how to build a modern farmhouse barn door

How to Build a Modern Farmhouse Barn Door

During the build of our home, we knew we’d need a barn door at the top of the stairs. I knew it wouldn’t be the first DIY project I tackled, but at some point, I’d take the plunge. I found a great tutorial and then customized it for my needs. It’s funny that I was feeling intimidated to build a barn door because it was the easy part compared to installing it. And then after Jeremy and I installed it, I felt silly for worrying about the installation. It’s not easy, but it’s not hard – you’re really at the mercy of well written hardware instructions and your own research. This post is on how to build a modern farmhouse barn door, but I will also post about how we installed our barn door with our highly rated hardware from Amazon. Be sure to subscribe to my blog so that you don’t miss a thing.

How to Build a Modern Farmhouse Barn Door

The first step in building a barn door, is to measure the width and height of your opening. I built my door 1/2″ taller and 4″ wider than the opening. The rule of thumb is 1/2 to 3/4″ taller than the opening, and 4 to 5″ wider than the opening. I also used primed pine boards from Home Depot. I used 1×6 boards as the background, 1×4 boards as the frame and inner supports, and 1×2 boards to trim the outer edge which covers the seams. To hold everything together, I used wood glue and 18-gauge one inch brad nails. If you’re building an extra wide or extra tall door, you may want to consider a different construction.

How to Build a Modern Farmhouse Barn Door

The most frustrating part of this door design is that wood shrink, bows, and moves after the fact. If I had a planer and clamps, I could have secured the boards together better, but I ended up with some gaps which makes this design a consideration for privacy. In our case, the doorway is around the corner looking into a wall so there’s no privacy issues for us. However, this design would not work for a bathroom – for privacy needs, I would have used plywood and a different technique to get the look I wanted. For a closet, craft room, dining room, etc. I think it would be fine. OK, so once you have the measurements of your door opening, you can calculate how much wood you’ll need. Keep in mind that you’ll also need a header board to install the barn door, I used a primed 1×4.


How to Build a Modern Farmhouse Barn Door

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How to Build a Modern Farmhouse Barn Door

Sometimes it’s easier to show and explain a building process, so I made a YouTube video, but here are the basic constructions steps:

  • Measure your door opening
  • Determine the size of your door
  • Purchase primed wood
  • Measure, mark, and cut the 1×6 boards the length of your door minus 3/4 inch (this accounts for the 1×2 trim board at the top of the door)
  • Lay out 1×6 boards on a flat surface, use a thin layer of wood glue in between each board – allow glue to dry
  • Measure the width along the top of the laid-out 1×6 boards and cut a 1×4
  • Use a level or straight edge to make sure the laid-out 1×6 boards are level, glue the 1×4 across the top and brad nail it onto each 1×6
  • Measure the width along the bottom of the laid-out 1×6 boards and cut a 1×4
  • Use a level or straight edge to make sure the laid-out 1×6 boards are level, glue the 1×4 across the bottom and brad nail it onto each 1×6
  • Measure the length between the top and bottom 1×4 boards along the left-side, cut a 1×4 board to fit, glue, and nail
  • Measure the length between the top and bottom 1×4 boards along the right-side, cut a 1×4 board to fit, glue, and nail
  • (At this point, I laid 2×8 boards across the door while the wood glue dried, but the boards still shrunk and moved. I added a diagonal support board for support but pulled it up and added three horizontal support boards to hold all the 1×6 boards together – no more bowing.)
  • Cut three 1×4 boards to go across the door for support, measure to space them out evenly, glue, and nail
  • Once the wood glue is dry, measure the left-side and cut the 1×2 with one end cut at a 45-degree angle. The three 1×2 boards will trim out the door and cover the outside seams. There’s no need to have a 1×2 along the bottom because that seam won’t be seen. Next cut the top 1×2 – both ends are cut at a 45-degree angle, glue, and nail.
  • Finally, measure and cut the right-side 1×2 board, the top at a 45-degree angle and the bottom cut is straight. Glue and nail.
  • Once the glue is dry, be mindful that the boards can bow and move. If possible, keep the door laying down flat.
  • Final step is to paint. I sand in between the two coats using a 220-grit sponge. The green color I used is Still Water by Sherwin Williams.

