Barn Door Finish

To start the door re-finishing, I first prep the lumber and hardware.  I picked up some larger door handles and a six pack of thicker, longer, heavier faux door hinges.  (A little secret, the new door hinges were actually plastic instead of metal so they were actually cheaper than the smaller, metal hinges I had before.)

I tacked my top rails up first making sure to have them level across the top.  I then cut and installed the trim boards running straight up so I could line them up with the bottom and make sure they looked square.  A little trick to make the center line which would be where the two barn doors met more visible, I hit the edges that would be meeting with my random orbit sander so they would be chamfered down a bit and enhance the appearance that they were actually separate doors.

After they were up, I started the angled boards that would be the cross bracing.  The intended look is for the diagonal pieces to look like solid support braces that span the door, so originally, I started to measure these as one long board and then cut it in half.  The problem with that method is when you cut them in half you loos the length from the thickness of the saw blade and they don’t end up flush with the frame.  So the best way to do it is to select pieces long enough to span the distance, mark one small section, cut and install it and then mark the second piece.  You’ll want to use a long board for the first piece so you can make sure that your angles are all correct.  Geometry would suggest that 45 degree angles would be sufficient, but that only works if everything is square, which mine was not.

Once the boards were up and secure, a little caulking is necessary to fill any gaps that are present so water won’t get behind the trim and cause it to rot.  This was not done on the original trim so many of the boards were pulling away from the door.  Next, I needed to get the paint for the exterior of the house out of the attic.  Once down, there was one little problem; the paint had molded from being exposed to the changing temperatures and smelled disgusting.  No problem, a short trip to Lowes with a piece of wood from the exterior, quick color match and I’m on my way home to put on the finishing touches.

Once the paint dried for a few hours, I just needed a few turns of the drill to set my hardware and I was finished.

And there it is!  The finished product.  Only a few hours of work and the front “grill” of our little house is ready to show to the world! (Or at least our street)  


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