New room-length barn door walk-in closet in our bedroom! It's made with cheap cedar paneling and pallet wood.
Total cost: $800
- $450 steel hanging hardware
- $350 wood
- Ceiling-mount hardware tracks
- Pre-weathered boards for the center barn doors
- Tongue-and-groove cedar paneling for the outside white doors
- Sheets of plywood for the backing of the doors
- Liquid nails
- 23-gauge pin nailer (optional)
- 6" MDF floorboard (optional for aesthetics)
- Cast-iron handles
- Soft close sliding door mechanisms
- Philips Hue Lightstrip with a motion detector
Step 1: Mounting the Hardware
Our biggest dilemma was how to mount doors for the closet. Normally there's a solid wall with a hole for a door, and sliding/barn doors are mounted to the wall (think of a pocket door). We instead had just a gaping open space in our bedroom.
We needed a way to mount the doors to the ceiling, not to a wall. Unfortunately our rafters ran parallel to the plane of the doors, and of course, we wanted the doors about smack dab in the middle of the rafters. We mounted 2"x4"s between the rafters in the ceiling to bolt the doors into.
View looking up, standing in the doorway, closet on left side. There's 2 tracks running the whole length of the room, with the 2 center weathered door panels mounted to one, and the side doors mounted to the other. The rails are bolted directly up into the ceiling with L-brackets. We put an MDF baseboard behind the rails for aesthetics.
Finding ceiling-mounted barn door hardware is difficult, and the moment you add the term "barn door," prices jump 3x. We found the best deal on Amazon for these kits that included the black powder-coated mounting L-brackets, pulley rollers for the door, end stoppers, floor guides, and all nuts/bolts for $130 each. We got 5ft rail lengths, so we needed 2 kits--anything longer than a single 5ft rail was cost prohibitive. The rolling is very smooth and quiet!
Step 2: Making the Center Weathered Barn Doors
The center doors were made using a sheet of 5/8" plywood for the backing. We found pre-weathered boards from Home Depot that came in a pack of a variety of colors for the facing boards.
We wanted a border to hide the edges where you'd see the plywood meet the weathered boards. We used the same weathered boards for the border. We flipped the weathered boards on their short side, so the ~5/8" edges faced out. Rip the boards to the thickness of your plywood plus weathered boards, ~1.25". Don't forget to take the size of your border into account when initially cutting your plywood.
Step 3: Making the Side Doors
The side doors are relatively simple and plain, and painted the same flat creme color as the rest of the room. They consist of a border of 2"x6" lumber with cedar paneling in the center.
Sidenote: Our side and center doors overlap by about 1.5", so there's no gaps between the doors, and it prevents light leakage. Take any overlap into account when calculating the width of your doors.
The side door construction.
The 2"x6" boards are dadoed/routed in the center so the cedar planks fit in.
You can see from the last photo on this page that we had to cut out notches at the bottom outer sides so the doors would go over the existing floorboards and touch the side walls.
Now paint the doors.
- Cast iron handles were $14 on Amazon.
- Philips Hue Lightstrip with a motion detector. No need to run power to recessed lights or figure out where to run a lightswitch. You program the Hue Lightstrip via smartphone app to set the "on" color (any number of thousands of LED colors), the timeout to turn off after last motion is detected, whether you want a different color based on time of day (e.g. you can set a red nightlight from 10pm-7am rather than bright white).
- Soft close sliding door mechanisms so the center doors catch and pull shut softly.