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.





9 Responses to DIY Barn Door from Simple 2×6′s

  1. Awesome! I pinned it too. Very Cool – and lots of hard work.


  2. Where did you order your track from?

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

    • 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 ;)

  4. 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 :)

    • 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 :)

  5. Pingback: IRL shopping on a sunny Monday | An Emerald City Life IRL shopping on a sunny Monday | a Seattle Family adventure and our travels with Kids

Questions? Comments? I'd love to hear!