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Building A Sliding Barn Door


If you have been following me at My Burb Home, you know I have wanted to put a sliding barn door into our new suburban, plain vanilla, generic, home. The study center at the front of our home does not have a door. With my son and daughter in law living in this area, we wanted to be able to allow us all to have more privacy. I also really like the way that the door will look!

When I came up with the sliding door idea, Hubby suggested we go back to his home place for barn wood.   No one lives there now and the buildings are literally falling down, but some of the wood from the barns is still in usable condition.

We loaded up a pile of wood along with something else very special I have coming up. Here is the pile of wood we brought back.

The dimensions of the opening mean that we will need a door a smidgen over 108 inches tall and 40 inches wide. Do you know what a door those dimensions would cost? More than we would spend?… that is all I’m saying.

When we woke up Saturday morning it was like the stars and planets aligned to make this door possible. It was 60 degrees, sunny, low humidity, and even more unbelievable where we live, there was no wind. Perfect outdoor work conditions.
We got busy.
Hubby got busy and cut the boards into 40 inch lengths. I was so proud he got out his safety glasses and ear protection without my fussing that they got a photo.  Yay Hubby!

Because the wood was so rough, he trimmed the sides of each board on the table saw so that we did not waste any wood but got rid of the rough edges. It took 9 of them plus an additional six inch board. Look at those rings. This wood grew slowly and is dense. I love how beautiful the wood looks on the edges.

Once they were cut, we laid them up against the fence and gave them all a scrub down. I used the jet sprayer on the hose and a scrub brush.

Here they are before:

Here they are washed:

Here they are dried:

Once they were cleaned up it was obvious we had some pine, cedar, and I think…cypress? Not sure about the third type. It held up well like cedar, but did not have any red or smell. This was real deal barn wood and the builder of the barns, who was probably the farmer, used what was available and it wasn’t always the same wood.
We laid the wood out on two 2 X 4’s so that it was off the floor. I was in charge of arranging the wood, but Hubby had veto power if the piece was too hard to nail in. Here they are laid out.

Hubby nailed long sections of cedar we took off the lake house when we changed out the siding around the edge then added an X of wood through the center. I wanted the look of a divided door so there are two X’s on the door. Here it is put together:

The back we decided to leave pretty much alone. We just added trim around the outside edge. I wanted to be able to see the wood from the back when the door is closed.

You can see the different types of wood in this close up.

I decided to polyurethane the whole door. I debated keeping it raw, but I wanted the wood to have a richer look in our entry way.
I used Rustoleum Oil Based Clear Satin

Here is the difference between the wood polyurethaned and raw. I like both.

Here is the barn door with poly on it.

The door will be hung in a few weeks. I really like how it turned out. More to come

This is just a coat of polyurethane. There is no stain or color added, the poly just brings out the rich tones of the wood.

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