Don't pay for pricey builder-grade barn doors. Building a custom white oak wooden barn door is easier than you think.
Are you in the market to replace interior doors? If you live in an older home, chances are your closet door, pantry door, or bathroom door might need a facelift. Why not try replacing those old doors with a wood door that is customized to your liking?
We quickly determined that a pocket door or traditional door would not highlight the desired features of our bathroom space. Contemplating the design further prompted this wood door DIY.
Building a White Oak Barn Door
Solid wood doors are absolutely beautiful. The wood panels and architectural details can be so elegant. We purposefully picked the fiberglass wood grain style for our front door as well. But sometimes purchasing wood doors from building professional companies isn't doable in your budget.
Luckily, DIY barn doors are not a difficult or overly expensive home project. I completed our white oak barn door for approximately $250. For a gorgeous wood door style that is custom to your liking, that's a steal! The type of wood will be the biggest expense depending on cost of materials where you live.
Supplies to Build a White Oak Barn Door
- 4' x 8' white oak veneer sheet of plywood
- (4) 4" thick x 8' long white oak
- Wood glue
- Nail gun - brad nailer
- Miter saw
- Table saw or skill saw
- Barn door hardware
- Door hardware
- Wood material for your header
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How to Build a Wood Barn Door
First step, properly size your oak barn door.
Use a tape measure to determine the width of the door opening. Then add at least 4" to your total. The wooden barn door should overlap the doorway by a minimum of 2" on each side and also on the top.
My door is 3' wide x 8' tall.
Next step, cut your white oak plywood.
Cut your white oak plywood to the exact size you need for your door. The additional 4" x 8' smaller pieces of white oak wood are used to frame out the door since there isn't a typical door frame. It will also give additional strength to the entire door.
Glue your white oak border pieces to plywood.
Glue the white oak pieces straight to the outside edge bordering the plywood. Clamps are a great way to help hold these in place. You can also use a brad nailer from the back to help hold it on.
Create the X's on the wood door.
The basic principle here is that you are essentially creating two large X's on your door.
Find the center of the door. Measure out where the middle point is on the side of your door. Cut a diagonal piece of white oak to fit nice and snug from the middle point (on the side edge) to one of the opposite corners. Remember - measure twice and cut once!
Tip: Lay the wood out on the door in the position you need. Then use pencil marks to label each side so it is easier to find the angle.
For the next diagonal piece, again lay it over the top where you want it and mark where it needs to be cut.
Tip: cut it too big and slowly trim it down until it fits perfectly.
Continue to cut each piece of wood until your X's are filled in. It should fit in there pretty snug.
This is how the X's should look in the middle. Take your time and get it just right.
Glue your X's to the door.
Once you have measured, cut and placed all of your X pieces, glue them to the door. When the glue is dried, stand it up.
At this point you can proceed to hang your door or add a wood stain and top coat. Depending on the condition of your door you can also lightly sand with 220 grit sandpaper for a finishing touch. Wipe it with a clean cloth to remove any dust.
How to Hang a White Oak Barn Door
When hanging a barn door you need to install it into wood for strength. Wooden barn doors are heavy and moving constantly along the top rails. We used white oak for the header.
How to Determine the Measurements for Your Header
- First, measure your barn door hardware.
- Make sure it is at least 2x the size of your door opening. You must have the right size or the door won't be able to open all the way. If not, you will need to purchase a new hardware kit.
Hanging Your Door
Find the studs in the wall. Use finishing screws to anchor the header to the wall. We used 2 screws in each stud all the way across. Once your header is in place you can add the barn door hardware to the header.
Finally, add the hardware to your wood door and it is ready to be hung up.
The Final Reveal
This wood barn door is the cherry on top that pulls both of these spaces together. The wood tones add a warmth to the space and it is a beautiful focal point.
I can't wait for you to try this with your own door. These custom DIY wood doors are a much better way to get what you want at a fraction of the price.
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