How to change a builder grade door into a barn door


I love taking something plain and turning it into something spectacular, especially for little money! Those seem to be the most rewarding projects to me. I just love the look & character that barn doors give to the interior of a home. These doors have become very popular, I think because they add such a lovely architectural element to decor. So, follow along to see how we created our own barn door…

I’ve wanted a barn door in my home forever, but have not had an area to make them work . With open floor plan of our new home, I am very limited on projects I see that I want to do. With two main walls of windows and the open concept we don’t have many spaces to do things because there are very few walls and doors.

The area we finally decided on to place a barn door is the entrance to our master bedroom, which is basically a part of the great room. I really waned to have a “wow” factor and a place to do a large feature, so this was the best place to achieve that.


My only hesitation was that it is also the only large wall to place displays. So I knew that by doing this, I would lose an entire space for displaying decor. I felt it was a bit too cluttered with “little things” and decided one big “wow” would make a better statement, so enter “project barn door”

Once I made the decision, the search for the perfect door began. Unfortunately, finding something the correct size with the character I was looking for was not easy. After some thought, I decided if I’m taking off the current door, why not just alter it to give it the look I wanted. I think a few people thought I was a bit crazy and doubted it would work, but once the idea stuck, there was no going back.

Your door needs to be larger than the opening to cover the whole space, so I knew we would need to enlarge it.  Here is what we did;

1-We first covered the entire door with a thin paneling I had cut to the doors measurement at Home Depot. We adhered that with liquid nails.



2-Then we trimmed out the door making the frame larger than the door to the measurements of the door from trim to trim.

3- On the other side (since the trim overlaps the original door), we placed a piece of bead board to hide the overlapping trim.

4- Once all the pieces were attached, it was time to paint it. TO give it a distressed barn door look, I first applied vaseline over the knots and rough parts that I wanted to show to maintain the character and texture of the wood.



5- Then, I painted the door with a lightly loaded brush in Sherwin Williams Alabaster satin finish. The paint over the Vaseline areas kind of crackles or breaks up to give it a worn look.


6- After the paint dried, I took a scraper and lightly roughed up areas that would naturally get bumped or damaged up over time.


  • Next, it was time to hang the door. This was a bit more complicated than I had anticipated. Because of the weight of the your rails. We used a 1 X 2 board about 2″ longer than our rail. (It’s very important to be sure your rail is perfectly level or your door will slide on its own). Once that was attached to the wall, I painted it the wall paint color so it would blend in.





  • We then attached the rail to the header, placing it in the center of the board & placing the stoppers on.
  • Floor runners were placed in the floor to keep the door from being pushed one way or another.
  • Then, we attached the rollers to the door and hung the door on the rail.





The most complicated thing about this project is all the measurements to be sure everything is placed correctly. As the saying goes “measure twice (or more), cut once”

Overall I am extremely pleased with how it all turned out and I think it looks better than I actually imagined. It’s amazing what this one piece does to change the look of the entire room.





Hopefully, you enjoyed this post and I’m so glad you could stop by. I’d love to hear what your thoughts are and as always, feel free to pin away!

Hugs xoxo










October 29, 2017


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