DIY Sliding Barn Door on a budget

A well designed whole house remodel on a budget is very tricky to pull off.

The key to a successful remodel is understanding what design elements you want to include and then figuring out how they will fit together.

The problem with this, at least for the 97% not living in the lap of luxury, is affording those design elements. A true talented designer is one who can pull this off on a strict budget, perhaps finding those elements at yard sales, consignment shops or even Goodwill.

This particular house that we are working on is in rural Michigan in the heart of Amish country. We wanted to be true to the character of the home and the neighborhood, so we chose a country minimalist theme. A gentle sprinkling of this theme throughout the whole home, without being redundant and making sense in each room is our goal. Adding a sliding barn door was a perfect fit to create this rhythm.

Here is how we accomplished this look:

  • Purchase the sliding door mechanism. We did a lot of research to get an authentic look and the best price. We bought ours from Amazon here. There are lots of styles, so stay with your design theme. This one cost $89.99 with free shipping.
  • Purchase the slab door, recycle an existing door, or use a real barn door. I purchased a new solid pine slab door from Habitat for Humanity ReStore for $15.
  • Decide on the color of paint or stain. I chose Benjamin Moore Onyx black paint in satin finish. One quart is enough to put three coats of paint on both sides with some left over. I have about $20 into paint, brush and sand paper.
  • I used a paint brush because I wanted a hand painted look.
  • After painting, sand off the paint on all the edges with medium grit sandpaper and lightly sand all over with super fine grit paper to give it an aged distressed feel.
  • Follow up with two layers of MinWax paste finishing wax to give the door a warm glow.
  • Follow the directions for installing the sliding door mechanism. It was fairly easy but the installation manual that came with the kit was generic.
  • There are five bolts to screw the track to the wall. At least three of these will need to hit a stud to hold the weight of the door. Make it level.
  • The hardest part for me was lifting the weight of the door during installation.

What you will need:

  • A drill and 1/4″ drill bit
  • Level
  • pencil
  • crescent wrench
  • Sliding door mechanism
  • Paint and paint brush
  • Medium grit and super fine sand paper
  • Paste wax
  • Door paint or stain of choice

This DIY project cost about $125.

Tip: Knowing your design theme is the key when shopping at yard sales, and second hand shops. Always be looking for elements that can be weaved into your whole house design.




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