DIY: How to Make Your Own Sliding Barn Door

During one of my trips to the Christie Antique Show, I found an old door that was picked up from a diner they were tearing down. See my other finds from past shows here and here.

Pantry door

Originally I wanted to hang it for our pantry door but that didn’t work so we decided to make it slide across the opening to our servery from the kitchen. For more pictures, see the final reveal of our kitchen.beforeafter

Let’s talk about the finish of the door. I struggled with the colour of the door. A lot of people (including Tommy Smythe and Suzanne Dimma) told me to leave it, don’t touch it. After giving it a lot of thought, I decided I wanted a whitewash look. When we went to sand it down, the original paint wasn’t coming off easily so I decided to paint it grey and then lightly brush white over and lightly sanded it down…. I really had no idea what I was doing.


It ended up working out better than I thought it would but I may sand down a few spots later on so you can see more of the grey come through. Our kitchen is white and grey with light quartz countertops, and opens right up to our living room which is also light and airy, so I like that it is part of the whole room instead of standing out too much.

Let’s talk about the hardware. I had no idea how much it would cost to buy it… I went into a local store and they quoted me $2100!! After the guy saw the shocked look on my face, he quickly referred me to 1925 Workbench. The tracks started at $195… I thought “sold” until I talked to my husband and he said he would make it.

photo 3 (3)

Cost: $ 52

Difficulty: I would say medium… you do need to have some knowledge of basic tools, be able to use a grinder and a drill. Welding is optional.

1. Buy a 10 ft length of 1 1/2″ x 1/8″ flat bar. We got ours from a local steel manufacturer for $7 – I found the same thing at Home Depot but it’s more $$.


2. We bought (2) pulley wheels, (5) bearing spacers, nuts, bolts and washers. We got everything from a Canadian store called Princess Auto.

3. Using a grinder, cut the flat bar lengths. The top rod would be approx. 6 feet. To make the 2 rolling hangers, start at 2 ft each.


4. Use a bench vise, bend the flat bars to go around the pulley wheels. You may need to manually bend the flat bar all the way around, the vise won’t be able to make it tight enough. Make sure you have the pulley wheel there to test it.


5. Cut the hangers to the right size for your door. We made the front 12″ long and the back 1″ past the centre of the pulley. You should end up with something like this…

photo 5 (2)

6. We welded stoppers for the ends of the track so the door wouldn’t slide off but if you don’t have access to a welder, you could bolt something like a pulley spacer on the front of the track.

photo 2 (5)

7. Mount the flat bar rail. Use a stud-finder to find the studs. Make sure to leave enough space on the bottom so that the door is about 1/2″ off the floor. Once you locate your studs, transfer the dimensions onto the flat bar to drill your 3/8″ holes.

8. Using a ratchet, install the flat bar with 5/16″ x 3″ lag bolt. Make sure the washers are against the drywall – Washer, space, another washer.


9. Mount the bent flat bar pieces onto the door with 5/16″ x 1 1/2″ hex bolts.

10. Hang the door on the track!

If you have any questions, please leave a comment or message me! I had a look at this DIY tutorial to get us started.

photo 2 (3)(1)

photo 3 (5)

photo 1 (3)(1)

photo 4 (5)