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DIY Z Barn Door

April 18, 2018 1 Comment

Simple DIY Barn Door and Hardware Design - Caldwell Company

Benefits of Barn Doors

Barn doors are a great addition to any space in your home. Whether it be redesigning your entryway into the kitchen, improving the functionality of your pantry, closing up your entertainment center, or just adding an accent piece to your wall, barn doors have a variety of uses.

When brainstorming what type of barn door you want to install, you should also consider the style of sliding barn door hardware as well. The barn door hardware is a very important aspect of your sliding barn door because it will determine how smooth the door operates as well as the overall style of your barn door. Choosing a high-quality barn door hardware kit as a must. With so many sliding hardware styles to choose from, MJC & Company (formerly Caldwell Co.) has got you covered. 

Barn doors are a great way to increase the usable space of any room while providing a clean and unique look. The doors slide side to side so you can imagine the increased amount of floor space and functionality that can be attained just by transitioning your hinged doors into sliding barn doors.

Hardware Designs

Interior barn door hardware comes in various sizes, colors, and styles. It’s important to know whether you will be installing a single-door or double-door. If installing a single door you should make sure your wall space is at least double the width of your door. If your wall space is limited, you may want to consider using bypass barn door hardware or installing double door sliding hardware.

This is MJC & Company's (formerly known as Caldwell Company) beautiful Vintage Bypass Sliding Barn Door Hardware...

Vintage Bypass Sliding Barn Door Hardware Kit - Caldwell Company

Whichever design you decide to go with, MJC & Company (Caldwell Co.) has some of the best barn door hardware in the industry. They make it easy for DIYers to easily install their own hardware without having to hire it out to professionals, thus saving money while at the same time ensuring your barn door is exactly how you want it to be.

Different Styles of Barn Doors

There are many different styles of barn doors to choose from, including but not limited to the Z type barn door, double Z, double X, one panel, two panels, plank type, and mid rail.

Other barn door designs like the Chevron pattern are extremely beautiful, however, they do take a little bit more skill and know-how to properly complete. If you've never built a barn door before, you may not want to take on this type of door, or maybe you do if you're up for a challenge.

Here's an example of a Chevron Pattern Barn Door.

This chevron patterned barn door brings a mix of modern and old rustic charm, all in one package. It's a great choice if you are torn between going with a vintage style door or more contemporary design. 

DIY Barn Door Hardware and Barn Door - Caldwell Company

The Z Type Barn Door

This DIY tutorial will cover how to make from scratch quite possibly the most popular style of sliding barn door, the Z type. 

The Z Sliding Barn Door is very simple to make and required minimal skill or know-how in construction; however, you will need a few tools and materials to successfully complete this tutorial.

The Z door style is a traditional and elegant design with added durability. The Z brace ensures this door will keep its shape and prevent any warping of the boards. It's a solid choice for any room and certainly a great choice if this is your first time building a door. You can't go wrong with this one.

Z Barn Door - Barn Door Hardware - Caldwell Company

The Z barn door is a great choice and highly versatile. It provides for an easy DIY install and flows seamlessly with many styles of home decor and sliding barn door hardware.

Pair this door design with MJC & Company's Vintage, Classic, or Modern style sliding barn door kits and watch your doorway transform into something beautiful, unique, and personalized.

Depending on the look you are going for in your space, you can either paint, stain, or add a distressed or whitewash finish. If you're looking for a more modern design go with a sleek and smooth solid color. For more traditional or urban decor, try creating a whitewash or dark stain. For a softer look, just add a clear coat to preserve the natural wood color.

Building Your Barn Door

Material List

DIY Z Barn Door & Hardware - Caldwell Company

First thing's first, you need to make a list and prepare all of the materials. Here's the quick and dirty list of tools and material needed for this project:

  1. 1 X 6 Tongue and Groove Boards for the body of the door (of desired wood type, Pine is a popular choice)
  2. 1 X 6 Boards for outer trim pieces
  3. 1 X 6 or 1 X 4 board for the inner "Z" brace
  4. Gorilla Wood Glue
  5. Minwax High-Performance Wood Filler
  6. Choice of Paint or Stain
  7. 80 Grit Multi-Use Sandpaper
  8. Irwin Quick-Grip Clamp Set
  9. Saw Horses 
  10. Miter saw - We recommend DeWalt, but any brand is fine.
  11. Electric Finish Nailer with 1" to 1-1/4" finish nails - (optional, but will speed up the process)
  12. Drill bits with countersink attachment (for pre-drilling screw holes with a clean finish)
  13. 1-1/4" Wood Screws
  14. Paintbrushes - We recommend Purdy Brand
  15. Barn Door Hardware by MJC & Company.

Ok, now that you’ve got all the tools and materials needed for construction of your new Z barn door, it’s time to start the building process.

Step One: First you need to determine the width of your door. After you decide on the full width of your door, lay out the correct amount of tongue and groove boards. These board will make up the main body of your door. For a more uniform look, make sure the two outer boards are similar widths.

Step Two: Next, give the boards a thorough sanding to smooth out all of the rough edges and splinters as well as prepping the door for you to paint or stain, whichever you prefer.

Step Three: For this step, you will need your wood glue and clamps. Lay out the correct amount of tongue and groove boards that will make up the full width of your interior barn door. Set them on a sturdy, flat table and glue along the entire edge of the groove of each board while setting them all in place.

Once you have all of the boards glues and set in place, lay a 2x4 on top of the tongue and groove boards and clamp them down on each end; follow this by also clamping the glued tongue and groove boards together on each side. The final result will have a total of 4-6 clamps, 2-3 in each direction.

