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.


Pottery Barn Coffee Table Copycat

Pottery Barn Coffee Table Copycat

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We haven’t had a coffee table for years! I love them, love styling them, love the function they add, but having one doesn’t always work out. Our daughters are eight and a half years apart, so we’ve had littles rolling around the ground and jumping off sofas for a while – it just didn’t make sense for the way we used our family room. Then there was the challenge of finding one I loved and was willing to pay for. For years I’ve been searching for vintage pieces to create my own coffee table, checking Facebook Marketplace for a unique piece to restore, but no luck. When I finally found one that I really liked and felt would coordinate with my coordinated living room pieces, it was way out of my budget. So, I decided to build a Pottery Barn coffee table copycat, but not from scratch. Instead, I built a simple cover that slides onto an existing tabletop that I didn’t love so much!

Building the Pottery Barn coffee table copycat was so much fun! I wasn’t too concerned if it didn’t work out because I used the most inexpensive spacer wood I could (aka lattice boards). I knew going in that the boards weren’t exactly the same size, they were rough, and uneven, but I liked those qualities about them because that meant I could easily create a unique piece that looked a little old and rustic with a modern frame. I added the decorative corners at the last minute because I think they add a little more stability to the thin wooden corners, and they add a nice finishing touch too. The best part about this Pottery Barn coffee table copycat is that it lends itself to any design you can think of, and it’s simple enough for anyone to take on.

This DIY project started with this inexpensive coffee table from Walmart. I was really only after the black metal frame and the size. It was actually less expensive for me to buy an entire coffee table over just a black frame to add my own top to. Go figure! It turned out to be better this way though, if my coffee table cover didn’t turn out, I still had a useable table, and the existing top added strength to my cover. Below I’ve included some additional coffee tables that I considered.


Pottery Barn Coffee Table Copycat
Walmart coffee table

Pottery Barn Coffee Table Copycat

You may look at the affordable Walmart coffee table and think the chevron pattern looks pretty nice and the color is OK, but I was after a thicker looking top without adding a lot of weight. I also wanted to apply my custom stain color to the wood and bring in the herringbone pattern. This Pottery Barn coffee table copycat isn’t an exact match, but it’s definitely inspired and more affordable than the original. The cool part is that both of my daughters have expressed how much they like the new table – which is pretty great to me. Here’s a photo of the original coffee table in our living room before I created a simple cover for it.



Pottery Barn Coffee Table Copycat

Anytime someone says copycat, I feel like it’s normal to expect a duplicate. Well, I’ll be the first to tell you that I didn’t create a duplicate, it’s not perfect or exact, but the Malcolm Pottery Barn coffee table is so beautiful and timeless to me that it inspired my own similar design. I love the mix of modern black metal with the rustic worn top – it feels cozy, a little vintage, but sturdy and fresh in a way. The Malcolm coffee table is longer than mine, uses solid wood, has the designer look and details I love, but when something is outside my budget I always consider if I can make it myself. And this time I decided I would attempt something similar for a fraction of the price. Below you can see the Pottery Barn coffee table that inspired this project.



Pottery Barn Coffee Table Copycat – Tutorial

The cover that I built started with a piece of scrap plywood I had on hand. I used 1/2-inch plywood so that it was thick enough to nail into, but not too heavy. To get the plywood to fit the top of the coffee table, I just flipped the coffee table upside down and traced around it onto the plywood. Just cut your traced lines. Then I cut a bunch of 12-inch-long lattice pieces. I used about 14 spacer (lattice) boards for the top, and then I was able to use the trimmed off pieces to fill in the rest of the spaces. The video I made showing the process is the best way to demonstrate how the top pattern came together. I was able to use 2″ wide boards to create the border – and these boards were the same thickness as the lattice boards along the top so it doesn’t bulge over the edges at all. You can use any boards you want to wrap and frame the new cover, but I wanted to make sure the cover didn’t overlap with too much thickness away from the frame. My goal wasn’t to create something that looked made, but to create something that looked like it always was. I also found these decorative corner pieces to add a nice detail and some added security for the corners of the coffee table cover.



