$25 DIY Barn Door Upgrade for Existing Door

18 Materials
1 Day

Buying an older home means getting creative with upcycling things. This project was so much fun! We took an old door (not so pretty) and transformed it into a beautiful door that's a showcase for our living area.
We created this video to capture the process and to give our viewers helpful hints to build this door. It's simple and affordable.
We weren't kidding about the lack of beauty of our old solid core door. Time for some change!
We started by sanding off that old finish.
We used a circular saw to cut 1/8 inch channels evenly along the door. We did 5, but you could adjust this to your taste.
Because we wanted a specific depth, we planed our pine boards to under 1/2 inch. Just be aware that if the boards are too think, they may interfere with any molding you have around your door. We cut and clamped the top and bottom boards in place, then the first diagonal board. We marked where the cuts would be. Once this board is cut, repeat for other diagonal piece. Sand these cut boards.
Time to slap on some stain. Well, you know there's some technique involved here. We didn't just slap it on, but we did pre-mark the area we wanted to stain (make sure to see the video).
After your decorative boards are stained and dry, attach tops and bottoms, and cross sections with Gorilla Construction Adhesive from Lowe's (clamping is helpful) and tack with some finish nails. Apply polyurethane to finished door.
We chose to purchase some nice hardware and hinges for our door, but that's totally optional! We love how it looks in our home.
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 18 questions
  • Laurie
    on Mar 25, 2019

    What did you do to the street-side of the door?

  • Laura
    on Apr 3, 2019

    What does it look like on the street side and how on earth do you get in from the outside if you put the door handle on the inside??? More pictures please

  • Franb
    on Apr 22, 2019

    I really like what you did coz all my closet doors look like that - fugly! However, with adding the 1" thick boards, doesn't that impede opening the door all the way against the jams?

Join the conversation

2 of 78 comments
  • Jojo Snow
    on Mar 6, 2019

    Cool that you're getting the "barn door effect" aesthetically, but without the hassle of that wobbly sliding feature that's so trendy right now. I like being able to securely shut a door with hinges.

  • Tnt
    on Mar 26, 2019

    Thanks I'll try this project and it's cost saving. Thanks 🤸🏽‍♀️🤸🏾‍♂️👍🏽

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