DIY Barn Door from Simple 2×6’s


Barn door with cat door diy

I’ve been seeing barn doors all over pinterest lately and I just had to make one. I wanted one that had a vintage rustic vibe with a bit of industrial grittiness to it. So that meant, I had to make it (custom built doors are stupid spendy!).

The previous owners of our house left a large worktable in the garage, the top was with 2×6’s and it had the perfect “patina” I was going for.. as in all beat up, burned, hammered, painted, smashed, cracked but yet still solid pieces of wood. Bingo! this would be my new door 🙂

Here it is in all it’s beat up old glory!


I loved everything about it! see all those great burn marks and holes etc. Just perfect for my project!

This project may seem difficult but it’s really just time consuming vs. hard. I really think this could be a beginner project 🙂

So before we get started on the tutorial, here’s the supplies you’ll need:

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Install your barn door track following manufacturer instructions.

barn door track installed

Step 2: Measure where top of door will hang to 1/2″ off  the floor (so you have 1/2″ for the door to slide over). the location where the door will hang will be in the instructions on your barn door kit, so you will know exactly where the top should be.. so you know you can measure from their to 1/2″ off the floor.

Also measure width of door opening, to make sure (7) 2×6’s will be at least 6 inches wider than your door opening.  If needed, buy another 2×6 to cover that width. It does not have to be exactly 6″ wider, so you don’t need to rip any of the 2×6 widths.

Step 3: Using your Miter Saw, cut your 2×6 boards to the length measurement. All of them should be the same length 🙂

Step 4: Using your wood glue and pipe clamps, glue the 2×6’s together. I did this in 3 separate “glue” bundles. I glued 4 pieces together, than 3 pieces then the whole thing. It was easier to manage the large boards.

diy barn door wood glue pipe clamp

Wood glue and pipe clamps to glue the diy barn door
optional tip: when gluing all 7 boards together, I screwed on a 2×4 in the center to help prevent “bowing” so I could really tighten those pipe clamps
Step 5: Once wood glue is dry, (remove optional 2×4 that was put on center of door for stability during gluing). Get that orbital sander out and use an 80 grit to sand and shape corners and get the overally look you want. Don’t over sand with the 80 grit or you will remove any “patina.” Once done with the 80 grit go to 120 grit for darn near baby but smooth feel .

Step 6: Get the Cabot pre-stain wood conditioner and your foam brushes and quickly do a coat following manufacturers instructions.


Step 7: Get the Rustoleum Summer oak stain and foam brush and do 2 coats of stain following manufacturers instructions.


diy barn door rustoleum summer oak
Optional! If you like this look then stop here and go to Step 10
Step 8: After the summer oak has dried, get out the Verathane Cognac and a foam brush. Do 1 Coat on the door. DON’T FREAK! It will look like you just covered your whole door in red and ruined all the awesome patina.. my  “almost screwed it up but made it awesome” step will fix it 😉 as soon as you finish putting it on, wipe it off, at least what you can.

varathane cognac

Step 9: BEFORE the cognac stain dries, literally after you finished putting it on. start from where you started putting the stain on and get out that orbital sander and about (5) 80 grit discs. start sanding.. I’m calling this “wet stain sanding.” Sand until you like what you see, you are basically smooshing the wet stain into all the crevices. you will have to change pads often since it’s wet stain. this method of  sanding it off the edges but really getting it in the crevices, brings out the grain unevenly and in a very organic way.  Finish up with 120 grit for smooth texture.. then set to dry

wet stain sanding diy barn door

Step 10: Get out your polyurethane and yet another foam brush, and following manufacturers instructions do 3 coats of poly.

Step 11: Install your door track hardware on the door per manufacturer’s instructions

Step 12: Get out those strap ties and lightly sand them (80-120 grit paper). lay them out and use your flat black spray paint to paint them. (follow manufacturer’s instructions) 0ptional to finish with a coat of polyurethane.

Lots to choose from at the hardware store, pick one that fits the width of your door the closest
Lots to choose from at the hardware store, pick one that fits the width of your door the closest
Step 13: Once strap ties are dry, lay them out on your door, make sure to measure the same distance from the top of door to top of strap tie, and then the same distance from bottom of door to bottom of strap tie so it’s proportional.

Step 14: Get out the nails and nail that strap tie in place exactly on your measurements.

Step 15: Pre-drill the holes for the lag bolts and washers, then screw in the washer and lag bolts. (washers should fit nicely over the hole and work for the size of lag bolt you have)

Step 16: Take your plumbing pieces and put them together like what you see in the picture below. then using your screws and drill, screw it on the door.

barn door diy

Step 17: OPTIONAL! Install cat door! follow manufacturer instructions to insall

Step 18: HANG THAT DOOR! and enjoy all it’s beauty 🙂

Here’s some Barn door porn 🙂 so you can see close ups…

header22222 closeupdoor plubing-handle

let me know if you have questions!

Happy DIY’ing



Updated 8.1.13 – adding a picture of the back of the door so you can see that I did absolutely nothing to the finish :). the only bolts that went all the way through are from the door track hardware. the Lag bolts were shorter then the thickness of the wood so that they didn’t go all the way through.






66 thoughts on “DIY Barn Door from Simple 2×6’s

  1. Do you by any chance have pictures of the back? Especially where the bolts and stuff like that go through to the back.

