words cannot express how much I want one of these in my house! I have a large walk in pantry with two doors and my goal is to frame one in and seal it off and have one of these as the main door. You did a wonderful job I bet you are loving it! I hope you will share this at my VIP party today =) http://designergarden.blogspot.com/2011/04/vip-party-11.html

  4. Mel says:

    I salute your ingenuity. I wish I were smart/brave enough to do this, but in order to keep things simple, I’ll probably buy the hardware.

    Looks awesome.

  5. This is AWESOME!! I’ve been loving these sliding doors, but every time I see them it is usually with expensive specialty hardware. Thank you for sharing this!

  6. Laurie says:

    Great info! I’ve been wanting to do this myself. Now, to find doors as awesome as those and getting a drill bit that will go through steel… :)

  7. Wow–really turned out great!! I’m bookmarking this for future reference :)

  8. DIY at its finest! Fantastic job!!!

  9. Deborah says:

    That is ingenous! I love sliding barn doors, and wish I had a spot for one in my house. All my doorways are on short walls, so it wouldn’t work.

  10. Cindy says:

    We just did this today using similar pieces (after seeing yoru blog) and it was perfect! Thank you so much for paving the way!!!

  11. I have been looking into doing something like this. I’m glad I found your tutorial on pinterest.

  12. phizblip says:

    This is perfect! I’m going to try it on my boy’s closet door since I don’t have $400 to spend on just hardware ;) I was thinking I could do it myself, but just haven’t taken the time to go find everything at the store. So thanks for figuring it all out!

  13. This is so cool I want about 7 barn doors in my house and I’m not paying $300 each for the hardware! I’m also looking at making “something like this” for a rolling ladder. Great great great tutorial!

  14. Connie says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! I’ve been hunting down hardware kits and they are soooo much $$. I am totally going to try this- and even though I haven’t seen any other posts on your blog, I’m a new follower just because of this one [I already know you're my kinda gal :)]

  15. christy says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I have been wanting to do this in the hallway for my laundry door.

  16. Chara Kurtz says:

    Can you provide more details on the track? Did you end up needing things welded? I got lost a bit on that part and of course I don’t know any welders… LOVE it BTW!

  17. Rob says:

    Fantastic post! Barn door hardware is outrageously expensive. I was looking at the same type of materials but didnt know I could get the pullys at Home Depot also. Will be using this process for my garage bar. My doors are going to hide a projection screen with a decorative artwork piece on the door.

    Thanks again for a great post!!!

    REW

  18. Thank you for sharing your DIY sliding door! I’ve been wanting a sliding door between our kitchen and living room, because when people stop by and the kitchen is a disaster, I want to be able to close it off from view! :) I wasn’t looking forward to spending $360 for just the hardware to install a sliding door. This tutorial is great, and I’m going to share it with my husband so we can do this. Thank you x 100! :)

  19. nikia says:

    amazing tutorial!! I was wondering how you made the door stops. How to you keep the door from rolling off the track at the end of the track? Have you had any problems with the door coming off of the track?
    Thank You!!

  20. Awesome! You can get some small wheels for the bottom by the closet door hardware! They have the small ones that go on bypass doors! Maybe that’ll help?

  21. rob says:

    thank you so mush. you are the man posting this info…

  22. Virginia says:

    This looks amazing! I’ve seen other DIY sliding doors and they’re genius as well, but this looks much more like the expensive, pre-fabbed hardware, which I like. I worry about ti being sturdy though. Does it wobble around a lot? I have small children, so I’m worried about them being able to pull the door off the hardware. Thanks!

  23. Lori says:

    We did it! We found everything at Home Depot and the door at an antique consignment. Because we had to buy the door and I frosted the windows, we spent about $50 more; still sooo affordable! We did this as our laundry room door because the old door swung in and bumped my washing machine door. I am touching up paint around the trim and waiting on the door pull to arrive. Thanks so much for your blog!

    • Lori says:

      We are also adding brackets on the bottom so the door doesn’t swing out. I have little ones and that is the first thing they tried to do, push the door out from the inside. It didn’t budge from the track though.

  24. nelly says:

    I had to share your post on my blog! To brilliant to keep to myself!

  25. jsstillwell1621@gmail.com says:

    I work for The Home Depot, the wheels of replacement sliding glass door rollers are the best for this project. They are heavy duty and roll on ball bearings for a smooth roll for a long time. If you cut the overlap of the two brackets so tha the finished roller is directly in the middle of the door, you eliminate the leaning of the door as it hangs. I decided to cut a small piece of conduit at about 1/2 inch and put a washer on either side of it as a little more decorative way of making a standoff for the track.

    • shabbylisaw says:

      Great tip! I think I’ll have to try that out. Thanks!!!

    • Dawn says:

      Hi! Can you be more specific about the rollers? I check home depot, but was unable to find any rollers that looked substantial enough to hold my door. I’m doing a door to my,laundry rooms nd need the parts
      Thanks for your input.
      Dawn

  26. Melissa says:

    I am so exstatic the I found this post!!!! I have a vintage front door in my garage that I want to do this exact thing and did not want to drop the $300-$500. I cannot thank you enough!!!

  27. Julie says:

    Fantastic job!!!! This barn door slider project is AWESOME, I have been wanting to do this as a door to my master bath. Thank you for posting everything you used, with pictures and where the pieces were purchased. I’m on my way to Home Depot…..!!!!

  28. Tana Walker says:

    You’re a lifesaver!!!

  29. judi Stevenson says:

    You are an angel for taking the time and energy to show us your barn-door DIY process. The photos are priceless! Thank you so very much! I’m off to Home Depot…..

  30. Yanet says:

    Thank u! Any recommendations on how to apply this for a bypass barrn door?

