Barn Door to Replace Pocket Door

Hello again! I wanted to share as our first home improvement post our crazy pocket door makeover. We started out with your typical, ugly, brown, cheap pocket door that separated our kitchen and laundry room. Now these things may look flimsy, but when they decided to BUILD THE HOUSE AROUND IT in 1959, that made it a wee bit stronger.

You can't just lift it up a little and have the casters come off the rail. No, you would have to remove all of the drywall around it to get to the rail and remove the whole thing. That's the professional way, anyway.
Our way was to bang on it with a sledgehammer, grab it and shake vigorously, and oh yeah...my poor husband doing the cartoon wind up, back up and get a running start, then run at it real fast and hard, shoulder first...and promptly bounce backwards off it. I even heard the DOIINNNG!. Lets just say that last one resulted in an ice down later, followed by a week of not being able to lift his arm above waist level. We finally got it out with the use of the saw zawl and a lot of (1) armed power.

We had the empty doorway hole for over a year when we got Daisy, our basset hound. We keep the cats food and litter box in the laundry room and she kept wanting to go in there and get at it. We needed a better solution to keep her out other than the laundry basket and coke box barrier we were falling over getting between rooms.

Although I would normally be down for tearing down the wall and finally get the rail out to put in a new pocket door, I just wasn't up for it this time. I had just painted the laundry room and I didn't want to have to re-do everything. The solution was to try and put up some kind of barn door contraption.
I went to our local Habitat For Humanity Restore and found an antique bedroom door.

Lovin' that hardware!

I was thinking I was going to paint it, but as I sanded down through the layers of time, I found it had a few different colors coming through that looked pretty cool.

After sanding with my 'mouse' for what seemed like weeks, I finally was starting to get the look I wanted. I stenciled a little design on it, gave 'er some polly and called it a day.

Hanging it wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. We needed an 8ft rail and this is a 10ft room. We had to make some adjustments to the rail.

Enter husband armed with a metal cutting saw. Make sure if you do this, your husband isn't pointing said saw at a cardboard box full of paper. :)

We put up a painted support board, then attached half of the rail.


Then we attached the castor's to the top of the door. (I'm sorry I don't have pics of this step.) I had painted and nailed a support board to the face because the door wasn't thick enough to support the bolts, and the plates for the castor's were too wide for it. We slid it in and then attached the other side of the rail. The support brackets that fit over the rail went right over the seam. You should make sure you're making your cut at a stud so there is extra support when it slides over that area.

And there she is! All new and pretty. All of the colors you see are from just sanding down through the layers of paint.

From the kitchen side

And from the laundry room side.

That's the face support board on this side. I should add here that we took out the frame on this side because the door was rubbing at the top a little. I ripped down some plywood and white washed it. We used the old frame boards as kind of a template. I think the frame could use a little more paint.

We also put a slider down at the bottom on this side to help with stability.

My husband also trimmed out the hole to match the other side of the door jam.

Well, it keeps Daisy from eating the cat food. But not my pinecones...

Y'all come back soon!



  1. Turned out pretty cool!

    Still time to share over at our party- Give Me The Goods

  2. LOVE the hardware and oh my goodness! It looks gorgeous!

    Thanks for sharing at Give Me The Goods Monday!
    Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

    1. Thank you so much, Jenna! And thanks for hosting. :)

  3. This looks great! Love the patina. Working with old doors is a test of patience, but the result is so worthwhile!

    1. Thanks! I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.


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