    1. I am posting a picture of the backside now.. the only bolts that go all the way through are the bolts for the track hardware. the lag bolts and handle screws were just an inch long so they didn’t go all the way through 😉

  2. Awesome door, going to gather all materials to make one for a downstairs office converted into a bedroom. Live in southern Nevada any ideas for a place to get the hardware local to hang door? Not sure where to look, any ideas would be greatly appreciated 🙂

    1. You could order the track online? search “barn door tracks” and there are several online outlets you can buy from. send me a pic after you make it! and let me know if any questions come up 🙂

  3. hi there! what was the total cost of everything? just curious. i really want my husband to make thisfor a large space going from my living room to the did a great job on yours!! thanks for the pics!! shirlee

  4. If your door is theoretically 42″ wide, how did your 37.5″ straps span the whole width of the door? I’m making a 36″ width door, with six 1×6 boards, and am wandering if there is some kind of consideration I should be taking into account before buying the straps. Thanks!

      1. Ahhh hah! I may or may not have already known that about these boards, but I’ll make sure to measure the door out before buying the straps then. Looks like the Glue doesn’t affect it enough to be a problem either. Thanks!

      2. Lindsey, one other thing I should try and snag from you (since you’re so great at responding!) – about how heavy is your door?? I’ve got a 170lb limit on the hardware, and I’m thinking the studs are aluminum, not wood. so, I may downgrade to 1″ boards (which we know are really 3/4″).

        1. I was able to lift and set it myself but dont know the exact weight. I am thinking if you stand on a scale with 1 board and see what one weighs then mulply that out? Would be a hilarious pic standing on a scale with a 2×6 lol 😉

      3. Hey Lindsey, another quick question as I continue to navigate through my issues. Did you indeed use 16d nails for straps, or were you able to use something smaller? I’m trying to track down 16d nails that are 3/4″, if at all possible. Wandering how long your nails were and what size. Thanks again!

        p.s. so, you were able to lift the door yourself…but how strong are you?? haha. I’m still trying to make a 1×6 paneled door work, for weight reasons, and I think I’m one step closer to making that happen by using a t-nut and bolt instead of lag bolts, as there are no 1/2″ lag bolts short enough for the 3/4″ boards.

    1. I used the Satin finish polyurethane and did 3 coats, I prefer that over gloss or matte as it gives a bit of sheen but not over the top shiny and not unfinished looking 🙂

  5. Love the door!! I don’t see rollers on the bottom of the door and it appears to be suspended. I know the door must be really heavy but do you have any issues with it swinging when you open and close it? Thanks

  6. Are there no screws holding the boards together? I see the glue and clamping step, and then staining, but no screwing. 😉 I’m going to start this project this weekend making two of them side by side to be a headboard for my bed. Don’t I need horizontal boards or pocket holes to screw them all together?

    1. Hi Karin- I used glue do the boards in between and clamped until dry and I removed the clamps after I screwed in the metal straps on the front. That said, pocket screws would be a great add . I haven’t had any bowing of the wood or any issues with just using wood glue and the metal straps fwiw…

  7. Hi! Is that a pet door on the bottom? If so, how did you make it or was it a purchased pet door?



  8. I did this same project a year ago, it worked great with one little hitch. I left the wood natural, used a water based clear coat. As the humidity goes up in the Summer, the wood expands, causing the door to bow and rub the wall. I later added more clear coat hoping to seal it better but it hasn’t helped. I am considering shimming it out away from the wall. Any other ideas? I’ll send photos when I get home.

    1. Send some pictures would be happy to see if I can offer any ideas to help. I haven’t had any issues but I love in Seattle so we don’t have the extreme humidity that other places do..

  9. Is there a space/gap around the door because of the floor molding or do you need to remove the molding? I want to install in a bathroom/bedroom and don’t want a space. Thanks

    1. I had to shim out my door a bit to accommodate the pet door, but if you have standard molding the barn door hardware kind of already accounts for it, if your worried about privacy, make the door a tad wider so it covers 6-12″ on either side of the door so you know that no one can see in : ) when our barn door is shut, you can see light but you can’t see through the edges to the room.

  10. Wow, you did an amazing job!! Thank you for sharing all of the details. I am going to try this for our laundry room door in the house we are just starting to build.

  11. Hi Lindsey! Your door is great, use wanted to post that I did a barn door on an effenciency apartment about a year ago and I found the hardware at The Home Depot. I was very surprised they had it in stock but there it was. I paid less than $200 for a 36″ door.

  12. Great barn door. You can also purchase the barn door hardware from Lowe’s. Here in Canada they carry it less than 200.00, I am sure in US they should have it too.

  13. I like to know where did you get your barn door tracking kit? I have been looking but with no luck. I already looked @ lowel’s thanks I love it sue

    1. I posted where I got mine on the blog post above. I purchased mine at , Builders Hardware. Also has barn door hardware and a quick search on bing or Google showed several websites that sell barn door hardware. So you’ll just need to find a site that has the style/price you want 😉

  14. I would like to try this for a garage door, no sliding hardware though. I want to use a gate kit to hang it from either side. Your door is gorgeous. I think this would look great on my son’s garage built in 1928.

  15. How do you open the door from backside? We are putting a barn door in our bedroom as the bathroom has no door and only a 24″ doorway with an arched top. Having trouble finding pictures of the backside and the ones I find have a handle on one side only.

    1. You could finish both sides and then put an inset handle on the inside so it doesn’t affect the door sliding or hitting the wall… Thinking the same handles that you see on a pocket door…

  16. We’ve been looking all over for a 42 inch door. When I saw yours the light bulb went on. Easy to make and Iove the idea of DIY. Love your door and the easy instructions. Thanks!!!!

  17. What am I missing ? If you need to close the door from either side , how do you do the handle on the inside and still get the door fully open ?

  18. Hi Lindsey,
    Great work. Does this happen to be oak or pine? I am doing this for my pantry and debating hardwood vs softwood.

  19. Is it possible to hang this door using hinges? I am removing the sliding doors from my shop so that I can use hinged doors. I will need two 36 inch doors as my opening is 84 inches high and 72 inches wide

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear!