All doorways are not created equal and all walls are not square. Add in a slanted ceiling in an old house and well…you have to get a little creative. Today I’m going to show you how to make a sliding barn door for a slanted ceiling.
I’m really excited to be doing this woodworking project! It’s going to replace the plank of wood that the former homeowners had hanging on this weirdly shaped doorway and hide what’s in the other room. A room that is a hot disaster, but will eventually become my office and mine and Chris’s creative space.
Now, I could just build a new door that fits into this doorway, but where’s the fun in that? I’m going to do something a little more complicated and build a sliding barn door instead.
I made this Modern Sliding Barn Door for my parent’s master bedroom and I just love how it turned out, so I decided to make one for our new house.
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How to make a sliding barn door for a slanted ceiling
Step 1. Measuring and creating a template for the sliding barn door
Your doorway and walls will be different measurements from mine, so this is how you measure the doorway to make your template. I took measurements at every point because this is just so weirdly shaped.
- Measure the width of the doorway from the outer edge of the trim on one side to the outer edge of the trim on the other side. Do this at the bottom, the middle and the top.
- Measure the height on the side without the slant.
- Measure up to the slant and then measure the slanted portion of that side of the doorway.
I actually went back and made a template out of brown paper for the slanted portion to make sure I would get the angle exactly right.
Step 2. Cutting the door
I used 3/4″ plywood to give myself the freedom to trim this thing down as much as I needed to fit in that doorway. I cut the plywood on the floor, propping it up on some foam backing that I had
- I trimmed down the plywood sheet using a circular saw on a track to the dimensions of the doorway.
- I took my template for the slant, taped it to the corner, marked the line for the slant, and cut the slant.
Step 3. Dry fit the door
Now we hope and pray this fits and that I didn’t totally screw up this project! Fingers crossed. Can you believe it?! It’s a perfect fit! Doing a little happy dance over here!
Dry fitting is very important, especially with such a weirdly shaped doorway. Do not skip this step.
Step 4. Adding the reclaimed wood
Because I’m going to be adding reclaimed wood to both sides, I trimmed a half-inch off the bottom to give it a little more breathing room once it’s hung and then started adding the reclaimed wood.
You will see in the video that I added the reclaimed wood planks on the first side without cutting them. I underestimated how hard it was going to be to flip the door over with the boards attached.
I recommend cutting your boards to size before attaching them. Don’t worry if they’re a little long. You can easily go back and trim them up once they’re attached so that they’re flush with the edge of the plywood.
- Using a miter saw, cut your reclaimed wood planks to the width of the door.
- Measure and mark the midpoint of your door.
- Attach the reclaimed wood using wood glue and pin nails, starting on that midpoint. Attach from the midpoint up and then the midpoint down
Cut off any overhang before flipping the door to do the other side and attaching the planks the same way you did on the first side. The door is going to get heavy, so if you need help flipping it over be sure to grab a buddy to help you.
Step 5. Adding the trim
I’m going for an industrial look for my sliding barn door so I decided to add thin trim pieces to all the edges around the door. It will give it the industrial look I’m going for and it will cover up the plywood edges for a more finished look.
- Cut your scrap wood into thin strips that are the width of the edge of your door. You can totally buy what you need if you don’t have any scrap wood.
Spray paint the trim pieces to look like metal. This is my tried and true process for making wood look like metal. I’ve done it lots of times and I think it really looks like metal.
- Paint the pieces of wood with black primer first, then sand them flat.
- Next, spray them with hammered spray paint. It will give them a little bit of texture.
- Finally, go back over the texture with flat black spray paint to give it the color of black metal.
Once the trim pieces are dry, attach them to the edges of your sliding barn door for a slanted ceiling using pin nails.
Step 6. Installing the sliding barn door and hardware.
This step is definitely a two-person job. The door is heavy now with the added weight of the reclaimed planks and you really need two hands to install the sliding door hardware. Luckily my dad came over and helped me put this baby up.
Because of that weird angle, we decided to use an angle grinder to grind the hardware down to the same angle as the ceiling before installing it.
Once you have the angle made in your hardware, install it following the instructions in your sliding barn door hardware kit. Make sure to install it into studs because this thing is heavy and you don’t want it to come crashing down later.
Step 7. Add the handles and spacer
Add the spacer directly to the floor to keep your sliding barn door from banging against the wall.
Install the handles. I love this handle because it has a piece for the other side that won’t bang into the door frame. It’s perfect!
I am honestly so obsessed with how this door turned out! I could not be happier with this project. I have been itching to make another sliding barn door for so long and this one takes care of that for me.
I’m also kind of jealous that this isn’t our bedroom anymore and that we have moved into the downstairs bedroom. I’m so glad I decided to make this a sliding barn door instead of just making a regular door for this weird-shaped doorway.
The angle turned out perfect against the slanted ceiling and that barn door hardware! Oh my!
The black faux metal trim and black handle give it just the right amount of industrial style.
The next time you’re faced with making a door for a weirdly shaped doorway, I hope you’ll use this as inspiration to make your own sliding barn door for a slanted ceiling.
Don’t forget to pin it for later!