Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Barn Door Project

Our upstairs bathrooms have very inconvenient doors, the ensuite because we renovated and the door if not completely shut tends to interact with the shower door, aggravating!
The family bath is even less convenient, it is arranged so that in order to reach the shower or toilet one must first enter all the way into the room and shut the door, very annoying!
For some time I have noticed the use of barn doors in renovation shows on HGTV etc, and thought this would be an excellent solution, but upon pricing them it appeared the door and hardware could run up to $1500, too rich for my blood!
An internet search for DIY barn doors turned up a plethora of information from clever do-it-yourself-ers who like us were not prepared to pay the price for someone else to do it. Anyway, I put it on the "back burner" until a couple of weeks ago I was wandering through Home Depot in Montrose, Colorado on an errand for DH when I stopped and stared in wonder at an end-cap of this wood.
 Known by various names beetle kill pine, blue stain pine and others it is the result of infestation of a tiny pine bark beetle which burrows under the bark.
 It then emits a blue fungus which acts as a pheromone to call other beetles "come lay your eggs here it's a good place". The larvae feed off the blue fungus and the tree dies.
 This infestation has ravaged pine forests in western Canada, Montana, Colorado and Arizona. The trees can be treated annually to protect them but it is an expensive labor intensive process and the infestation rate has rapidly outpaced efforts to contain it. Apparently trees stressed by low water supply, [low rainfall and snow deposits] are most vulnerable.  The result is this beautifully stained wood that makes lovely furniture, cabinets, ceilings etc and is becoming quite sought after, way to recycle right? When life gives you pine bark beetles make furniture!
I took pics with my phone and showed them to DH along with an explanation of my plan for the barn doors- he will tell you I am always thinking up new ways to keep him busy!
 Fortunately he was on board with the idea so after church in Montrose the following Sunday we went to Home Depot and I carefully chose seventeen of the six inch by eight foot tongue and groove planks, they were wrapped and loaded on top of the Avalanche and hauled back to Arizona! Total price for the wood for two doors was about $80.
We arranged seven each for the two doors moving the different pieces around until we had a pleasing arrangement. The tongue on the right side and groove on the left of each door had to be "ripped" to give a smooth edge then cut to the length we need. We decided to put cross pieces only top and bottom to provide integrity and not add the traditional diagonals for a more rustic effect, I wanted to keep it simple, a bit more modern looking.
 After glueing and attaching the carriage bolts a light sanding was all that was needed before sealing. Here the doors are laid backside up where there are many more grooves and the cross pieces do not show.
On the advice of Angela in the paint department at our HD here in Phx, we chose this product to finish the doors. It came highly recommended and after using it we would strongly recommend it ourselves, it goes on far nicer and easier, dries super fast and gives a soft satin finish. We used one and a half cans for two coats, cost about $30.
One coat done, wait two hours, a very light sanding and the second coat goes on.
We co-painted, Walt did one end and I the other and we met in the middle, it was fast! This product is self leveling and consequently brush strokes are not evident, nice because neither of us are great painters! 
Both sides completed, time for the hardware which can run $500, but cost us less than $100 for each door from Amazon, shipping included. 
It is nicely made, stainless steel though there are other options, heavy weight nothing flimsy. We purchased this latch for the hall bathroom door also from Amazon, $7, we probably won't bother with a latch for the ensuite.
I think attaching the hardware is not complicated, DH seemed to have no problem with it, accurate measuring and leveling are the most difficult. He had to make a couple of minor adjustments to account for the fact that the frame for the door remains and also the baseboard so the door is not flush to the wall but to the trim.
One down one to go, we are still waiting on the hardware for the second door.
The first beautiful door is hung and I love it, great job Honey!
A close up of the track and below, the view from inside the bathroom
 And a close up of that stunning wood grain. Total cost for this project about $320 for two doors, better even than any of the DYI reports I saw online.
I did a quick and inexpensive update of this area,
painting the walls a soft sea foam green and making a new shower curtain, fabric on sale 60% off total cost under $20.
 The cabinet was sprayed with Espresso paint to give it a new look
and I am very happy with the results. Paint is the biggest bang for the least bucks and a fast way to transform any area.


Gari in AL said...

I LOVE your door and am so impressed that the two of you could accomplish this.

Cactusneedle said...

The project turned out beautifully!