This barn door window covering is a great alternative to blinds or curtains. It is a show stopper, especially in a basement bedroom where light is limited. Do you have a window where you could put one of these? I hope you do because I am SO excited to show you how to build one.
Allow me to share with you my opinion about basements.
I don’t like them.
I almost used the word hate, but as some would agree, hate is a strong word. I appreciate the extra space basements provide. After raising four children in this house, I admit I could not have done it without the basement.
Now that my kids are older, they really appreciate this space. The further away from parents they can get, the better!
Still, I dislike the dungeon-feel, window wells, and limited amount of light you get in basement rooms. But, I gotta do the best I can with what I have, right? That was my goal with this window treatment.
This is my 20 year old son’s bedroom. He is currently serving a 2-year mission for our church, in the country Guatemala.
Yes, the country with all of the earthquakes. That one. Moms worry, don’t they? I am no exception.
He is due to come home in November of this year (yay!) and I am making some much needed improvements in this room. This is the first one I tackled, and I am am pretty pleased with the outcome!
The window in this room is NOT centered on the wall! That always bothered me, until now! The empty space on the left is perfect for the barn door to slide!
DIY Barn Door Style Window Covering
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- 1″ x 6″ boards, enough to cover the width of the window vertically, cut to the desired height. Take the time to make sure you are picking the straightest boards possible.
- 1″ x 10″ boards, 2 cut the same width of the door and 1 cut to size on the diagonal (scroll down for my technical way to cutting the angles.) Wink, wink.
- Kreg Jig
- Miter saw
- Wood Screws
- Pocket Screws
- Wood Glue
- Sander (or sand paper)
- Finish of choice (I used weathered grey)
- Barn door hardware
Note on door size
The cuts vary per window size. For the width, I added as many boards as it took for full coverage. But I had a hard time with the height, so I decided to put the hardware up before I built the door. Once the hardware was up, I measured the height and cut the boards to size.
Step 1: Hang the barn door hardware
I know, I know. I did this a little backwards, but it’s how it made the most sense to me. I hung the hardware following the manufacturer’s directions before I built the door. I did screw a 1×4 on the studs first, because my studs were not lining up with the predrilled holes on the steel bar. It is super important to make sure the board is level .
I painted the 1×4 to match the wall and attached the hardware according to the instructions. My hubby wasn’t home at the time and I was anxious to get this up, so I did it by myself. Not too terribly bad, but it would have been easier with another set of hands. What can I say, I’m stubborn! (and impatient). Again, you will want to make darn sure it is hung level, or else your door will slide unwanted.
Once the hardware was up, I measured the exact height my boards needed to be and cut them to size. I also took the blinds right out of there.
Step 2: Cut boards to size
Using my miter saw I sliced the edge off each end of the boards to make sure I was working with straight edges.
Then I cut enough boards the height I needed to cover to the width of the window, plus a little overlap.
I did not rip any of the boards. In the end, the door was slightly wider than necessary. The height had to be precise, as the boards sat barely above the windowsill
Step 3: Join the Boards Together
After I cut the boards, I laid them on the floor and I drew arrows facing in, staggered about every 6 inches, to mark my pocket holes.
I used the Kreg Jig to drill pockets holes to join these boards together.
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Step 4: Add Top and Bottom Piece
Measure the width, then cut the 1×10’s for the top and bottom horizontal pieces. Attach them with 1- 1/2″ wood screws from the top. If you don’t want the screws to show, you can screw from the back, but I didn’t mind them showing. It added to the rustic look. You could also attach these with nails as an alternative.
Step 5: Add the Cross Piece
You can actually leave this door as is and it would look great. But, you have the option of adding the middle piece on a diagonal if you like. It makes it look more like an actual barn door, I think. I used my ghetto technique to figure out my angled cuts.
Ghetto technique: Set the 1 x 10 board across on the diagonal, mark the two ends with a pencil, and draw a line.
(PS…This picture was taken before I attached the top and bottom boards)
Then I adjusted the angle on my miter saw to match my line, and made the cut. Ghetto.
If you have a better way to do this, by all means, use it! (um…protractor? I know, I know). I cut one board too short the first try, using my method. Luckily I had an extra board and the second try was good.
If I had to try a third time, I would have left it out. #impatient
Step 6: Sand and Paint
I took the door outside and gave it a good sanding. I used my cordless sander that I love so much. I made sure the edges were smooth and rounded. I followed with a light coat of weathered grey stain and polyurethane. I used the spray on poly this time and loved the convenience of spraying. No clean up!
After attaching the hardware to the door I got my hubby to help me hang it on the track. Sliding it back and forth was the best feeling ever!
I love how it covers the entire window when shut. Bad picture, I know. See what I mean about dark basements? Someday I will invest in a light kit.
What do you think? Let me know if you have any questions about this project!
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Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials for novice woodworkers and DIYers. She also works as a university professor in the health care industry. Have a question for Janice? Feel free to send her a message here!