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Converting a Hinged Door to a Sliding Door

Saturday September 15th, 2018

Go from swing to sling in a few easy steps

Taking the initial plunge into a DIY sliding barn door project may seem like a big dive, but we’re here to show you how easy it can be to convert your hinged doors into sliding doors in five easy steps.

Sliding barn doors are the perfect way to spruce up your home’s sense of style, whether you’re going for a modern minimalist look or classic design. And beyond their timeless good looks, they’re not just all fashion – they offer space-saving functionality, as well.

So, if you’re asking yourself how to make a regular door into a sliding door, look no further.


Step 1: Remove the trim

To get this hinged barn door DIY project party started, begin by gently removing the interior door trim with a pry bar and hammer. However, don’t just toss the trim when you’re done as it may be something you can use for a future DIY project.

Once you’ve taken the trim off, you’ll want to cut away any old caulk on the door frame/wall and remove the casing nails that secured the door jamb to the wall.

Step 2: Measure the top and install the railing system

Next, you need to measure the door opening from top to bottom and add this measurement to the thickness of the tracks within the sliding door hardware kit you’ve purchased. The railing system should extend twice the width of the door opening so that the door isn’t obstructed by anything when fully opened. If you don’t have the room, check out our tutorial on how to install a bypass barn door and hardware.



When installing the railing system, you must make sure that it’s level across the top. Once it’s level, locate the studs above the door opening and install the headboard. Now you can screw in the railing system for a nice and secure hold.

Step 3: Trim any added door length

When converting your hinged door to a barn door, you may or may not need to adjust the length of the door to ensure that it slides smoothly on the railing (and ground track) without scraping across the floor. To do this, measure the door lengthwise and score a line across the bottom. Trim along this score line using a circular saw for a precise cut.

Step 4: Install door hardware

Once the railing is up and the door is cut to form (if need be), the next step is to screw in the door rollers and brackets to the upper end of the door according to the hardware kit’s specific install instructions.

Then, attach the bottom door guides/track so that the door doesn’t wildly sway to and fro when being slid open and closed. Again, make sure that you check for level alignment.

Step 5: Check to ensure it’s level

You’ve measured, you’ve cut, you’ve leveled, you’ve screwed and you’ve hung. You’re probably thinking, what’s left to do to convert my hinged doors to sliding doors? The last step is to double check that it’s all level, plumb and ready for use. If everything checks out then your old single hinged door has now been successfully converted into a sliding barn door.



The only thing left to do is pat yourself on the back for a DIY project well done and enjoy the fresh style you’ve brought to your home. Read Rustica Hardware’s blog for more DIY tips! 
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