how to build a modern farmhouse barn door

how to build a modern farmhouse barn door

how to build a modern farmhouse barn door

how to build a modern farmhouse barn door

how to build a modern farmhouse barn door

How to Build a Modern Farmhouse Barn Door

The steps for how to build a modern farmhouse barn door are pretty simple, you just want to do things in the correct order, measure twice or three times, keep your boards flat, use extra-large clamps if you have them, and be OK with board spaces or movement. Painting is my least favorite DIY to do, but with quality paint and the right tools, it’s not hard and the door isn’t so big that it’s daunting. I love the way this modern farmhouse barn door turned out. In fact, having the three horizontal support boards gives it more style and I love the look even more. The door is heavy, but I can lift it on my own. It’s really important to note that I kept the door lying flat as much as possible because the boards will bow. And once the barn door is installed and hanging it’s not going to bow. We are waiting for the door guide to ship, and once it does, I’ll add that step to the installation post. One thing to note about the installation, you really need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but be sure to read reviews because sometimes even the manufacturer makes mistakes. My YouTube video and blog post will share our exact steps for the hardware we used, and I highly recommend our hardware – it works great, and I didn’t pull out my hair installing it.

Thank you so much for checking out this post on how to build a modern farmhouse barn door. You can save any of the photos to Pinterest for later or you can share this post with a friend who may be wanting to DIY their own barn door. You can shop my favorites on Amazon, and I offer paint palettes in my Etsy shop. With every DIY project completed and ready to enjoy I am even more convinced that if I can use power tools and create a home we love, you can too. Every space has a story and I love creating my home’s story.


DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

My husband and I have walked through Restoration Hardware a dozen times, admiring their designs and styling, and never once buying a thing. This changed when one of their kitchen pendant lights were very reasonably priced, and the quality was a standout compared to the others we were looking at. I’m not sure I’ll ever own a home worthy of their grand designs, or that my budget will ever allow it, but I love the style and inspiration this brand provides me. I have been looking for a piece of furniture to live across from the formal dining room. It’s a little nook and walkway so it’s been tricky. I finally came up with a solution, a DIY Restoration Hardware inspired rolling cart!

The journey to finally just build this piece has been long and winding. I first saw an amazing vintage bakers rack at 417 Vintage Market in Branson Missouri. Then I found a large rolling cart for gardening supplies at The Junk Ranch show in Prairie Grove Arkansas. Both were out of budget and I’m not sure they would have fit in my SUV anyway. It only recently occurred to me that I could and should build something when I stumbled upon Ana White’s rolling shelf build. With so much amazing inspiration, it was time to sketch out and plan my DIY Restoration Hardware inspired rolling cart. Here’s the original that inspired it all:


DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

There are many other similar versions of this rolling cart for sell, but when you DIY, you can customize the exact size, color, and style you want (plus save a lot of $$). When we first moved into this house, I placed a tall bookcase in this space across from the dining room, the bookcase also used to be in the dining room of our previous home. So, I already knew what a tall bookcase looked like in this space, and it didn’t allow for much to go above it. I wanted a rolling cart that was tall enough to be useful, but not too tall that I couldn’t use the wall space above it. So, I built my DIY Restoration Hardware inspired rolling cart long, and not as tall. Here are the exact dimensions of my design: 6′ wide, 50″ tall, 14″ deep. Adding two-inch nonskid wheels brings the total height to 52″. This design can be created to fit any space you want. I used 2×8 boards as the center board of my shelves because I had them on hand. However, if you need deeper or more shallow shelves, you can create whatever size shelves you need.


DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart
Here’s a pic of our custom-built home in Oregon. That bookcase has been all around and is currently upstairs in our bonus room holding craft bins.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

You may have noticed that my support rods across the back of each shelf are wood dowels. After pricing out various pipe, I decided wood dowels were much more my speed and I already had the drill bit to create the one-inch diameter hole that I needed. I stained the dowels with the cart, and I love how it looks less industrial and a little more vintage. However, you could use PVC pipe and paint it, or if it’s your style and in your budget, copper piping would also be stunning. So many possibilities – all customizable.


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DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

I created a video (below) to show the process of building this DIY Restoration Hardware inspired rolling cart, but I will list the basic steps here as well:

  1. Determine your dimensions and list out your shelf lengths. The top shelf is the longest because it sets on top of the vertical corner support boards. The inside shelves will be a total of three inches shorter because they fit inside the vertical corner support boards. And the bottom shelf has the inside 2×8 board the same length as the top shelf, but the outside 2×4 shelf boards are shorter like the inside shelves. Ana White created the image above to show her dimensions, but I want you to notice the lengths of boards for each shelf. Design your DIY Restoration Hardware inspired rolling cart and create a cut list for your pieces. Here is a link to my cut list.
  2. Assemble the shelves. I drilled pocket holes in the 2×4 boards and then attached them to each side 0f the 2×8. This construction created my 14″ deep shelves. Drill 1.5″ pocket holes and use 2.5″ pocket hole screws. I plugged the pocket holes on the top shelf because I thought the underside may be seen. You can plug all the holes, none, or the top shelves – your preference.
  3. Add the four vertical support boards. I also drilled pocket holes at the corners of the inside shelves. I added the four 2×4 corners to the bottom shelf first, then I added the top shelf, and lastly installed the in between shelves. For the top and bottom shelves I used 3″ self-drilling wood screws instead of pocket holes, but be sure to predrill holes to prevent the wood from splitting.
  4. I turned my assembled rolling cart onto one side and drilled my one-inch holes for the back support dowels. Be sure to measure carefully. I centered the hole on the 2×4 and then measured up 6″ inches from the shelf. I didn’t want my back support to be perfectly centered, so I adjusted it down a bit to look right to me. Add the wooden dowels by twisting and pushing. I centered the wooden dowel so that a little was hanging out on each side. Then I used a multitool to cut the end flush.
  5. Now it’s time to sand. I sanded down all the surfaces using 80 grit paper on my orbital sander. Then I finished with 220 grit. I usually do at least three grits, sometimes four on more finished pieces, but some of the boards had a reddish tint and the whole piece was more rustic and vintage so I wasn’t concerned about a perfectly finished look. I also hoped the white wash technique would even out the different colored boards.
  6. Dust and wipe after sanding and then add a preconditioner to the wood. This quick step also allows the wood to evenly absorb the stain. It dried quickly, but wait at least 30 min. before applying your first coat of stain.
  7. Be sure to follow the instructions on your stain. I used Rove & Dwell’s farmhouse interior stain. I use a staining sponge to evenly apply the beautiful color. Once dry, I used a 220 grit sanding sponge to smooth things out. Dust and wipe, and then apply the white wash stain. The particular white wash stain I used said to not sand between coats of white wash. I applied two coats of the white wash stain. Brush it on, let it sit for 3 minutes and then I used a staining sponge to wipe up the excess. You can add extra protection by adding a layer of matte finish polyurethane.
  8. Once dry, add the non-marking casters and any other decorative brackets you want. I did not use the screws that came with the corner brackets because they wouldn’t have worked with all my pocket hole screws. Instead, I used upholstery brass nails and they look and worked perfectly. The bracket is purely decorative, so two nails hold it just fine.


DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

Full disclosure: My rolling cart has a little wobble. However, once I added some decor it helped. The most frustrating part of this design is that all the wood isn’t perfectly straight and square. This is especially true when using the cheapest common 2×4 boards I could find. Even if you check for bowed boards at the store, it’s just impossible to get every board perfectly straight. I’m sure there are tricks to correcting this, but in my beginner status, I’m still learning. And even with the imperfections I’m very happy with the way this DIY Restoration Hardware inspired rolling cart turned out. It looks better than I pictured and styling it is going to be so much fun. There aren’t a lot of places this new piece can fit in this home, but I’m so excited to enjoy it until I build my dream piece for this spot. Be sure to subscribe to my blog to get decorating and DIY inspiration and tutorials – including this dream piece of furniture I will make in the future.


DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart
Here’s a quick photo of the dining room – the space that faces this little nook.

DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

Well, that’s it – our new little rolling cart is done and I’m so glad I made a piece of furniture for this spot. Thank you so much for checking out this post. I hope it was helpful and inspiring. This last photo is how the cart is styled as I write this post. I’m sure it will be changing again soon, but with every little tweak I like it even more. Be sure to follow me on Instagram where I post more decorating photos and videos. Take care and be safe while building your DIY dreams.


DIY Restoration Hardware Inspired Rolling Cart

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Succulent Wall Art

DIY Farmhouse Kitchen Succulent Wall Art

Cutting boards are probably one of the greatest decorating trends, ever! They look beautiful to display and they’re completely a necessity, win-win! There are some beautiful displays using cutting boards and the warmth the wood adds to a modern farmhouse style definitely adds a home-cookin coziness factor. I think that wood tones and plants can make every space feel comfortable, inviting, and warm. This is one reason I just love my latest DIY modern farmhouse wall art project. This wall art combines both cutting board and plants, and it’s so easy to put together.

You can really use any cutting board you have or find out there, but here’s the exact one from Amazon that I used for this project. You can also use any small dough bowl you have or can find, but I found some on Etsy that are the right size for the Amazon cutting board. Another idea is to get a dough bowl candle, enjoy the candle, and then cut the bowl for this project. I found a non-profit organization, Hope for Harlee, that donates 100% of their proceeds to help fund research and care for families battling DIPG. This family has an amazing story! You can visit their humble online shop.


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To cut the wood dough bowl, I used my Ryobi Miter Saw with a finishing blade. After a little bit of sanding, I set each half onto the cutting board so that I could measure and mark where I wanted each one to be attached. You can use a pencil to mark your spots, just make sure that the bottom bowl is quite low on the cutting board – leave about one inch between the cutting board bottom and the bottom of the bowl. I used Elmer’s wood glue and any glue that squished out was wiped away with a Q-Tip. The wood dried quickly and then I was able to work on the succulent part of the project.

To secure the faux succulents, I used some floral foam and a knife to cut rounded edges on the foam to fit it into the bowl, it’s not perfect, but it will do to stick the faux succulents into. Before you attach the foam to the bowl, arrange your succulents ahead of time to determine the arrangement and how they will fit. Real succulents like to live in cramped quarters, so it looks good to pack in several small succulents – this will give a realistic look to your wall art and it will allow you to have different shapes and colors in your arrangement too. To make sure the faux succulents stay in the foam, I poked a hole in the foam first and then added a bit of hot glue gun glue right before shoving the faux succulent into place. Once both succulent arrangements were done, I added a piece of jute rope to hang up my DIY farmhouse kitchen succulent wall art.

This farmhouse or boho kitchen wall art is so unique and lovely. I like the unexpectedness of having succulents on the wall and they look so quaint on a cutting board. I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to wall art in the kitchen, but this design is just perfect. Let me know what you think in the comments below. And if you enjoyed the video, I’d love a ‘thumbs-up’. You can also subscribe to my YouTube channel to get my weekly video updates! Thanks so much for checking out this post! If you love succulents, check out my Pottery Barn inspired faux succulent wall art – it’s gorgeous in-person!


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