How to Turn a Plain Door Into a Barn Door

Learn how easy it is to transform a boring flat-panel door into a decorative barn door.

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April 19, 2018
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We updated an existing door, but this project can easily be done with a brand-new door.

Skill Level
Estimated Cost $200
Time
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Tools and Materials

  • slab entry door
  • hammer
  • screwdriver
  • (3) 1x4 x 8'
  • miter saw
  • wood glue
  • pneumatic staple gun and staples
  • paint and paintbrush
  • jigsaw
  • measuring tape
  • level
  • circular object such as a bowl or lid
  • deadbolt and doorknob
  • white paintable caulk and caulk
  • clamps
  • speed square and ruler/straight edge
Find all the tools and materials for this project at Lowes.com.

Take Down the Door

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Remove the old slab door from the hinges. A hammer and screwdriver are the best tools to help pull the bolts out of the hinges. When you have the door removed from the hinges, take off the doorknob.

Resurface

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Sand rough spots on the door or putty any nicks and dings to create a smooth surface.

Measure for Frame

Create an outer frame on the door with 1x4s. Measure the width and height of the door. Cut two 1x4s to the height of your door and two 1x4s seven inches shorter than the width of your door.

Determine Placement of Doorknob

Lay one of the long 1x4s in place with the doorknob hole partially covered, then mark the center point of the doorknob on the 1x4. Use a compass, bowl or any round object to mark a half circle on the 1x4 for the doorknob. Use a jigsaw to cut the half circle. Test fit to make sure you've made the correct cut.

Fasten Outer Frame

Place all four outer 1x4s on the face of the door. Attach each piece using wood glue and then staples.

Install Horizontal Cross Piece

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Just above the doorknob, measure the width of the door from the inside of the 1x4 frame. Cut a 1x4 to size and install with wood glue and staples. Use a speed square to make sure the 1x4 is square.

Install Diagonal Cross Pieces

Lay a 1x4 diagonally across the top half of the door and mark the angle where it meets the top and middle board. Repeat for the bottom half of the door in the opposite direction. Cut the boards and attach them with wood glue and staples.

Finish

Mina Starsiak of Good Bones partners with Lowes. Not to be used for alternative clients/purposes.

Photo by: Gary Payne

Gary Payne

Add a layer of exterior paint for protection and color. Let it completely dry and then add a doorknob and hanging hardware.

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