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DIY Modern Sliding Doors

Have you priced “barn doors” lately? They are outrageous! When we were in the home building process I kept telling myself, “I can make something for drastically LESS money…AND make them look the way I want them to”. The life of a DIYer is never a simple one. I don’t like to pay for something I can make myself. Anyone else with me?

After research and measuring…and measuring again, here’s what I came up with.

You’ll need the following for each door:
– MDF Board
– 1×4” Boards x 3 (top and both sides of the door)
– 1×6” Board x 1 (for the bottom of the door)
– Wood glue
– Nail gun (optional, but highly recommended)
– Sandpaper
– Primer
– Paint of your choice
– Hanging Hardware (ours is linked below)
– Handle (ours is linked below)


First, you will need to measure your door frame, then add 3 inches the the sides and top measurements. This will be the size of your door. (Be sure to leave 1 inch between the bottom of the door and the floor when hanging to ensure that the door will slide without sticking.)

I used the thickest MDF board at Lowe’s (this isn’t stainable and worked great since we would be painting them white to match our other doors and trim) and had the guys there cut it down to the dimensions I needed for each door. I ended up making three doors for our house. If you are looking to make a door that you can stain, look for a thick plywood instead of MDF.

Then, I used 1”x4”s to frame the top and sides and a 1”x6” to use across the bottom. I wanted our doors to be simple and to match the swinging doors in our house.

I had the guys at Lowe’s cut the top and bottom board down to size for me. Those were glued on first. I used my Ryobi nail gun to put in nails along the board to hold it into place while the glue dried.

Then, I measured the side pieces and glued and nailed them on as well. After this, fill the holes with wood filler and sand down any uneven areas.

I let the doors sit for 24 hours to ensure that the glue was dry.

We had the painters spray each of the doors the same color as our trim throughout the house with the same finish so that everything matched. If you are painting them yourself, I HIGHLY suggest you use a primer before painting. Otherwise, the MDF and wood will soak up all of your paint.

The hanging hardware comes with very detailed instructions and the installers followed them.


*Please Note: As you can see from the pictures, we also had a board installed above the door frame for the sliding hardware to be attached to. This was installed to the studs and provides a little extra support for the hardware to hang from, as well as finishing out the look of our doors. It was painted to match the trim in the rest of our house. This board is 8″ wide and the length of the hardware we purchased.

Links to products we purchased:

Hardware is another pricey item, but definitely needed for this project. We purchased ours from Amazon.

– Smaller 5 foot one we used in our mudroom: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FP5IFCO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
– Larger 6 foot one we used in our bedroom and to the office: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B014GTU8NE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
– The handles we used for each of the doors: https://www.amazon.com/SMARTSTANDARD-Handle-Kitchen-Furniture-Cabinet/dp/B075TVYLPB/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1546555634&sr=8-5&keywords=barn+door+handle
– The Ryobi nail gun I use: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Ryobi-18-Volt-ONE-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-AirStrike-18-Gauge-Brad-Nailer-with-1-1-5-Ah-Battery-and-1-18-Volt-Charger-P1854/305986948

We’ve been in our house for 4 months and the doors are holding up great. They are large and very sturdy!

If you make your own doors using this tutorial, we’d love to see! Please tag us on Facebook and Instagram @sandstone.avenue and use the hashtag #SandstoneAveDIY so we can feature you on our page.

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