Barn doors are exactly what they sound like; doors that have been designed to resemble those found on barns and farms. The doors are often made of unfinished wood to give it a more rustic look, comprised of several wood planks (or made to look as such) instead of a single piece of wood, and additional raised (often diagonal or crisscrossed) planks attached to the door. Many models also slide open on a pulley system instead of swinging out on a hinge system.
Why buy barn doors for your home?
Barn doors are cute and stylish, and replacing some or all of your doors in your home with barn doors is an easy and effective way to change up your living space when you’re ready for something new. It’s also a great way to add a more rustic look to a room or the whole home without doing a complete renovation or buying all new furniture and decor. The nice thing about barn doors is that they can take the place of pretty much any door inside your home.
Since barn doors tend to be made of unfinished wood, they’re easy to stain to whatever color you prefer. The way barn doors tend to slide open rather than swing open on hinges makes them a better choice for certain homes. As a result, not only do barn doors take up less space when open, but you won’t have to worry about accidentally hitting or bumping your walls with the doors when you open them, which can lead to denting, scratching, or other damage without door stoppers.
It’s worth keeping in mind that barn doors will require a bit of an in-depth extra installation process due to the sliding hardware they require to open and close, but many people find this tradeoff well worth it.
What should you look for in barn doors?
- Color and Design: Naturally, you’ll want the color of your barn door(s) to match your interior decor and maybe the other doors in your home as well. White, gray, and various natural wood shades are all common pre-painted and pre-stained options for barn doors. If you have unusually colored doors or home interior, you’ll want to look for an unfinished barn door so that you can paint or stain it whatever color you want. Also keep in mind that there are a couple of different slightly raised designs for interior barn doors that will change their look as well. Beyond the usual straight, rectangular wooden slabs, there are also barn doors with planks arranged in single or double X and arrow shapes.
- Size: Obviously, your barn door won’t do you any good if it doesn’t properly fit the doorway or closet where you want it to go. Be sure to measure the height, width, and thickness of the space so that you know what size of door(s) you’re going to need to buy. (Don’t forget to take the sliding installation hardware into account, too.) The good news is that there are barn doors available in pretty much every possible size you might need; just be sure to take measurements before you go shopping.
- Quantity: Consider where you plan to put the barn doors, the space you have available, and whether you’re going to need one or two doors for whichever room or closet you plan to install them onto. Most barn doors are sold individually, but you may be able to find some doubles. You likely won’t be able to find any larger bulk packs of barn doors since they’re not really sold in sets, so if you plan on replacing more than one room or closet doors with barn doors, plan on having to buy several individuals.
What’s the best type of wood for barn doors?
Both hardwoods and softwoods make for suitable barn doors, so it’ll largely come down to the factors and aesthetics you personally prefer. Hardwoods are denser and heavier, so they may be harder to open and cost more money, but they’re also better at blocking out sound and tend to have more consistent grain patterns. Ash, oak, and birch are all good hardwoods for barn doors, while common softwoods include spruce, alder, and pine. Pine is a popular choice because it’s affordable and lighter in color, making it an ideal choice for painting (just don’t forget to use a primer to prevent the knots from showing through the paint). Either hardwood or softwood will serve you well—just avoid models that are made of MDF or engineered wood, as they’re not as sturdy or aesthetically pleasing.
Keep in mind that there are also glass and/or metal sliding doors that are technically considered barn doors as well, but they won’t have the same rustic style that classic barn doors do; they’ll look a lot more modern and industrial. Depending on the type of glass in question, they may even be partially or entirely transparent, which may not be desirable for, say, a bedroom door.
S&Z TOPHAND Double Unfinished Knotty Barn Door
If you want a set of double doors rather than an individual one, you can't go wrong with this narrow spruce wood set.
Pros: If you’re looking for a pair of double barn doors instead of a single door, look no further. There’s a lot to love about this set. All the installation hardware and equipment comes included with your purchase. The holes necessary for proper installation also come pre-drilled in the door, taking one of the trickier steps out of the equation. The unfinished, knotted spruce wood looks great as it is if you don’t want to finish or paint it yourself. And these doors are available in an impressive 18 different sizes, making it that much easier to find just the right set for your home.
Cons: As one might expect, buying two doors at once will cost more than a single door. Also note that the doors require some assembly, and while instructions come included, some users didn’t find them informative enough for their liking.
Bottom Line: It can be a bit tricky to find a matching pair of barn doors rather than having to buy them individually, but this set of double, unfinished spruce wood doors are here to help—and since they’re available in such a wide range of sizes, you shouldn’t have an issue finding a set for any room in your home.