Once the boards were glued and nailed down (3/8″ brad nails), there were some small spaces in between some boards. The lattice boards aren’t perfectly uniform, so I used wood filler to fill some of the wider spaces. The wood filler claims it can be stained, but there are some places that didn’t stain well. Again, I wasn’t looking for perfection and this outcome didn’t ruin the overall look but be aware of my experience before you begin a similar project. I sanded the entire cover with 180 grit and then 220 grit sandpaper. Once cleaned off, I added Rove + Dwell’s Farmhouse stain. Four hours later, gently sand with a 220-grit sanding sponge, and clean off. Then, I lightly applied Varathane’s whitewash stain and immediately wiped it off. These are the two main steps to achieve my white oak looking stain color. I love the warm and worn look of it, and it’s not too dark for my taste. A matte polyurethane finish was brushed on to protect the surface.


Pottery Barn Coffee Table Copycat – Video


My Pottery Barn coffee table copycat looks great downstairs as well as upstairs – it’s nice being able to move things around when I want to. Now that I have a coffee table in front of my sofa, I’ve been enjoying the opportunity to style it. Little changes to tabletops are a great way to reuse your decor and refresh a room. I love using a tray to contain and display the decor – check out some of my favorite coffee table decor.







The surface looks old and worn but it’s so smooth and soft.

Style #1 modern farmhouse

Style #2 boho farmhouse

Style #3 vintage farmhouse

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How to style your modern farmhouse with pottery

How to style your modern farmhouse with pottery

If you want to see some beautiful examples of how to style your modern farmhouse with pottery, you’re in the right place! In high school, I took pottery class because I liked crafty projects and making things. Did you take pottery, or wish you would have? It’s not that easy, and don’t even get me started about glazing. To this day, I still love and appreciate pottery and I find that it elevates my modern farmhouse decor.


How to style your modern farmhouse with pottery

How to style your modern farmhouse with pottery

The best thing about pottery is that it works in every room and with every design style. The type of glaze or finish alone can determine if it works with your style and feel of the room. The size of pottery may determine its purpose in the room. And the shape may determine which room you use it in. I also love how pottery can be left empty, used to display stems or other items, or even to hide something (like money or a spare key). Pottery is so abundant and affordable these days. I have selected nine pots/vases, all neutral, and all under $60.


Handmade pottery

And I can’t do a post about pottery without mentioning my talented sister-in-law, Stephanie. Their family are missionaries, and she sells her hand-thrown creations to help fund their journey (overseas missions, state-side missions, kids missions, service projects, etc.). I also know that Stephanie is very close to becoming a state certified midwife, but she will need expensive tools for her birthing bag. Did you know a quality Doppler is like $500?! So, if you love one-of-a-kind handmade coffee mugs and more, check her out on Instagram @wadsycreative.


Where to add pottery around the house

I think it’s important to give some thought to the space or spot you’re wanting to add pottery to. Consider the height of the space or shelf and make sure the pottery will fit. Also consider the bottom of the pottery, will it need some felt pads so that it doesn’t scratch surfaces. Also consider how it will be used; does it need to hold water, if it does, can it?



Pottery works so well in all home decor styles, but I love how versatile it is in modern farmhouse design. If you want to add a contemporary or modern look to an area, like an old vintage cabinet, then you’ll want to lean towards a smooth glaze finish, even glossy. A piece of pottery can also lean towards a modern feel if it has less curves and minimal external texture or grooves. Modern farmhouse pottery is also usually neutral and solid in color – it’s simple and sleek.


Conversely, if you have a modern cabinet that you want to add some rustic charm to, look for curvy pottery pieces, and pottery with rough texture, and natural or a natural mixing of colors. Pottery with an aged or vintage look can add the perfect touch of farmhouse to your modern farmhouse style. Handmade pottery also adds a story to your design, and the uniqueness of the piece will add a lovely detail to your styling.

@rachelkathleen13


Another strength of styling your modern farmhouse with pottery is that one piece can stand alone, as long as the size is right within the display, but it also looks good coupled or grouped with other pottery pieces. And if your pottery is waterproof, it can have multiple purposes.


To elevate your modern farmhouse decor, consider adding pottery; to any room, in any shape or size, for any purpose, modern or rustic – you will love the designer-look of having pottery around your home, inside or out. There are so many wonderful shops out there with various options for selecting pottery pieces at all price ranges. I know what my budget is, but I also know that when I really love a piece of decor that it might be worth getting it because I’ll use and love it forever.


Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog. I hope you found it helpful and encouraging. Please leave your comments, questions, and thoughts below – I read each one and love hearing from you! Feel free to share this post or PIN it for later~

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