DIY Barn Doors Two Ways

Who doesn’t love barn doors? 

I mean c’mon. They are so cool!

Authentic and real barn doors from old barns are hard to come by. I am sure in different parts of the country it may be easier to find than in others. There is also the price point…yowzers! They can be pricey! 

We are going to show you just easy it can be to add barn doors to your own home without spending a fortune. 

DIY Barn Doors Version #1 – Chalkboard Paint

How to DIY Your Own Barn Doors | We chose to hang two barn doors in our new home, one chalk board painted and one gel stained. You can do this project on the cheap with this tutorial. These sliding doors in our master suite and laundry room are modern yet rustic and farmhouse yet classic. The black industrial hardware and quiet floor guide work incredibly well. Plus they add so much style on a budget! #bathroom #bedroom #homedecor

In this tutorial, we (actually 90% of this project was all me! Ryan had the other 99% of the house to finish!) will show you how to both paint and stain a barn door and the hardware we chose to hang them!

This door is hanging in our laundry room which contains a 1/4 bathroom aka just a toilet…and a light. And toilet paper. You’re welcome. 😉

White chalk board paint, roller, brush, sand paper, rag atop barn door.

Here are the materials needed to paint your barn door with chalkboard paint.

I bought Linen White Chalkboard Paint from Rustoleum, a small paint roller brush, sand paper, a cheap brush to paint these barn doors. To finish the door, I used Annie Sloan’s clear wax to seal the door and the super-duper-hoorah brush that goes with it. My sweet friend let me borrow both. Thanks Sharon!

Use sandpaper on to smooth rough edges of door or sharp corners.

Before I started painting I used fine grit sandpaper to smooth the edges of the door. These doors are super inexpensive at Menards and need just a little bit of prep work before the magic happens. The edges were rough, sharp to the touch, and contained lots of splinters and pieces of wood that needed to come off. 

Barn door sanded with sandpaper.

Now that the edges aren’t razor sharp and the little pieces of unfinished wood are gone we are ready to start painting!

Using paint brush to get chalkboard paint in crevices or barn door.

I started painting by using the small brush and getting the paint into all the corners and crevices. 

4 inch roller applying white chalkboard paint to barn door.

I love that little 3-4″ roller because it works perfectly for small projects like this! 

Finished chalkboard painted white barn door sitting on saw horses.

I painted this side and the edges. Allowed it to dry, then turned it over and repeated with the brush and roller. I would advise using a few rags or towels to cover your saw horses because when you are turning sometimes the awkwardness of moving such a large object lends to scratching it. That never makes me happy when that happens. 

I did 2 coats on each side, but I would suggest 3 coats. I am starting to see the knots of the pine show through the paint now that some time has passed.

I certainly think it looks cool and kinda rustic, but if I were to do it again I would have done 3 coats. 

Annie Sloan Clear Soft Wax container with bristled brush to apply to white chalkboard barn door.

After the door dried for at least 24 hours, I used the soft clear wax and fancy brush to seal the door. The wax works like a typical top coat does except it’s a wax.

Applying Annie Sloan clear wax to seal a white chalkboard barn door.

You will use very little wax. I think the jar will last a lifetime. Basically, you dab the brush in the wax and rub really hard in circular motions until you cover the entire door with wax.

The funny thing is, the less you use the better. You will see that the wax kind of “enhances” the paint.  It’s hard to explain, but you will see it on there. Here is a lovely tutorial to better explain the process!

Small brown paper bag used to buff out wax on door.

Once the wax is applied, you will need to buff the door with a brown paper bag or white t-shirt. You need to buff it to remove any extra wax. The door should not be tacky and by buffing you are actually helping the wax to press and adhere into the wood. 

Rubbing crinkled brown paper bag on chalkboard painted barn door.

After buffing the door, you are DONE! See? Super easy! 

Now I want to show you how we stained the other barn door in our home. This door is in our master suite and I love how it turned out. 

DIY Barn Doors Version #2 – Gel Stain

How to DIY Your Own Barn Doors | We chose to hang two barn doors in our new home, one chalk board painted and one gel stained. You can do this project on the cheap with this tutorial. These sliding doors in our master suite and laundry room are modern yet rustic and farmhouse yet classic. The black industrial hardware and quiet floor guide work incredibly well. Plus they add so much style on a budget! #bathroom #bedroom #homedecor

Originally, I had envisioned double doors leading from the bedroom into the bathroom. But then life happened, or better said “reality” and we went with a single door like normal people. Ha! 

Gel stain container and cotton stain applicator sitting on untreated barn door.

All you need for this stained door is the door (duh), Minwax Gel Stain in Walnut, a painting sponge, a clear top coat, and paint brush. 

A white barn door and stained barn door with girl applying stain outdoors.

Ahhh, there’s the pretty white barn door and there I am getting after the stained one. Be sure to lay cloths or towels over the tops of the saw horses because sometimes the stain or paint tends to be sticky and will come off on the saw horses OR the saw horses may scratch the doors if there are any rough patches on them. 

Applying gel stain with cotton pad on barn door.

I am seriously in love with those cotton stain pads. Like LOVE them! They are super cheap and you just throw them away when you are done. I have also saved them inside a plastic grocery sack (in the shade) for hours in between coats. 

first coat of walnut gel stain on barn door

I did 3 coats on each side of this door. This is after the first coat…

third coat of walnut colored gel stain on barn door

Tada! This is how gorgeous it looks after the 3rd and final coat. Isn’t that color rich? #love

top coat for gel stained barn door

After the 3 coats have dried completely you will want to use a top coat to seal the door. I can’t tell you I waited as long as the directions on the can suggest because I lack patience, but it seems to have worked just fine. So no harm no foul! 😉 

hardware for barn door on dark walnut door

barn door floor guide on carpet

barn door hardware on white barn door

We purchased our barn door hardware from Amazon. Both the hanging hardware and the floor guides have served us well with both doors. 

We hope this tutorial has been helpful and you have the confidence to recreate this look within your own home! 

IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, BE SURE TO LEAVE THEM IN THE COMMENTS AND WE WILL BE HAPPY TO ANSWER THEM! 

How to DIY Your Own Barn Doors | We chose to hang two barn doors in our new home, one chalk board painted and one gel stained. You can do this project on the cheap with this tutorial. These sliding doors in our master suite and laundry room are modern yet rustic and farmhouse yet classic. The black industrial hardware and quiet floor guide work incredibly well. Plus they add so much style on a budget! #bathroom #bedroom #homedecor

How to DIY Your Own Barn Doors | We chose to hang two barn doors in our new home, one chalk board painted and one gel stained. You can do this project on the cheap with this tutorial. These sliding doors in our master suite and laundry room are modern yet rustic and farmhouse yet classic. The black industrial hardware and quiet floor guide work incredibly well. Plus they add so much style on a budget! #bathroom #bedroom #homedecor

Sammi Ricke

About Sammi Ricke

Sammi Ricke is a talented cook with a knack for coming up with creative new ways to healthify recipes without sacrificing any of the flavor. Sammi has built a beautiful life with her high school sweetheart and enjoys her primary role as a stay-at-home mom to their two children. If Sammi's not in her kitchen, she's probably exploring a new hiking trail, enjoying coffee with a friend, or binge-watching the latest "Food Network" show on Netflix. Sammi's full Bio.