BELLEZE DIY Unfinished Pine Wood Barn Door
If you can't find a barn door in a shade you like, this unfinished pinewood comes ready for you to paint or stain it however you want.
Pros: If you can’t find a barn door in the color or finish you want, or if you want to create something that’s all your own, try this unfinished barn door that you can paint or stain yourself. Unfinished pinewood is considered especially ideal for such scenarios, and this particular barn door fits the bill nicely. Not only does it come ready to be painted or finished by you, but it’s available in a multitude of different sizes and panel design options, 11 in total. Should you change your mind and want to buy one of these doors pre-stained, all the sizes and designs are available in two lovely shades of brown that perfectly suit a rustic interior.
Cons: While this barn door offers good variety in terms of color, design, and size, keep in mind that not every design is available in every size. Regardless of which design you pick, you’ll have to assemble the actual door panels yourself. You’ll also have to provide your own separate installation equipment and hardware.
Bottom Line: An unfinished, unpainted barn door offers a blank canvas, allowing you to choose the exact color or finish you want for your home instead of relying on whatever the store provides. Suppose personalization is what you’re after in a barn door. In that case, you can’t go wrong with this unfinished pinewood model, especially considering it comes in several different panel designs for further customization.
SmartStandard Sliding Barn Wood Door
This spruce wood barn door will look great even without any painting or staining.
Pros: If paler, natural wood is the look you’re after, this is the interior barn door for you. Though the light wood is unfinished, the knots and specks of color paired with the smooth wooden panels ensure that this door will look great as is or when stained or painted. Not only does this door also come with its installation holes pre-drilled and a grooved bottom to accommodate the bottom sliding bar, but it’s also a bit more affordable than similar barn doors.
Cons: The necessary tools and hardware for installation don’t come included with this barn door, so you’ll have to purchase your own kit elsewhere before you can finish setting it up in your home. It only has one size option, and the arrow-style panels are the only design choice.
Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a barn door in lighter-colored wood, this model will fit the bill perfectly. The pale beige spruce wood and its various specks and knots look great if you’re not up the task of painting or staining it, but you can stain or paint it if you want a different look.
BELLEZE Brown Sliding Interior Barn Door
This pinewood barn door comes in an attractive shade of medium brown that's the height of natural rustic charm.
Pros: While painting or staining your doors yourself ensures that you get the exact color and shade you want, it can be a time-consuming process to handle yourself. This barn door comes in a lovely medium-brown rustic color that won’t require any painting or staining; once it’s assembled, you can attach it right into your doorframe with no extra fuss, especially since the holes are pre-drilled. It’s easy to find the right size for your doorway since there are six different sizes to choose from and four panel design options. If you want this door in a deeper brown or want to paint it yourself, there are espresso brown and unfinished versions of this door.
Cons: It costs closer to the higher end of average. Also consider that the slightly higher price tag doesn’t include any complimentary installation hardware or kit with your purchase.
Bottom Line: Earthy, medium brown tones are a common feature in rustic, farmhouse-style decor, furnishings, and accent pieces. If you want to extend this particular aesthetic to your home’s doors, this medium brown barn door made out of sturdy, warp-resistant pinewood is a perfect choice. You’ll have a hard time believing it wasn’t taken right off an actual barn and installed into your home.
SMARTSTANDARD Sliding Barn Door with Hardware Kit & Handle
If you're in the market for a gray barn wood door, this model comes pre-painted, pre-drilled, and with all the necessary installation hardware.
Pros: Various shades of gray are trendy color choices in modern decor, and a nice gray barn door like this one allows you to enhance your home in the fashionable rustic style with a modern twist. And the glossy feel of the real spruce wood only enhances the door’s aesthetic appeal. Since it comes pre-painted and pre-finished, you can assemble and install the door right away. Not only are the necessary installation holes pre-drilled, but the sliding hardware for the barn door comes with your purchase. All you need are your own screwdriver and hammer.
Cons: This model is a bit on the pricier side compared to some other single barn doors. And you don’t have any alternate colors, designs, or sizes from which to choose.
Bottom Line: If you want a barn door with a more modern feel for your home interior and that won’t require much work, invest in this one that comes ready to install—painted finish, hardware, and all.
Replacing your interior doors may not be the first idea that comes to mind when it comes time to redecorate or add a new accent piece to your home, but you’d be surprised at what a difference it can make. If you decide you want to give it a try, you can’t go wrong with a new single or double pair of homey, rustic barn doors.