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How to Make a Board and Batten Exterior Barn Door (Step by Step)

This tutorial will show you how to make a board and batten exterior barn door.

The “how to build an exterior hinged barn door” is a step by step guide on how to create an exterior barn door. The article also includes the materials needed, and detailed instructions on how to make the project.

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Looking for instructions on how to build a board and batten external barn door?

A board and batten style barn door is a particular form of barn door that has come to be associated with barn doors. We’ll teach you how to create your own board and batten exterior barn door step by step in this post.

How-to-Make-a-Board-and-Batten-Exterior-Barn-Door

Contents Table of Contents

 

  • Needed Tools and Supplies
  • The History of Barn Doors
  • Preparation for Barn Door Construction
  • Finish the batten and board door with a coat of paint.

Needed Tools and Supplies

We’ll be creating a 32″X82″ door to cover a 30″ outdoor laundry room for this job.

  • 3 1X12X8
  • 3 1X4X8
  • 1 1X4X10
  • 1 1X6X6
  • 14 coarse thread screws in a box
  • Miter Saw (Miter Saw)
  • Saw at the table
  • Drill

 

In recent years, everything to do with barn doors or barn door hardware has become Pinterest catnip. They’re no longer confined to outside barns. 

People are strewn around their homes with them. The door’s sliding feature comes in handy in many circumstances when a hinged door would be in the way while open. 

This post will focus primarily on how to create a real rustic board and batten door that can withstand external temperature fluctuations. An outside door must be able to expand and contract in response to changes in the weather. 

Screws are used to construct this board and batten door. Before screws were widely available, board and batten doors were constructed using clinch nails. 

 

Clinching nails is a fastening joinery method that I was enthralled by after seeing numerous demonstration movies. I’d never heard of clinching nails before, much alone what it involves. If you’re interested in woodworking history, this is an interesting detail. 

We now have screws, which make joining the batten (backside of door) to the boards considerably quicker (frontside of door). 

The two frames allow for mobility while also preventing the door from bending in any direction. I needed to make one for a friend’s outdoor washing area, so I filmed the process and wrote about it in this post.

The History of Barn Doors

Barn doors were often constructed from scrap wood left over from the construction of the barn and, as previously said, were meant to endure weather movement. 

On the rear, the battens are vertical planks. I chose 1×12 pine planks since they were quite inexpensive. I also didn’t need the door to be watertight since the space is covered by a roof. 

If your barn door will be in a public space, make sure the rear panels overlap in some way, such as with a shiplap or tongue and groove junction. 

The joints would extend, but instead of a gap with a straight board, there would always be wood between the boards. 

The top, sides, center, and diagonal of the front boards are all 1x4s, however the bottom is a 16. 

These planks were likewise wood, but I chose top choice over common since they would be exposed to the elements and I wanted them to appear prettier and less bent. In all, I believe I paid $93 for a box of screws. 

Preparation for Barn Door Construction

When I arrived home with the boards, I began measuring to determine how much of the 112 boards I needed to tear to get to a final width of 32″. The doorway is 30″ wide, but you’ll want to extend your coverage on both sides. 

I don’t think I got each board the exact measurement. My method was taking out any bad areas and then making sure all three boards were within an inch of one another. The finished length was 82” so I used my Miter Saw (Miter Saw) to cut them down to size from the original 96” or 8 foot length.

The boards were placed on the sawhorse with the least amount of space between them as possible. After that, I chopped my side 14’s to an 82″ length. Then I trimmed the width of my top, middle, and bottom 16″ to 25″. 

Because of how bent the rear battens were, I had to clamp them to line them correctly with the front 1x4s. To achieve the appropriate side-by-side dimensions, I clamped the outer front frame. After that, I drew up my screw pattern. 

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To make sure I didn’t go through the rear of my door, I utilized 14 screw lengths. My door is 12 inches thick all the way around. Because the screws are visible, it’s preferable to measure them before putting them in. 

I marked one inch from each side of the bottom 16 with my combination square, then screwed two sets of screws into each backboard. To install two sets of screws, I measured 34 inches from the side to side of the 14 legs.

 I did the same thing for the top 14 and the middle 14. I then pre-drilled my holes with a smaller drill bit, I think it was a 3/32 bit for the #8 size screws, to ensure I didn’t fracture the extremely soft wood. Before moving on to the next phase, I placed my screws on my perimeter 14 boards so that I could remove the clamps.

The next step was to determine the angles to be cut on each diagonal brace (14) I like to template rather than measure, which works for me. After cutting the 1x4x8 in half, I put the 14 on top of my door. 

To measure the center of my board and place it in the middle of the diagonal, I marked the centre of my 14 on both sides. I was eyeballing it again, and because this is for an exterior laundry door, I wasn’t concerned about being dead on. 

Then I just traced the horizontal and vertical lines from the doorframe under my board. It took a few tries to get the angle right, and I cut them a little bigger than my mark so I could adjust the angle as required on both sides to make a snug fit. I did the same thing with the 14th diagonal brace. 

The next step was to mark out where I wanted my screws to go on both diagonals. I used two sets of screws per backboard and measured 34 inches from each side of the 14. When setting up your diagonal screws, make sure you leave at least 34 inches between each backboard. The closer you become, the more likely you are to separate.

The next step is to sand any rough places on the front and back of the cabinet. I sanded the back boards and sides with a power sander, but I hand sanded the front to avoid sanding over the screws and removing any finish off the screws. 

Finish the batten and board door with a coat of paint.

You’re ready to apply a finish after sanding and a thorough cleaning with a wet towel to remove any dust or debris, followed by a final wash down with a clean dry rag or tack cloth. Waterlox is my own favorite finish, which I use on everything. 

They provide a variety of finishes for both indoor and outdoor applications. For all of my outside jobs, I utilize their external marine sealer and finish method. My buddy put a Cabot finish on her backyard door, which is close to where the barn door will be installed, for this job.

I finished her barn door with what she had left over. It had a yellow and green tinge to it that I didn’t care for, but it wasn’t my choice.

Finally, this is the door to create if you want to try your hand at creating a barn door for the first time. It’s quite easy to make, and if you don’t have any other tools, you can make it with only a circular saw. It’s a rustic-looking door that’s perfect for new woodworkers. Please keep us updated on the progress of your board and batten door project.

There are a few other projects on our website that you may be interested in beginning, such as how to construct concrete countertops, a tiny deck that’s excellent for a barbecue, and a raised garden for your backyard!

 

This “Board and Batten Exterior Barn Door” is a very easy project to make. It’s made with just two boards, some screws, and hinges. The exterior barn door is a great addition to any home. Reference: swinging exterior barn doors.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you build a board and batten barn door?

A: It is actually very easy to build a batten and board barn door. All you need are 3/4 inch plywood, 1×2 furring strips for the top of each panel, and 2 screws with washers per bracket. You might also want to use some sealing material around the edges just in case water or moisture gets inside your barn door over time.

How do you build an exterior barn door?

A: To build a barn door, you will need to have things like lumber. The plan is also important because it would show the opening and width of the room where the outside frame will be constructed from.

How do you make a barn door step by step?

A: To make a barn door, you will need to build wooden slats into the frame of your building. You can then attach these with hinges and screws. From there, use a saw to cut wood lengths for the panels which are hinged on one end by using an L-shaped piece of metal or wood. Finally, nail these together as shown in this guide

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