How To Build a Small Barn Door

This is a fun little project that can add some cool aesthetics to your old shed, barn, or chicken coop. This method of construction is similar in building doors of any size for your outdoor or indoor projects. This little door is approximately 24″ square. Please make sure you watch the youtube video below for a fully comprehensive overview on how to build this small barn door.

Use a common pine 2x4 to make the initial framing of your door.
Use a common pine 2×4 to make the initial framing of your door.

A common 2″x4″ is used to make this particular door. Your door size will vary based on your rough opening. Measure your top and bottom lengths first and cut to fit the rough opening. As a rule of thumb, I like to keep a minimum of 1/4″ space around all edges when the door is assembled. This allows for a clean swing without dragging.

Using a Kreg Jig, make your pocket holes on the shorter rails of the door. These are the sides of the door frame.
Using a Kreg Jig, make your pocket holes on the shorter rails of the door. These are the sides of the door frame.

 

Closeup of the pocket joles made by the Kreg Jig
Closeup of the pocket holes made by the Kreg Jig

Observe the cleanliness of the pocket holes made by the Kreg Jig. This allows for you to make a very strong butt joint without having to use an expensive joiner. You must use the correct screws when using this method. Make sure you pick up a box of the 2-1/2″ Kreg Screws that are made for exterior use.

 

Completed door frame made from 2x4
Completed door frame made from 2×4

Prior to using the Kreg screws to attach the boards together. Make sure you use some wood glue on all of the butt joints for added strength. Once you’ve connected all of the joints you should end up with a cool looking 2×4 frame. Nice and square.

Pro Tip: Use a flat supported workbench and clamps when assembling to make sure everything is square and flush.

Measure a piece of plywood to fit on the inside of the 2x4 door frame. Try to get the margins tight. I like 1/8" - 1/4" of space around the edges.
Measure a piece of plywood to fit on the inside of the 2×4 door frame. Try to get the margins tight. I like 1/8″ – 1/4″ of space around the edges.

This plywood will rest inside of the framing and using an 18GA pneumatic nail gun, attach the plywood to the 2×6 trim pieces.

Nailer being used to make the attachment.
Nailer being used to make the attachment.
A view of the door without the plywood installed. A good look at the 2x6 trim frame.
A view of the door without the plywood installed. A good look at the 2×6 trim frame.
Next, you will cut a piece of plywood to fit on the inside of the 2x4 framing. This will be attached using the 2x6 trim in the next step. See the You Tube video for a closer look.
Next, you will cut a piece of plywood to fit on the inside of the 2×4 framing. This will be attached using the 2×6 trim you see in this photo. See the YouTube video for a closer look. I used an 18GA pneumatic nailer. 
A view from the backside of the new door. This shows the recessed plywood.
A view from the backside of the new door. This shows the recessed plywood.

The final step in construction requires you to make the decorative “X” design. This look is often found on barn doors. Please watch my YouTube video to learn the tricks on how to do this easily.

Using a 1x2 piece of trim. Roughly lay out the X shape on thedoor to get an idea of how it will look.
Using a 1×2 piece of trim. Roughly lay out the X shape on the door to get an idea of how it will look.
Using a speed square, eyeball the bisecting lines to make your marks on where the cuts will be made
Using a speed square, eyeball the bisecting lines to make your marks on where the cuts will be made
The door will look like this when all of the trim and X decoration is added.
The door will look like this when all of the trim and X decoration is added.
Use 4" gate hinges found at your local big box store. These are about $5 each
Use 4″ gate T hinges found at your local big box store. These are about $5 each
I use the supplied screws that come with the kit to attach the hinges
I use the supplied screws that come with the kit to attach the hinges
Use a standard gate latch to make the door latch on the door opening
Use a standard gate latch to make the door latch on the door opening



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