Barn door makeover – Progress report

It’s not quite the end of the month, but I’m calling it close enough. Time for an update on how I did on June’s project. You may recall that the plan was to update the boring slab doors in our basement with some trim.

Here’s where we’re at:

A plastic bag full of old hardware.

Bag of door knobs and hinges

And seven doors trimmed out. (I know there’s only six pictured here, but trust that the seventh one is laying in the driveshed with the trim in place. To make it up to you, I’ll give you a cute puppy instead.)

Making slab doors into barn doors

My timelines shifted a little bit (i.e. my bias to procrastinate came out), but I’m not too far off schedule. Here are the details of how the update went down.

1. Figure out design for the doors. By June 6. Done June 10

As you can see, I decide to go with a basic Z (that’s a Canadian ‘zed’). It’s a classic barn door motif for a reason. Plus, I was able to keep it simple and lay out my strips so they don’t interfere with the door knobs or hinges.

2. Buy material (and hopefully the store staff will cut it into strips for me). By June 13. Done June 13.

A very accommodating (if slightly math challenged) associate at Home Depot along with his beautiful panel saw ripped two sheets of hardboard into 6-inch strips for me. Thank goodness it was a quiet Friday night at the store.

3. Cut strips (if I have to). By June 14. Non-issue.

4. Remove doors. June 14/15. Done June 21.

My Dad came over and helped me get back on track last weekend. He popped all of hinge pins, and I schlepped the doors upstairs.

5. Remove hardware. June 14/15. Done June 22.

A lot of the handles were dummies, and it took me a few minutes to figure out how to detach them. This video was helpful, even though my handles didn’t slide off nearly as easily. I got them eventually.

Bag of door knobs and hinges

6. Trim the bottom of the door to the electrical panel closet (since it rubs on the carpet). June 21/22. Done June 21.

No matter how much I practice, I still can’t cut as straight a line with my circular saw as my Dad does.

7. Install strips on the doors. June 21/22. Done June 21.

It took my Dad and me just two hours to add the panels to all seven doors. Easy-peasy (except for the door where we put the strips on the inside (closet side) of the door, hence only six doors in the picture below. Oops.)

Making slab doors into barn doors

To attach the panels to the doors, we put a smear of carpenter’s glue on the back of each strip and then tacked it with the nail gun. We let the doors sit for about 24 hours, and then I filled all of the nail holes and joints with wood filler and sanded it smooth.

I was on my own to fix the mess-up on the closet door. Since the nail gun went home with my Dad, I used construction adhesive on the panels and weighted them down with everything I could find in the driveshed.

Weighting down the panels until construction adhesive sets

I’ll be interested to see if one method holds up better than another. I sincerely hope that no matter what the panels stay securely in place.

8. Buy new ORB hinges. By June 27. Done June 25.

Upgrading the hinges is the biggest expense on this project. I figure I’ve saved everywhere else, so I can spend a little bit to get exactly what I want. The cost for 20 new hinges is still less than $100, so it wasn’t a huge splurge.

There are a few things left to do before this door makeover is complete, so here’s the plan for the final tasks and June’s final four days:

9. Paint the door jambs – By June 27

I haven’t started painting, so this task will not be done today. It should be an easy weekend project though.

10. Spray paint old knobs ORB – By June 29

Good weather is forecast for this weekend, so I’m planning to set up a spray paint station outside.

11. Paint the doors – Not my problem.

You might recall my plan is to have Matt paint the doors. Well, he starts summer holidays this afternoon. Happy holidays, honey.

Do you have any last minute projects you’re hoping to knock out this weekend?

6 thoughts on “Barn door makeover – Progress report

  1. I was so confused…I thought you were putting these doors on the barn! I guess I should actually read your blog instead of look at the pictures.

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