It’s been quite a journey today, but it was just one of those days where I woke up with a vision and I just wasn’t going to be able to concentrate on anything but bringing it to life. So after two trips to Lowes, destroying our dining room table (luckily we are planning to refinish it anyway), and a non-building related injury I at least can say we have a new set of custom, hand-crafted closet doors. The finish will have to wait until tomorrow.
A normal person would probably be concentrating on planning a birthday party, cleaning the house, and trying to keep a low profile while her husband studies for the most important test of his life.
I think we’ve already established that I’m out of my mind, though.
So I decided I was going to design and build some closet doors today. From scratch.
Nevermind that I don’t have any idea what I’m doing. We can figure it out, right? (By “we” I mean me and a four-year-old and a not-quite-two-year-old. )
I saw these doors at Cheri’s house a while ago and I fell in love.
I set off to make a sliding version to replace Abby’s closet doors. Our current doors are ugly, hallow, and old, not to mention that they have no character. I want to replace them, but Abby’s room still needs sliding doors because her closet is too close to the main door to replace it with doors that swing out or bi-folds. The closet doors would hit the other door and also take up extra space in her already small room. So sliders it is. I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of ways to re-do the existing ones (beadboard wallpaper? faux painting?) but I knew I wasn’t going to be happy with the end results, and when I priced beadboard paper it was cheaper to build new ones from scratch. So that’s what I’m doing.
Besides, Pottery Barn likes sliding barn doors too, see? Really wishing I knew how to miter corners now…
Also, I’m not great at math and I can’t use Sketchup or any other fancy pants mathy software, so it’s going to be interesting.
I can use Paint, though. (Yeah, I drew this in Paint like a 6th grader. No laughing.)
My plan is to use pine furring strips because they are thin enough to fit two thick on our existing track, they will give me the look I want in solid wood but still be lightweight enough, and they are cheap. Each door should cost under $25 in lumber.
I’m going to attempt to give you these plans Ana White style:
Shopping list (for ONE door)
20 8 ft long 1″x2″ furring strips
1 inch nails or screws
Paint or stain
Cut List (for ONE door):
(16) 80″ pieces- slats in back
(2) 24″ pieces- top & bottom trim
(2) 77″ pieces- side trim
(1) 21″ piece-middle trim
These measurements are for a standard 24 x 80 inch closet door. They should fit a standard sliding track, in theory. I measured our track a million times & I’m 90% sure they are going to fit, but I haven’t gotten to that stage yet. I’ll be sure to post an update when I do. For now I’m just really excited to share my progress with you. Make sure to measure your closet as well as the depth of your existing doors to see if you need to make any adjustments.
So far, I have both doors built, but it is very hard to get them perfectly square because of the warped nature of the furring strips. I’m not quite sure how they will look once they are hung. I’m hoping it will add to their charm. That’s why we make things look rustic, right?
I really hope my directions make sense.
1. Lay out all 16 of your 80″ strips on a level surface.
2. Glue each piece to the one next to it.
3. Glue and screw or nail (from the back so you won’t have to fill in any holes) one 24″ piece across the top and one across the bottom.
4. Glue & screw one 77″ piece on the left side and one on the right, directly on top of the 80″ pieces.
5. Place your 21″ piece across the middle where ever your little heart desires and attach it to each slat.
I don’t know how to miter corners, but if you do, you could try adding a fancy diagonal board like you see on Cheri’s door & the PB picture.
Wait for the glue to dry, then fill any holes you can see from the front, prime & paint.
Attach it to a standard track.
Make sure you are following all necessary safety precautions.
I managed to get the doors built today, despite the fiascoes of drilling several pin holes into my dining room table and twisting my ankle on my way out the door to pick up Nick from preschool, which led to falling down our concrete steps while holding Abby. (She didn’t get hurt.)
Tomorrow is another day, so hopefully these babies will get primed, painted & hung.
Hopefully these closeups give you a better idea of how I put them together.