How to Build a Lightweight Farmhouse Barn Door

How to Build a Lightweight Farmhouse Barn Door

I love barn doors. To date I had built 5 before we bought our getaway mobile home. I really wanted to put a barn door somewhere in this lake cottage. I just wasn’t sure where and even if I should. I knew construction is a little different on mobile homes. I wasn’t sure how the walls would hold up to the weight over time if I made too heavy of a barn door. So my first goal was to decide where. Luckily for me, there was a space where a barn door could slide over inside our master bedroom where the entrance to the master bath was. I already was not a fan of the existing doors. So to me this was a win-win for the space.

The second goal was to determine how to make a lighter weight barn door than I had made in the past. I racked my brain and challenged myself over the next few days whenever I couldn’t sleep. My best ideas usually come during periods of insomnia. I wanted to have the barn door encompass my two merged styles of shiplap and board & batten. Since the barn door side that would be in the bedroom would be mounted on the shiplap focal wall of the master bedroom (the other 3 walls were board and batten), I decided to make that side board and batten to actually merge the two styles on that wall. Plus it would marry the other three walls with the focal wall.

If I would have chosen to do the shiplap on this side, I knew it would be a pain to try to keep the lines of the shiplap barn door and the lines of the shiplap wall merging at the same height. Since the master bath had newly painted and recently textured walls just before we purchased it, I didn’t want to spend any of my budget changing any of the interior walls over to either board & batten or shiplap. The side of the door that can be seen from inside the bathroom would end up being just the right touch. I made the bathroom side faux shiplap. I am so happy. It just looks amazing. The picture below was taken before I had added the final board on the bottom. I wanted to assure I attached a board that would keep the clearance to a minimum at the base and allow for as much privacy as possible in the bathroom.

The gap before the board is not as big as it looks in the picture. I think it is just the angle and the shadow.
A 1 x 2″ board added just the right amount to reduce the gap and provide the perfect clearance for the use of gate stop brackets.

Finally we are at the instructions of what materials I used and how I built this barn door. I purchased the following materials:

  • a sheet of 1/2″ plywood (48 x 96″). I had Home Depot cut off 15″ so I could easily transport the needed piece to the lake house and build it there (The piece ended up being 48 x 81″). 12mm – Sanded Plywood ( 1/2 in. Category x 4 ft. x 8 ft.; Actual: 0.472 in. x 48 in. x 96 in.) – $35.95
  • 5 – 1 x 2’s (@ $3.79 each) – $18.95
  • 4 – 1 x 3’s ($5.80) – $23.20
  • 52″ of 1 x 6″ board (for top) rest of the board will be needed for the header – see below for materials for mounting the barn door) 1 x 6 x 8 = $10.88
  • faux shiplap boards ripped from plywood (my board was an oops board so I actually was able to purchase the board at 70% off the regular price of $14.98. – $4.19
  • partial small tube of caulk
  • small amount of paint
  • Total cost of materials to make the barn door: $100.86

I framed out the piece of plywood with small boards. It assured that the barn door would be 53″ x 83″ (the size I needed to cover the opening) and it created a little bit of an inset for the faux shiplap to lay perfect in.

Originally, I wasn’t going to buy a sheet of underlayment and have it ripped into faux shiplap for the back side of the barn door. But when the supervisor at the cutting saw at Home Depot saw that the young man had accidentally cut my boards at 7″ even instead of 7 7/8″ like the rest of them, he was going to place it in the cast off section. That section is always 70% off of regular price. I asked if I could still buy at that discount and I would just use that plywood for something besides the faux shiplap walls that I was creating. Lucky for me, I thought about the door back the next day and new it would be perfect.

I just used nickels to space between the 7″ boards so that once it was painted, it would have the look of real shiplap.

On the board and batten side, I had a little ‘oops’ issue at first. It was a slow brain issue. I was stuck on the number 3. I just forgot that I was dividing the panel into three and instead started to mount three 1×2’s. Luckily, I realized it before the paint dried. Also I was lucky that sanding and paint covered up the blemish my ‘oops’ issue created.

Once your barn door is created, just cover the surfaces of both sides with a good amount of paint. I used a satin enamel on the door because a lot of grubby hands will be touching that door and satin enamel is just so much easier to removed hand prints from.

Once the barn door was finished, I could not wait to hang it and see how it would transform the space. The hardware instructions on my Homlux hardware kit were easy to understand. They lay out exactly where you need to drill your holes in the door for the brackets. They also clearly explain how to hang the wall mount.

To hang the barn door, you will need the following materials:

Instead of using the one guide that came in the kit, I liked these two guides that I purchased from Home Depot. They were called Gate Stop Brackets and since my door is so wide, they work perfectly to keep the door aligned as it is slid back and forth to open and close.