  31. leah says:

    So my husband and I are so glad to have found this on pinterest. However, I was wondering whaat you used for the track? We have been trying to figure out how to make this work. I love that this is an affordable option! But not sure what you mounted on the wall. Would love the feedback! xoxo
    Leah

    • Tom says:

      Track is made from steel “flat stock” 1/4″ thick x 1.5″ wide. Home depot only sells it in lengths up to 48″ so you may have to find a local steel supplier and buy it in a longer piece. Look for businesses that supply welders and metal fence/gate builders. I had to buy a 20 ft. length – cost was about $18 and I have enough for three tracks.

  32. Genea says:

    Question nothing on the bottom? Doesn’t the door swing or have alittle sway?

  33. Pam says:

    This is so great! I have wanted to do this and you took care of all the planning and pieces parts…thank you so much for posting this….Happy happy…

  34. Kelly says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It saved me a lot of $$$. We spent $42 in hardware and it looks great! Thanks again!

  35. Maria says:

    Thank you so much for posting all the information. I see the barn doors a lot on houzz.com. My husband and I will try to this out. Thanks again

  36. Phyllis Sidor says:

    Great solutions for all DIY inspired people !! I would love to do this in my son’s room as a closet door, but I would like to use metal roofing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I guess my biggest concern is the weight of the door for the hardware.
    Thanks,
    Phyll

  37. Aaronaron says:

    For the guide on the bottom so the door doesnt roll off and follows a nice straight path you can do the following for almost nothing. Remove the door, Take a router with a bit that is approx 1/2″-3/4″ wide. Start out 1/2″ – 1″ from each end and router a “trench in the bottom of the door right down the center leaving the ends intact. Go to “home depot and find a hard plastic/nylon sleeve in the gidgets and gadgets section that fits over a 1/4 – 3/8 lag bolt. Round off the hex on the top of the bolt or if you can find them, there are lag studs with no hex head. Predrill your floor where you want the door to stop and screw this mechanism into the floor. If you have no head use a set of vice grips to twist it on or alternately use a small piece of round rod and epoxy it into the floor. Set the door with the trench you routered over the “lag bolt guide” The door will follow the path perfectly and not jump off. It will come to a stop when the trench runs out of room to go. The nylon keeps it nice and quiet, but you can just use the steel bare if you cant find the nylon sleeves. You can also screw a thin piece of wood blocking to the top of the door right under the pulleys, leaving approx 1/8″ clearance, so if the door gets bumped it wont jump off (it limits the upward movement) Good post though.
    Aaron

  38. cburgueno says:

    I cannot wait to do this project for the bathroom door. I will blog with pics once it’s complete. Thank you so much! Leah, I think she said she found the 1/4″ Thick steel at “Metal by the Foot” running 6 feet long. Maybe their local metal fabrication shop.

  39. Martha says:

    This is so exciting! I’m so glad to come across this DIY! Same question as before, what did you use for the track?
    Thanks, Martha

    • shabbylisaw says:

      Hi Martha,

      You asked about where to buy the track for the sliding barn door…it’s been so long since I wrote this post, I don’t remember any more than what I have written in the post. Here is what I wrote in the post:

      For the track itself, you can purchase 1/4″ thick steel at Home Depot. We originally picked up 2 (3 foot) lengths for $8.79 each. We then sent this steel to my brother to weld together to make it into a 6 foot length. However, he instead picked us up some 1/4″ thick steel from Metal by the Foot for less than $6.00 so we returned the steel to Home Depot.

      If you have a Metal by the Foot place near you, you can get some cut to whatever size you want. Looks like I paid $1.00/foot.

      I hope you can put this tutorial to good use. I love my door.

      Thanks for vising!

      LisaW

  40. Christie says:

    I did this project and it turned out great. Thank you for posting this. I love to save money

  41. This is the best tutorial on DIY barn doors I have found on the web and I searched for hours. By Fay the easiest and cheapest solution. Thanks so much. Here’s how mine turned out. Still have to paint the hardware and finish the doors but I love them. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=339767096138063&set=a.301290896652350.71284.281754688605971&type=1&theater

  42. I was recommended this web site by my cousin. I’m now not sure whether this post is written by means of him as nobody else recognise such exact approximately my difficulty. You’re wonderful!
    Thanks!

  43. Carla says:

    This is so what I’ve been looking for, I love the doors.But now I’m wondering if someone bumped into the door will the pulley come off the bar at the top very easily causing the door to fall onto someones foot?Also you mentioned the stops on the ends so the door doesn’t slide off the rail,also what about the track on each side of the door space on the floor, to keep it from swinging when closed? where do you find the track ?

  44. Shirley Johnell says:

    I’ve been looking for a lighter and affordable solution to standard barn door assemblies. Idiots put up bi-fold, hollow core, for the barhroom!! It is not framed out with standard door jambs, etc. I’m so anxious to try this method.
    I will use the lattice idea as well. It will take some time for me to assemble the parts, adapt them, etc. I will certainly send a pic to you.
    Thank you much, and your friends, for sharing this solution. Perhaps you should start a business selling kits!!

  45. Judi Stevenson says:

    I was wondering how your door has held up now that its been up for a couple of years?

  46. Julie says:

    I think we’ll be doing something like this for my husband’s “manroom” / music room to cover the window so it’ll be more sound tight when he needs it to be. I too am wondering how it has held up for you. I see a negative review on the pulley you purchased on Homedepot.com and am curious if you’ve had any problems with it. Also, out of curiosity, I’m also wondering whether or not it falls off the track if you aren’t gentle with it. I’d consider doing something like this on a pantry we’re putting in but we have 2 little boys in the house and they test everything I make quite vigorously.

  47. robin says:

    Excellent idea! Very inventive…..cogratulations!!!

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