Do you remember the door from the “before” picture of the den that lead to the hall? This door, right here:
Yea, that door. I took it off the hinges before I moved in and it’s been living in the utility closet for the last 2 months. But I’ve had BIG plans for that door. That door, from the den, would be perfect as a barn door on the outside of the bathroom. My bathroom is TINY and installing a barn door would give me a little bit more space to work with in there. You’re probably wondering why I didn’t use the current bathroom door as the barn door. When adding a barn door, the door should have some overlap on the door casing. The current door was designed to fit inside the casing and wouldn’t have any overlap. The door from the den is about 30” wide versus the bathroom door which is about 24”. Most barn doors are custom made doors so they can be made for the desired opening. Also, for a barn door you don’t need openings for a knob or notched out space for hinges. These were a couple of things I had to fix on my door.
The process started with painting the door. One side was white and one side was stained. I painted the stained side with Zinnser’s stain blocking primer. This is the same primer that I used to paint the den. I filled the door knob hole on the front with a piece cut with a hole saw. The piece that replaced the door knob was not thick enough to be flush on both sides. My intention was to use the back side indention as a pull to open and close the door. I also filled in the space where the hinges were notched out with pieces of scrap wood.
Once the door was patched, it was time to install the hardware. Barn door hardware can be expensive! I found some on Amazon for pretty cheap. It was about half the price of the hardware I saw at my local hardware store. I purchased the rubbed bronze color one. I also purchased a floor guide for the door. Both of those can be found here and here. The hardware kit comes with a great set of instructions. I had to make some modifications to fit my specific door and situation with the wall.
I installed a 1X6 for a header secured to the studs inside the wall to support the rail. Here are some things to consider when adding a header versus not. The header will push your door out away from the opening. You may or may not need this if your opening has case molding or not. The rail I purchased already had spacers between the wall and the rail to accommodate the case molding. For me, I couldn’t secure the predetermined braces for the rail into the studs. The rail had to be flush with the left wall and when it was positioned there, the holes didn’t line up with where my studs are. The header was the easiest way to ensure the rail was fully supported. The header left a 3/4” gap between the door and the casing. To ensure that my bathroom door was private, we added a small square strip of wood down the right side. This way no one can peep in.
The other alteration I had to make to the door was to extend the length. The door wasn’t long enough to use the floor guide I purchased. I didn’t want it swaying back and forth and bang into the wall. The door needed about 2.5 inches added to the bottom to make it all work. Another thing that I had to adjust real time was the brackets on the door. My door wasn’t thick enough for the brackets that were provided, the screws were too long and the end nut bottomed out. So we added a couple of extra washers to take up some space. I couldn’t find any black washers, so I ended up having to paint some silver ones so that they wouldn’t look weird with all of the other hardware. Here are some pictures of all of the modifications that needed to be done:
After all of those real time adjustments were made the only thing left to do was to finish painting the door and the header. I took all the hardware down from the wall and off the door. I originally painted the header white, but after looking at it on the wall decided to paint it the same color as the wall. (The wall color is Sherwin Williams Passive Gray). The door got a couple good coats of white paint in a semi-gloss finish. I thought about painting it another color, like navy, but decided it might look weird to have 2 doors that were different colors on that wall. I really like the white, it pops against the gray.
Here are some pictures with everything all finished. The dresser is moved back and sits a little bit off the wall to accommodate the door. I’m really happy about how the whole project turned out and the extra amount of space in my bathroom!