Barn Doors without the "Barn door"

Monday, January 9, 2017

Let me preface this post with the fact that I always forget to take before pictures. I'm so excited to get started on something that I just WHAM dive right in only to later think... darn it, I forgot to take a before picture again! Any others diyers like this or just me? Well this project was no different. 

So one thing that always bugged me about the house since we moved in 2 years ago was this nook off to the side from the kitchen. It was originally the laundry room but when that was moved upstairs (previous owners) the space was turned into a mud/storage room. Now, I love the room. It is one of the magnificent stuff-everything-in-there-and-shut-the-doors type of rooms. We also keep the dog dishes and leashes etc, so it really is a functional space for us.

That being said, its a somewhat tight corner back there. There's also a door out to the deck AND the door to the garage. So when you add in two more swinging doors, which are mostly always open for the dogs, it gets way too busy. Need to dump the trash? Close one door, open another one, come back close the second one, reopen the first one... that kind of thing. 

So my brilliant idea... turn them into sliding closet doors! That would make a huge difference by saving that otherwise wasted space!

The first thing I would need to do it to tackle the framework and remove the door jam.  That's not really the prettiest task so instead of worrying about keeping it pretty to patch it, I went ahead and planned to cover it with a thin piece of wood.

Once the door jams were done and the frame work was set, it was time to turn to the doors. Because they weren't made to be closet doors, I had to do some creative modifications. Each door needed to be wider but shorter. I added a piece of 2x2x8 to the very edge, adding width. This would allow the doors to overlap when closed. Then I had to take an inch and a half off the bottom to allow for the hanging hardware. 

Once the size of the doors were correct, I started panelling. I used one of my favorite products.... Underlayment! Underlayment is a very thin sheet of plywood that can really be used for a multitude of projects. [True story, when I was in Home Depot asking the associate to cut some for me, he looked at me, did a little eye roll and said, "Pinterest" ...True story. I couldn't figure out if it was funny or borderline insulting, but no matter, he didn't charge me for cuts so I'm good. I know I know, I need a table saw so badly, I can't believe I don't have one yet]

So back to paneling. I had them cut 2 sheets of underlayment in 6" strips. Minus the 4.5" strips for the framework. I used my miter saw to cut to length, the width of the door. I then used liquid nails and a nail gun to secure each board to the original door. Don't forget to remove all door hardware, hinges, handles, and in my case, a small pet door from the previous owners.

Once the doors were stained, I hung attached both the track to the top and the rollers to each door. Because of the thickness of each door, I ended up using 2 rails butted up against each other. This also allowed for the weight of each door to be on separate rails instead of one single one, that made me feel a little bit better about jimmy rigging these doors as such. Does that make sense? 

I used the sliding door hardware they carried at Home Depot, they only carried one option with set lengths of rails so I needed to trim that as well to fit my doorway. The rails come in a color I like to call "cheap silver" so I hit it with some textured black paint to give it that industrial feel. I love that stuff. It can turn even the ugliest stuff into industrial farmhouse glory...

Once they were hung, they looked perfect! I added some black handles about 4 feet up. (Do you see how how busy it would get having those swinging doors there?) Now I just need to go back and figure something out for the floor guides... Can't quite finish a project, huh Kali...

I LOVE how they turned out! Do you think you could transform your own closet into FARMHOUSE SLIDING DOORS without the cost of barn door hardware?! 


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