DIY Barn Door Inspiration

Words & Images by Kimiko Mainprize

When we first purchased our loft in the city, we were dead set to make our slightly cookie cutter slice of heaven, into something a little more industrial and interesting. 

One way we knew we could achieve this was to switch out our regular bathroom door to a beautiful wooden barn door. This little renovation was a year in the making (we’re talking closing up one wall and opening another, moving electrical, drywalling, painting, etc, all the while working full time jobs), but when it was finished, it became our favourite thing about our place. Installing a barn door does not need to take a year. In fact, it is definitely a weekend project. Many hardware stores carry kits to install barn doors, whether it includes the door or not (ours did not), and can easily be customized to fit the needs of your home. 

We had to modify the door and the actual railing as they were too wide, so we used special saws in order to do this, but you can always custom order the door and railing to fit the size you need. Typical barn doors are oversized, so it’s important to measure your space before bringing it home to ensure it will fit or so you can plan ahead for the adjustments you will need to make. One of my favourite parts of this project was staining the actual door (we bought a raw pine door and chose a stain that we have used on other woodworking projects around our home), and I think it came out really great. Since we’ve installed it, it’s added the flair we are looking for and made our little city apartment into a home. 

If you are interested in installing your own barn door, here are a few of my tried and true tips: 

  1. Pick a doorway that has extra support overhead as barn doors are quite heavy
  2. To help support the door, buy a piece of wood to affix the railing to as this will help build in strength and stability, especially if you do not have a supportive beam above your doorway. We stained ours to match the door and add interest.
  3. Measure - Twice! Make sure you know your space well and measure the door and railing a few times before bringing it home
  4. There are many different types of barn door hardware - it’s important to find out what will work for your space. Make sure to add in the height of the door PLUS the wheels of your hardware to make sure it fits in your space.

Kimiko is a project manager by day and a DIY enthusiast by night. She loves to bake, write, spend time with her hubby and friends in their loft, and travel!

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