DIY Pallet Barn Door on Hinges

Nickell Morgan
by Nickell Morgan
8 Materials
3 Days
I needed some doors for the wood storage cabinet I built and since the cabinets are huge (7ft), I knew I needed the doors to both function and serve as a statement art piece in my living room!
The first thing you'll want to do is break down the pallets. I wanted to have the nails show in my final design so I opted to maintain the entire length of the pallet boards. I felt I didn't do this correctly so I recommend referencing this YouTube video that will show you how to break them down a few different ways. One thing I would recommend is to get a corded reciprocating saw. I got the ones with batteries and the batteries kept dying within 10 minutes - I tried another saw, using different batteries, etc. I feel if I had a constant flow of energy, it might have saved me much more time!

To make these barn doors, I purchased quarter inch plywood and cut it down to the size of my doors (29" x 87"). I went ahead and stained the wood front and back with Varathane's Kona - I chose to go dark enough to match majority of the wood but not too dark (like black) since I think it would look off.
I determined the angle I needed to cut the wood and added some construction adhesive. I placed it along the guide and clamped it down, then nailed it into place with a nail gun. Once you have this first guide piece down, you don’t have to clamp the rest down unless you’re adding another guide piece. FYI - there are 2 guide pieces for each door!
I repeated the same for the other end and completed the rest of the design.
Once the design was complete, I notice the door was pretty flimsy so I flipped it over and glued on a 1x3 piece of wood on the sides, top, and center and screwed it into place.
I wanted the middle to have support so I added some pocket holes on the ends of the middle boards and screwed them into the longer 1x3's to have something that looks like this.
I took the door outside, face down and used a circular saw to remove the excess overhang.

After I trimmed down the doors, I added 3 coats of poly and let it sit overnight.
I wanted a little more to the doors so I added these garage door appliqués and handles according to the instructions they came with.
I didn’t quite know how to add these hinges, so I let my husband take it over.

I held the door while the cabinet was front face up and my husband made marks where the door and the cabinet will meet.

He made these holes with a fostner bit and screwed in the hinges and put the door back on the cabinet and screwed in the hinges. We referenced this YouTube video that was pretty good at explaining these hinges.I prayed and hoped the door wouldn’t fall off and it was good!

It did have this annoying squeaking so I took this knife hook thingie and shaved off the wood on the door that was pressing against the cabinet.. that pressing was making the annoying squeaking sound.

After I had the doors on I opted to put on hook and eye latches since I have curious little ones  that will constantly open and close these doors if they had the chance to.
Now I have to say, these doors are not perfect BUT they get the job done. There is a gap between the door and the cabinet and I think that’s because I don’t have a magnet holding it in place and the doors are extra tall. I could be wrong but that’s my theory.
Also, there is a slight overhang on the door. Since it doesn’t cover the front completely like I anticipated (it’s because of the hinges, I think), there is overhang on the other side. Is it enough to bother me? Not at all but just keep this in mind when building yours!
Want to actually see me MAKE these doors? Watch this video :)

I also have a step by step photo tutorial on my blog with extra diagrams and tips if you're interested.
Here are the doors! I loooovvvveeee them!! I get so many compliments when I have company over and they're especially impressed when they find out I built them.
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Nickell Morgan
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  • Keith McFadden Keith McFadden on Mar 24, 2018

    Did you make the cabinet as well?

    You easily could have with bar clamps a workbench and wax paper with a few wood shims and some 2X2.

    Lay your pallet boards out side by side on top of the wax paper, about the desired length of your shelf. Next glue the edges and Slide the boards together. Using the wood shims make sure all of the boards are flat and level as possible to the wax paper loosen the bar clamps a little bit so the boards can slide when you tap the shims under the bar. When the glue is dry peel the wax paper off the back and remove the clamps. If you do it right the shims won't have any glue on them so you can reuse them for future projects. Take a belt sander with mildly aggressive paper, I would say above 80 grit, and level the boards so they are all the same thickness. Then use a minimum of 120 Grit sandpaper to smooth them for finishing.

    You should now have a shelf that can be trimmed to fit whatever size you want. The same process can be used to build the sides and top and even the bottom of your cabinet. I would use quarter inch plywood for the backing. I put a walnut stain on some cheap cedar boards I had run through the table saw and they made the most amazingly beautiful wood trim for a bedroom I built. I strongly recommend a dark wood stain to draw out the grain. I recommend stain over paint because you can leave the wood ruff for a country look. Not to mention the stain will make the would look much more beautiful than simply coloring it. Look closely at the cabinet you put the doors on and you will see how simple the sides and top would fit together. If you want your shelves to be adjustable, the hardware store sells pins for shelving. Mark out the spot where you want your holes and put a plunge router bit the size of your pins in a drill on a portable drill stand. Set the drill so it can only plunge half an inch. Do so by laying it on the edge of your shelf and measuring it on the edge of the wood. Lock the plunge so it cannot go below that Mark. Your husband should be able to show you how to get the drill to stop at that point. This will set all your pins at maximum without punching a hole in the side of your cabinet. When you fasten your cabinet together glue all of your edges before pin nailing. the glue is actually much stronger than the nails.

    When you are done please text an image to 425-244-4561. My name is Keith and I would be very excited to see how your project came along. I believe you can do it.

    P.S. Your project has inspired me to build a dresser out of pallet boards. When your cabinet is done, if you send me an image of via text, I'll send you one of my dresser. On your mark, get set, build away! Good luck.

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