Thursday, May 19, 2016

Barn Doors

It was months ago when I put together the Inspiration Wall, trying to decide what ideas I wanted to include in the Cherished Bungalow.  One idea I really wanted to explore was a barn door.  And when we held the 'Before' Open House to solicit input on the house plans, it seemed to resonate with many of you as well.

We've done a barn door before (it's in our store in Willard Square) and have learned first hand some of the limitations that come with them.  For example, I would never use a barn door where you want a real sound barrier (i.e. for a bathroom), because there is a gap between the door and the wall that is required for it to slide.  You also need a wall of equal size next to the door, so there is room to open it fully.  That means you can't have any furniture or artwork on that wall.  When you start putting those parameters in place, it can reduce the places you can install a barn door pretty quickly.

But they also have some real advantages.  For example, they don't swing into the room, so you can place furniture very close to them. And best of all, they look fantastic!!

In our house, the big closet in the master bedroom is a great spot for barn doors.  We can center them on the far wall and of course no sound proofing is required for a closet!

With lots of reclaimed lumber from the big hole we cut in the roof, this seems like a natural application for it.  So last week, we got started building them.

Keith and I started by looking at some of the boards and picking the ones that we thought would look good together.

Once we had the layout, he got to work.  He started by cleaning up the edges, so we could get them good and tight.  Then he added a 'Z' frame, to hold them all together.

He did all the fastening from the back, so you won't see any screws.

Once they were all assembled, we clamped them up and let them dry.

I took on the task of sanding them - a bit tricky since we want to maintain that antique patina, but don't want any splinters or rough surfaces.  Warning:  you will get lots of splinters in your fingers during this step!!!  Next step, I'll seal them.  I had planned on doing an oiled finish, but my test board came out way too dark - and the wood lost some of the subtle shading that I like so much.  I did a test with a new product - Zar Ultra Max (found it at Hammond Lumber).  It's a water based poly with an oil resin - sort of the best of both worlds.  I used a sheen called Antique Flat and it looks fantastic.  Once I get that done, we'll store them away until the end of the project and they're ready for hanging!

Won't they be great?

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  1. Those look fantastic! Great job!

  2. Yes, I have wondered about the sound privacy with those, plus the I can see you through the crack issues. Like you said, not so much of an issue with a closet--in fact a little air circulation can be beneficial. I have the old fashioned heavy into the wall pocket doors in my rental, and the doors can be a bit of an issue that way since the former living room is now a bedroom.

    1. I hadn't thought about the through the crack issues! But I did make sure to fill all the nail holes in the back....otherwise it would like Starry Night if you left the closet light on!!!

  3. Love, love, love them! By the way, I saw barn doors in Lowe's the other day. Who knew!

    1. I went to a contractor trade show a couple of weeks ago and they had lots of barn doors - but the new ones just aren't as cool as the 'real' reclaimed ones!!!

  4. That's a very nice barn door making process. Although I don't find barn door making process very easy. It looks complicated for me. So, I prefer hiring an expert to make a barn door in my house.


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