How To Make An Oak Barn Door

Oak hardwood has been popular for centuries and it's understandable if you'd like to have it featured in your home. Let's see how oak wood can be made into an exquisite barn door! Expert woodworkers and carpenters have given us a very interesting procedure upon our research.

There are some basic easy steps to follow when making an oak barn door. The key steps to note include:

  • Measuring the door opening (add 4" to the width and 2" to the height)
  • Measuring the oak wood planks to the required sizes
  • Aligning and gluing the planks together
  • Sanding the door and applying the kind finish you desire
  • Installing the hardware on the wall and the door
  • Mounting the door on the tracks

Continue reading to see how each step is elaborated. In this post, there are also suggestions of hardware and tools to be used in the procedure.

An oak barn door inside modern home, How To Make An Oak Barn Door

What Do You Need To Make An Oak Barn Door?

To make a barn door, you'll need the following tools and materials at hand.


  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • Router
  • Router bit (45 degree)
  • Hammer
  • Brush/Roller/Spray gun
  • Measuring tape
  • Spirit level


  • Barn door hardware kit
  • Wood boards
  • Door stain
  • Spacers
  • Floor guides
  • Wrought head nails (1-1/2 in.)

These standard tools and materials needed to make a barn door can be found easily in hardware stores.

What To Consider Before Installing A Barn Door

Barn doors are sometimes heavy and need proper support and accessibility. Here are a few things to note while choosing where to mount your barn door:

  • Ensure that you have the correct hardware before you start the installation.
  • Have the right amount of space for your barn door. Both single and double barn doors need enough room to slide unhindered.
  • Be sure to check whether you'll need a header for the barn door. The header is necessary for heavy barn doors attached to wall studs.
  • Find out if your barn door will need insulation. Depending on where the barn door is installed, insulation against smells and noises might be necessary.
  • Ensure that you have handles and locks installed on your barn door for safety and security. Heavy barn doors need sturdy handles to open and close them.

These pointers will remind you of what you might have forgotten before you install your barn door. Once you have checked this list, then you can commence installation.

Six Steps To Make An Oak Barn Door

Durable and elegant-looking, lots of modern-day homes boast of at least an oak barn door somewhere in the premises. Oak has very appealing grain markings, especially when quartersawn as you will see in this video below:

We have narrowed down the steps in making an oak barn door to six to help first-time DIYers make a confident move in starting this project. The steps are comprehensive and easy to follow.

1. Measure The Door Opening

Before you rush to the store to buy wood, you'll need to measure your door opening or doorway. At this point, you should also decide if you will put a single or double barn door.

Builders advise adding an extra 4 inches to the width of the opening and 2 inches to the height. The extra inches are necessary in case you make a mistake.

2. Measure The Oak Wood Planks

Remember that a barn door isn't a door that sits in a door frame. Therefore, use the door opening measurements when buying planks.

The number of planks you'll need will be determined by the size of your door. Have an idea whether it's a double or single barn door.

3. Align and Glue The Planks

Depending on the pattern you chose, criss-cross, diagonal, up or down, align the oak wood planks using the measurements obtained earlier. Before you glue the planks together, cut off any uneven or rough edges.

Glue the planks and clamp them down properly. Once the planks have been glued together properly, fasten the rail and move on to the next step.

4. Sand and Add A Finish

At this point, sand your oak wood barn door thoroughly. Fill in any holes and remove any unwanted roughness. Use different sanding paper or a sanding machine for a faster job.

When you have achieved the desired smoothness, add a finish to your door. Oak is naturally a beautiful wood and doesn't need to be drowned in the finish. Apply several layers working from top-to-bottom and side to side.

5. Install The Hardware

Now your door is dry and ready to go. You can install the necessary hardware on it before mounting it on the tracks. Simultaneously, mount the barn door track on the wall.

Check out this hardware kit on Amazon.

Use a spirit level to ensure that the tracks are straight. Before tightening the bolts on the track, mount the door and make any necessary adjustments. Use hardware that can carry the weight of your hardwood door and is long-lasting.

6. Mount The Oak Barn Door

After confirming that the tracks are in a straight line, tighten the bolts. Now mount your barn door onto the tracks.

Don't forget to put a stopper on track to stop the door from rolling off the tracks. Once the door sits on the tracks well, install the door handle or latch on the barn door.

Can Any Door Be Made Into A Barn Door?

Yes, you can convert any door into a barn door as long as it isn't hollow or with pre-drilled hinge holes or a doorknob hole. Hollow doors with solid frames can be made into barn doors as well.

When you add tracks and hangers to any door it easily becomes a barn door. But you can always pick a specifically made barn door with the appropriate hardware to save you unnecessary hassle.

Check out this SmartStandard sliding barn door hardware kit on Amazon.

How Do You Make A Modern Barn Door?

Barn doors have that rustic look and feel. To upgrade your barn door and give it a modern contemporary look and feel, you can do the following:

  1. Paint it in bold and bright colors.
  2. Have the wood boards aligned in different patterns.
  3. Use high sheen paints to suit your interior.

By changing the conventional look of barn doors, they become contemporary and modernized. This way, barn doors will make a bold statement in the home decor.

How Do You Make A Barn Door That Doesn't Warp?

Warping is caused by humidity and temperature fluctuations. Another cause for warping is the continuous pushing and pulling of the barn door. When a barn door warps, it could come off the tracks or just bend to one side.

To stop this from happening, you should treat the edges of a barn door before you mount it. Use paint to seal the top and bottom edges of the barn door. The paint should be the same as your barn door color for uniformity.

After applying the first coat of paint, let it dry then sand it down using steel wool or sandpaper. Add the second coat of paint and let the door dry before mounting it on the tracks.

Closing Remarks

Barn doors are a classic. Many homeowners at some point may want a barn door. Whether you'd like to make a barn door as a DIY project or have professionals do it, we have seen that it is an easy process. The steps outlined in this post are comprehensive and easy to follow.

Ensure that you have the right tools and materials before you start any work. Measurements should be precise therefore countercheck to be sure. Remember to be patient when working with any hardwood such as oak.

Before you go, check out these posts on barn doors. They have detailed information on what else can be done to your barn doors for better functionality:

Can You Lock A Barn Door From Both Sides?

Can A Barn Door Be Hung From The Ceiling?

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