DIY Distressed Sliding Barn Door

So sliding barn doors are everywhere these days. It used to be the case that if you wanted one you had to shell out some serious bucks. Even if you opted to make your own door, you still had to drop a lot of money on the hardware. Not anymore, there are actually a lot of affordable options for sliding hardware now and a lot of big box places even carry them in store. Lucky for me, this helped me get this idea off my Pinterest board and into our master!

sliding barn door

I am blessed to have an ensuite bathroom in our master, and it is a decent size but it is fairly narrow. The door opened into the bathroom right up against the shower which made it very crowded. It was also difficult to keep the door open to keep an ear out for my kids anytime I was in the shower. And the door would always shut while I was trying to get ready at the sink. I first saw a project like this on I Hate my Bath on HGTV a couple of years ago. I knew it would clear up a lot of these problems and make our narrow bathroom seem much larger. After enough begging, my husband finally gave in and helped me build the door.

To build the door, my husband bought 1 in. x 6 in. x 8 ft. common board from Home Depot. A good thing to know is that the actual measurements of these boards is .75 in. x 5.5 in. for when you are measuring out how large you want your door. Ours is 77" x 38" or seven boards wide. My husband is a "figure it out as you go man." I showed him some images of what I wanted and he went to work. For those of you who need a little more help than that these plans from Brandi Sawyer at Nest of Bliss will help you build a door that looks just like ours.

I wanted the door to look old and distressed like a real barn door, so we took a hammer to it and roughed it up. My husband took the hand saw and made some cool marks with that as well. Don't think too much about it if you want to do the same thing. Be random and don't be afraid.

To achieve that aged wood look I mixed my own stain. I used Minwax Wood Stain in Classic Gray and Special Walnut. I used a 5:1 ratio to mix them respectively. If you want an aged look you need a lot of the gray. Mix your stain in a separate cup. Just add a small amount of Special Walnut at a time and test out the color on scrap board. The color darkens the more you let it set on the wood, so play around and find the perfect shade before you commit to staining the whole door. I didn't use a pre-stain to treat the door. When you are going for an aged wood look, I find it better that the finish is uneven. It makes it look more natural.
staining a sliding door

If you are not into building your own door, and you have some money to drop on a project like this. Check out some of these built, stained and ready to hang doors from Amazon.
Dogberry Collections Mod-Z Barn Door - $722

Dogberry Collections Country Vintage Door - $623
Dogberry Collections Modern Slab Door - $796

We bought the TCBunny Sliding Door Hardware Closet Set Antique Style in black from Amazon for under $100. We found the instructions that came with the door are not that helpful. My husband decided to screw a 2 in. x 4 in. board into the wall at each stud. I painted it the color of the wall before we screwed it in. Then my husband hung the sliding door hardware on there. It is very secure and could hold a really heavy door. 
amazon sliding door hardware

I got my rustic looking pull from Menard's for under $5, but here is an option you could order right from Amazon that is very similar.


distressed barn door


distressed barn door

I am so happy with my door. It cleared up the space issue in my bathroom, and it adds a lot of character to our pretty basic bedroom. Can you think of a room that could benefit from a sliding door in your house?

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Creating Custom Plank Wood Wall Art for Your Home

Never underestimate the power of scraps. I was able to create the most awesome custom wood wall art for my nursery for super cheap. It was time consuming but easy. You don't need to be handy or crafty to tackle this project.

Here is what you will need:

Wood planks (I used scraps I had from a previous project)
Some tools (saw or circular saw, hammer and nails or drill and screws)
Sand paper (I used my orbital sander)
Wood stain
Natural bristle brush
Scrap cloth
Acrylic or other decorative paint
Small detail paint brush
Computer and Printer
Pencil
Pencil Sharpener
Hooks and picture wire (if you plan on hanging your piece)  



So, I enlisted my hubby to assist in the assembling of my board. He took the scraps from above and cut them in half with his circular saw. He trimmed up the edges so they would all be around them same length, but I wanted it to look pretty rustic so the edges don't line up perfectly. To attach the planks together he used three thin scraps on the back and hammered them into each plank. You could also use screws and a drill. Just make sure your screws or nails are short enough that they aren't going to pop through the front of your board.

Once it was assembled, my next step was to sand. Again, I was going for a rustic look so I lightly sanded with a medium grit sandpaper in 150. I wanted to keep all the dings, cuts and glue on the sides (remember I am using scrap wood) to give it some character. I used my Dewalt orbital sander that you have heard me rave about before, but you can also use a little elbow grease and a plain piece of sandpaper. If you are a DIY maven like me, it is worth the $50 to invest in this sander. It makes projects so much easier. After sanding, make sure to wipe it down with a cloth to remove all the dust before staining.

This was my first time working with stain, and it was a lot less intimidating than I thought it would be. I watched a couple of YouTube videos from Minwax and jumped right in. For my first coat, I used Minwax Interior Wood Stain in Special Walnut. I simply followed the directions on the can by applying it with a natural bristle brush designed for applying stain, let it set for about 5 minutes and then wiped it down with a cloth to remove the excess stain. Here is what it looked like once I was finished. 

After, I let this dry for six hours, I decided to do a second coat with Minwax Interior Stain in Weathered Oak to tone down the walnut color and give it a more aged, barn wood look. I applied this stain the same way as above but let it set for 20 minutes before I wiped it down with my cloth. I know you can't see a huge difference in these pics since they were taken in a shop room with no windows, but trust me the effect I achieved is worth this second step.

Since this will be hanging on a wall inside, I decided not to varnish it. Again, going for rustic here. I am applying a verse to my board for my gender neutral nursery I have been working on, but you could literally put anything on here you want from a phrase to an image. Use your computer to create your art or sketch it out yourself. I just created mine in Pages on my Mac using one of my favorite fonts, American Typewriter. 

Once you have your image all set flip it over and rub pencil over the area you will be tracing. Don't be shy. Really slap that lead on there.


Next, place it back on your board with some tape and trace the outline. Again, use a heavy hand.


Look at this magic. Your image should now be visible on your board. 


Now, you can fill it in anyway you want. I used a can of my Americana Decor® Chalky Finish Paint in Lace and Serene because I had it on hand, but you could any type of craft paint that works on wood.

I just love the finished product. I will be hanging this on the wall in my nursery, so I plan on attaching some hooks and picture wire to the back that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. But I think it looks great propped up on a dresser or shelf as well. Here is what I used on the back of mine.
Ook D Ring
Ook Hanging Wire (50lb. support)

I can't believe how inexpensive it was to create this custom wall art for my nursery. I had most of the items on hand, and the only thing I spent any real money on was the stain. Overall, I think I spent around $15 for my supplies. Stay tuned to see a pic of this project in its true home when I give you a tour of my nursery next week.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates links. I may receive a small commission from products you purchase after clicking on its associated link.