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  • Writer's pictureVicki Liston

Next Episode: Sliding Barn Door

How crazy expensive are sliding barn doors? Even more so, the hardware??? I priced them recently and couldn't believe that you could easily pay hundreds of dollars!

That's been the inspiration for this episode of 'On The Fly...DIY'. My hardware came in at UNDER $40!! And on top of that, I'm using a door design that doesn't require a massive amount of weight anchored to my wall. My Sliding Barn Door won't break the bank...or your back!

Here's your supply list (affiliate links for your shopping convenience):

* One hollow core interior door. I simply removed my coat closet door, took off all the hardware, and applied peel and stick wallpaper to give it the 'aged wood' look I was going for. Paint would also work to give it a fresh, updated or faux aged look.

* A sliding closet door track. This needs to be at least twice as long as your door is wide to accommodate fully opening and closing the door.

* Spray paint and a drop cloth. I'm using Rust-Oleum's Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover Paint and Primer in gloss black. This has quickly become my favorite spray paint because it sprays more, it sprays faster, and I only need one coat.

* Sliding closet door hardware - these are the roller wheels that screw into the back of a sliding closet door and run on the track. You'll need two. (the link for the 'sliding closet door track' includes the track AND the hardware!)

* Two 5 inch clothesline pulley wheels. I love these big chunky wheels!

* Six 'L' brackets. Four will mount and hold your sliding closet door track to the wall so make sure they are big enough to screw into the holes in the top of the track. The remaining two will serve as stops at both ends of the track.

* Two 2 inch screws and two nuts. These two screws will need to fit through the hole in the middle of the pulley wheel and its hardware. Four shorter screws and nuts will attach your brackets to the track. The washers are optional – I wanted a little additional hardware on the pulley wheel screws.

* A length of door trim, cut to the remaining length of your track. For example, my track is 59 inches long and the top of my doorframe is 33 inches. So I needed 26 inches of trim so my entire track sits on trim.

* 2 to 3 screws for attaching your trim to the wall.

* Six 2 inch lag bolts. These will need to fit through the holes in the mending plates.

* A large handle and two rigid castor wheels. You may need a couple of washers, depending on the gap size between the bottom of your door and the floor. I prefer the rigid wheels because these won’t flip flop back and forth every time your door changes direction. Wait to buy your castors until you have the track and door mounted for more exact sizing.

* 6 half-inch hex nuts. These will be used as spacers behind your mending plate so they can loosely fit your bolts.

* A dremel with a cutting wheel, safety glasses, a level, a clamp, a drill, and an epoxy rated for metal. You’ll also need a stud finder, measuring tape, and a socket wrench with a screw bit and a socket big enough for your bolts.

First take your pulley wheel apart. Using the clamp, squeeze the metal cage so it pulls the metal away from the wheel's bolt head. With your safety glasses on, use the dremel to cut the bolt head off. Bend the metal as needed to get the bolt out of the middle of the wheel and separate the parts. Once the bolt is out, you can bend everything back into place.

Spray paint the sliding door track. You’ll also need to spray paint the wheel, its separated metal cage, the mending plates, half inch nuts, and all the brackets. Leave everything to dry according to the directions.

Screw the two sliding door hardware roller wheels on to the back of your door, at the outer width, just like you would if this was a sliding closet door.

Using your stud finder, mark the studs on the wall where the trim will go to support the track and mark your trim in each corresponding spot.

Drill pilot holes into the trim in the stud spots so the trim doesn’t split.

Use a level to ensure your trim is straight and drive the screws into the studs.

Attach four brackets to the top of the track via the holes so that the bracket corners behind the track. Secure each tightly on top with a nut.

Hold the track up on the door frame and trim. Make sure the entire track is level and then mark the holes in the brackets.

Attach the track to the door frame and trim – I’m using a socket wrench with a screw bit since the bracket is too close to the bottom of the track to use a drill.

With the track securely screwed in, hang the door on the track via the wheels. The door should slide smoothly.

Use your remaining two brackets as ‘stops’ on the inner ends of both sides of the track so the door doesn’t roll too far and fall off. Attach them via the holes on the top of the track and secure with a nut.

Measure the gap underneath the door to get the size for your rigid castor wheels. Purchase the closest size and if needed, use washers for additional spacing to ensure the wheels support the door from below and roll on the floor.

Remove the door from the track and attach your wheels. Again, I used a socket wrench as the angle was more difficult with a drill. Rehang the door when you finish.

Place your handle on the door and mark the holes. Use these marks as a guide to screw the handle in with a drill.

Time to put your wheels together! You should have two pieces of the wheel’s unassembled cage, one mending plate, one clamp, and the epoxy. Prepare the epoxy according to the directions. When it’s ready, apply the epoxy around the front hole, only one the cage’s horizontal piece. This is the metal part of the cage that goes all the way around the wheel from side to side. Once the epoxy is applied, slide the vertical piece that looped over the top of the wheel so it sits in the epoxy. Make sure the front holes line up and also make sure that the back of the loop also sits on top of the horizontal piece where the three ends overlap. Don’t epoxy the back. Next, epoxy around the top hole of the mending plate. Place your wheel cage on top of the plate so its sits in the epoxy. Make sure all three holes line up and the cage sits straight on the mending plate. Place the clamp over the three layered epoxy pieces and squeeze tightly. Leave the clamp on for several hours to ensure the epoxy fully sets.

Once you have both hardware sets epoxied, you can attach the wheel. You’ll need one two inch screw and a nut for each, as well as the optional washers. Insert the wheel into the cage so all the holes line up and run the screw through everything. Secure it with a nut on the back. The nut should not be too tight as the case will squeeze the wheel and won’t allow it to turn. If you want the wheel screw to blend in with the rest of the hardware, simply shoot it with a quick spray of paint and allow it to dry.

Place one completed wheel on top of your track so the mending plate hangs down near one end of the door. Pull down very slightly with a tiny bit of pressure – enough so the wheel turns on the track. Mark the holes in your mending plate on to the door. Drill pilot holes in each of the marks. Your bolts will go through the front of the mending plate and a half inch hex nut will sit behind it. The hex nut will act as a spacer so the mending plate doesn’t rub against the track and scratch the paint. Use a socket wrench to drive the bolts into the door. Slide the door to ensure the wheel moves and attach the other wheel the same way near the other end of the door.

If you have trouble getting the wheel to turn as you move it, try sticking a bit of rubber on the track so the wheel catches it. Rubber patches are self sticking and can easily be cut into long, thin strips.

You’re done! This lighter sliding barn door can be easily assembled and installed by one person and will save you hundreds!

Watch the step by step video -

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