Easy Sliding Barn Door DIY & How to Frost the Glass

Updated: Jan 20

Want a sliding barn door but don't want to pay $200 for it? I've got a solution for you!

All you need is an old door, some sand paper, paint, stickers and glass frosting! You'll save hundreds by doing it yourself, and believe me, it's easy!!

Sliding barn doors are all the craze, but even if you don't want the "farmhouse" look, these sliding doors are perfect for ANY decor! You can basically use any door too...even if it has windows in it!

The door cost me $15 off Marketplace. I had the paint. Paid $4 for the glass frost, $3 for the handle and cut the stickers myself. The sliding bar was $59. So I made and hung this sliding door for less than $80!

So, our, what is supposed to be a "formal dining room", is our "dog room". lol. We had to use an entire room because when they were all younger, and kenneled, they each needed an XXL kennel, which are HUGE. So three of the kennels literally took up an entire room. Now that they are out of kennels, they still have the room. I needed something fashionable, to separate or close off this room when we had company over so that they weren't mauled by slobber and fur....and non stop barking, from our dogs! lol A baby gate didn't work because as long as the dogs could see you.....they felt they had to bark, NON STOP.....I also needed a way to keep them out of the kitchen while I'm scrubbing the floors...So I knew I wanted a door....but I wanted a cool door. BAM - a sliding barn door!

Getting Started!

I started with this old door that I bought off of Marketplace for $15. (actually, my sister bought it for me when we moved in because she knew I could do something with it....and she refused to take money for it!) It was a little dirty, but not in bad shape. It had a hole for the doorknob and some small holes where the hinges used to be. It also had some nicks in the wood towards the bottom. I filled the doorknob hole with wood putty after shoving a small block of wood to shim it a little bit (require less putty). This part probably took the longest because I had to let each layer of putty dry before putting in more. I washed the door down with a wet rag and Dawn dish soap then filled my holes and nicks with wood putty. Be sure to fill the old holes left from the hinges as well.

The picture below shows how I added putty to the bottom corners where the wood had been nicked.

This next picture shows you the layers of putty I had to put in the door knob hole. After each layer dries completely, sand it down with fine grit sand paper. If it's not level or smooth with the rest of the wood, add more putty. Repeat this process until it is even with the rest of the wood, and smooth.

Once all of the wood putty was dried and well sanded (use fine grit, 180 - 220) it was ready to be cleaned again and painted! I used a shop vac to suck up all the loose particles of wood and sand, then wiped it down again with a wet rag.

Now it's ready to be painted! I already had some white paint on hand so I painted the whole door white (taping off the glass panes). I use a small craft brush on the hard to paint spots, like the trim in between the window panes.

After the paint dried, I took some sand paper (180 grit) and sanded the edges of the door, window trim pieces and corners to give it a distressed look. Wiped it down again, and then I clear coated the entire door (except the glass) with matte finish Polycrylic.

And now it's time to decorate the glass!

I have a silhouette machine so I cut the words out of vinyl adhesive myself, but you can get these almost anywhere now! Hobby Lobby, Walmart, online, even the dollar store! They are basically just stickers that you are going to stick onto the glass. This way, wherever your stickers are, no frosting will adhere, thus leaving the design on the original window!

Just place the stickers where you want them to be (mine look funny because I used scrap vinyl so they are different colors right now). This picture shows you the stickers on the glass with two coats of frosting already. The frosting dries SUPER quick! (see below for frosting tips)

This is the glass frosting that I used. It is cheap, found at Walmart and super easy to use! Just be sure to make even strokes, going all the way to the edges - and a little over. (make sure you have taped everything off like I did in the pic above). The more coats, the heavier the frost!

After you're satisfied with the look of your frosting, you can carefully peel off the stickers. I used a "weeding" tool, which is just a narrow tool with a pointed end, like a yarn needle. If you don't have a weeding tool, you can use a metal yarn needle, or large sewing needle. You want to take your time and be careful during this step, because you can scratch the frosting (you can always spray over it), but take your time and try not to scratch the frosting and only use the tool ON the sticker to peel it off.

Ready to hang!

Notice on the pic below you cannot see the old holes that were filled in? Once your putty is dry and smooth, when you paint over it - you won't even see it! It looks like a solid door!

Now it was time to hang the rail system and attach the hangers to the door. Attaching the hangers to your door requires a drill so be sure you have one handy. Follow the directions that come with your hanging system, and don't worry, it's not hard. (I got my rail system from Lowe's because I needed....ok wanted it...asap. But you can find the rail systems cheap on Amazon!) The rail system is easy to put up, but it's heavy so you'll need a someone to help you hang it. We hung our rail on a one inch board attached to the wall because we wanted to be sure we had the rail system in studs. You can see what I'm talking about in the pic below:

I bought my handles for the door from Bucheits in the "gate" section! They are SO MUCH cheaper in the gate section than in the "cabinet" section of stores! We hung the door and HOLY COW do I love it! It's perfect! The "farmhouse" quote allows me to still look in on my pups, but blocks the main view of them looking in on guests! I absolutely LOVE IT! Note: we had to add a hook and eye lock because Samson, my Great Pyrenees, figured out he could stick his nose in between the door and wall and just slide that sucker open any time he wanted.

I love this door so much that my next project is to add a sliding barn door to my master bath and master closet! I am finding ALL KINDS of old doors on Facebook Marketplace! CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!!!! I'm excited to do more!

I hope this helped inspire you if you are looking to build your own sliding door. You do NOT have to pay hundreds of dollars....you just need an old door!

PS - this is the same technique that I used on this little cutie! Instead of just a mirror, I turned it into inspirational decor for my office!

Happy DIYing!!! Thanks for visiting!

Here's a pic of my dogs, just to make you smile!



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