Simple Barn Door Build

5 Materials
6 Hours

My husband is building a cottage for our son with an open concept loft but my husband and I both suggested a wall was needed to offer privacy and our son agreed. Our inspiration came from this picture I found online here below from America's Best House Plans.

Inspiration Photo

Here was the space in the early construction showing the loft bedroom space and the outline of the proposed new wall. The opening would be the perfect place to have rustic barn doors to offer privacy and style both.

The wall boards are what's referred to as T and G boards or tongue and groove because of the design at the edges seen here. It provides added strength to the join and allows for easy installation as the boards fit snuggly together.

They come in different widths, ours were roughly 5 1/4" wide and you'll notice there's a v-groove here on the back which you'll see later on the interior of the barn doors.

So the groove was removed for the left outside edge of the door by running the board through the table saw, just enough to give you a flat edge. The tongue portion was treated in the same manner for what would be the outside edge on the right side of the door. Cross bars pieces had both edges removed to give you smooth, clean edges on both sides.

The diagonal cross bars were cut on 45* angles to create this pattern with a mitre saw. Next the backs were given a layer of wood glue before being placed onto the interlocked T & G boards. An air nailer using 1 1/4" nails secured the cross bars to the door base. The finished door measured 32" wide x 80" high, no sanding was done to the boards to keep a rustic look to the project. Here's how it looks so far but they need to get stained to create a contrast with the walls before being hung with a barn door kit.

Here they are after one thorough coat of Min-wax stain in Dark Walnut, I applied it with a brush and didn't rub it off as the instructions suggest. It took a little longer to dry but we wanted a dark color and the wood absorbed the stain like a sponge because we didn't pre-treat the wood. There was too much stain work to be carried out with this cottage so lessening the steps was easier....for me! The doors really stand out now and tie in together with the trims throughout the cottage.

We purchased a barn door hanging kit in a black wrought iron finish and my husband installed it, here's the finished look from the main area.

Remember the v-groove at the back of the boards? Well that became the door backs and here's how that looks from the bedroom.

Pretty neat huh? The wall treatment was created by my husband and I too and will be shared in another post soon. We were able to build the door for less than half of the cost that the hardware store was selling them for. We couldn't be happier with the new wall addition and the rugged barn door accenting it.

I sure hope I gave you an idea or two to try for your home or cottage. The rustic look of barn doors is a popular trend right now so it's good to know how to build your own.

* Note cost and time for this project includes building and installation.

Resources for this project:
T&G Pine Boards
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Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Mar 31, 2018

    What are the vertical boards on the wall for on either side of the door? They show when the door is closed.

  • Linda Linda on Mar 31, 2018

    Love the cottage. You and your husband are so talented. Wish I had a spot for that door. Absolutely love the railing with animals. Is it wood or metal? What a lucky guy.

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4 of 31 comments
  • Kathryn Curran Kathryn Curran on Apr 06, 2018

    WOW!! Will you adopt me and build me a cabin too!! That's one lucky son you have, and I'm sure you feel lucky to be his parents!

    • Your assessment is 100% accurate and as for the adoption we've had a few requests already but well keep you in mind! Thanks very much for your kind words!

  • Shannon McGuigan Shannon McGuigan on Aug 27, 2020

    It is CRAZY how ur sons cottage is setup EXACTLY like my old house! We converted our barn into a 3 bedroom apartment n had our horse stables below us. So to come in the front door, which is to the left of the kitchen (same as ur sons) we had to come up steps onto our deck n walk in our front door. Our master bedroom that also was a loft, had the steps in the same spot coming up the side of the wall. Wow, totally brings back alot of great memories.....i hope ur son knows hes very lucky to have such loving parents. Congrats, the door to his loft couldnt look did a tremendous job!

    • Such cheerful, kind and encouraging words are such medicine to our ears! Thank you and yes all of his dad's hard work hasn't gone unnoticed, he just recently built our son a garage here as well with a jazzed up built in bar. That hasn't been posted here but there's one here sharing the bar built at his permanent home. Thanks so much Shannon your comment meant a lot to us!