Trimming It Out

The trim is really what is going to shape the design of the door. There are so many designs and layouts to consider when adding the trim. In this tutorial, we are discussing the Z barn door.

The outer and inner trim boards will be made of the 1 x 6 boards you purchased.

DIY Z Barn Door - Sliding Barn Door Hardware - Caldwell Company

Step One: Measure and cut two boards to go on either side of the long ends, and two 1 x 6 boards to fill in the leftover gap in the width. Glue, clamp and screw these boards down. You can also use a pneumatic finish nailer to tack the boards down as well. If you don't have one it's no problem and can be done without one. The finish nails are much easier to fill and sand when compared with the screws. Ensure the outer edge of both boards are flush as you clamp, glue, and screw or nail the perimeter boards.

Step Two: Place the remaining 1X6 or 1X4 board (your call) diagonally and mark the points where the diagonal board meets the side and top trim pieces, then connect the dots. Use a skill saw, miter saw, or hand saw to make this cut. Finally, proceed with installing the diagonal board in the same fashion as the outer trim boards.

Tip: make sure you pre-drill the screw holes near the edge of the door to prevent splitting the wood. Also, bury the heads of the screws just below the face of the wood to allow for the wood filler.

Step Three:  Apply the wood filler to all screw and/or nail holes in and lightly sand the door until a smooth finish is achieved throughout and the holes are no longer visible.

Step Four: Prime and paint your newly constructed Z barn door with the color of your choosing. Let dry for one day before proceeding the installing the barn door hardware hangers.

The Barn Door Hardware

Now that you’ve got your beautiful and fully customized  Z barn door finished, it’s time to add the finishing touch by installing a barn door hardware kit that will perfectly complement the door and your décor.

MJC & COMPANY has a great selection of beautifully crafted and timeless sliding barn door hardware. For the Z barn door style, I recommend going with MJC's Vintage Barn Door Kit or their Classic Sliding Barn Door Hardware. Whichever kit you choose it’s sure to turn out beautiful.

One great attribute about MJC & COMPANY barn door hardware is the lifetime warranty and their exceptional attention to detail. You can check out their entire barn door hardware collection by clicking here.

Here’s a preview of what your door would like with a Classic Barn Door Hardware Kit

The Classic style sliding barn door hardware is great for the traditionalist or those looking for a classic and elegant design. This barn door kit integrates seamlessly with many decor types and is a great all-around choice. MJC & Company does a fantastic job assuring all barn door kits are top notch and even insures each hardware kit with a lifetime warranty.

Z Barn Door - Classic Barn Door Hardware Kit - Caldwell Company


The Vintage Sliding Barn Door Hardware Kit

Arguably one of the most popular style's of barn door hardware is the Vintage Strap Design. This style is perfect if you're going for a rustic urban appeal with some industrialized old world charm! 

The reclaimed wood barn door in the photo below is a great choice for this type of hardware. The Z barn door can also be built out of reclaimed wood to give it a similar rustic appearance.

Vintage Sliding Barn Door Hardware - Caldwell Company


The sleek and timeless Modern Barn Door Kit

This Modern Sliding Barn Door Hardware Kit by MJC & Company is perfect for those looking for a more contemporary, low-profile design. Pair this barn door kit with a solid color door for a sleek and modern appearance. 

The low-profile design is also popular for mounting indoor sliding window shutters, closing off large entertainment center, or adding a touch of character to your nightstand or dresser.

modern low profile sliding barn door hardware kit | MJC & COMPANY


The Finishing Touch

Once you've gotten your custom sliding barn door built and hung with the proper hardware kit, you'll want a nice barn door pull handle to add the final touch. A double-sided barn door pull/flush combo is the way to go.

Even if you don't technically need a pull on the back side (if you're installing on a pantry for instance) it's still a good idea to go with this option. The back plate allows for a more sturdy installation since it utilizes a through-bolt that clamps both the back finger pull and front pull handle together. Also, they are super easy to install.

Here are some recommendations of barn door handles from MJC & COMPANY that will work great, regardless of the hardware style chosen:


12" Round Barn Door Pull Handle | Matt Black

12" modern black sliding barn door pull flush combo | MJC & COMPANY

Shop MJC & COMPANY sliding barn door handle pulls


12" Square Barn Door Pull Handle | Matte Black

12" square black modern barn door handle pull | MJC & COMPANY

Shop MJC & COMPANY sliding barn door handle pulls


12" Round Barn Door Handle Pull | Stainless Steel

12" round stainless steel sliding barn door handle pull | MJC & COMPANY

Shop MJC & COMPANY sliding barn door handle pulls


12" Square Barn Door Handle Pull | Stainless Steel

12" square stainless steel modern barn door handle pull | MJC & COMPANY

Shop MJC & COMPANY sliding barn door handle pulls

As you can see, regardless of the sliding door hardware you choose, your new barn door is going to look fantastic! Plus, you are going to feel accomplished that you built it all by yourself. Enjoy!


How To Video: Barn Door Hardware Kit and Handle Installation Video

MJC & COMPANY Barn Door Hardware Introduction Video


>>> Check out MJC & Company's entire sliding barn door collection by clicking here. <<<


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1 Response


January 05, 2019

Awesome tutorial! What size sliding barn door hardware would you recommend for a door openining measuring 48”?

Also, I’m thinking the Vintage style barn door hardware by MJC & Company may suit my current decor style perfectly!

Thanks in advance.


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