For Your Inspiration Board: Two Uniquely Creative Ideas for DIY Sliding Doors

published Aug 4, 2017
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(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Though you can buy any number of ready-made sliding barn-style doors from your local hardware store, you might be more of the DIY type, or you may have a home that needs a unique sliding door solution. (Or maybe you’re just not into the rustic farmhouse modern look.) Here are two beautiful homes feature sliding doors made out of unusual (and affordable) materials that could be inspiration for a sliding door solution of your own.

(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Case Study 1

In this eclectic attic apartment, Arnie needed a solution to divide the bedroom space from the rest of the attic’s open-layout floor plan. Rather than go for hinged doors to her bedroom alcove, she chose instead to have a long, large sliding door installed in the doorway opening. The result is a sleek-looking wall when viewed from either side. But while the use of a sliding door here isn’t all that unique, it’s what the door is made from that’s worth noting: It’s actually three affordable hollow-core doors glued together!

(Image credit: Samara Vise)

Arnie explains that three hollow-core doors were glued to each other to create one long horizontal panel. Then, strips of metal were attached to the sides with screws to reinforce and add strength. In Arnie’s case, she chose to have doors painted in a way that camouflaged the lines where the doors meet, but I would venture to say you could use joint compound or something similar on the spots where the doors meet, creating one smooth surface.

Why go to all the trouble of gluing three hollow-core doors together in the first place? Well in Arnie’s case, the door opening she wanted to cover was large, so by choosing cheap building materials she was able to afford the sliding track hardware. Hollow-core doors are much lighter than one single solid piece of wood, which is also easier to open and close.

Another benefit to this solution is the way the sliding hardware is hidden — it’s tucked into the casing, rather than visibly attached to the sliding door. Instead of a “farmhouse modern” look, it just looks modern!

(Image credit: Federico Paul)

Case Study 2

Another unique sliding door solution can be found in Jana and Mariano’s Buenos Aires home. The homeowners were searching for a way to wall off the kitchen and other “messier” areas of the house when they wanted, but with such tall ceilings and wide door openings, adding store-bought sliding doors was a costly proposition. Instead, they chose an affordable building material, and the result is surprisingly elegant.

OSB comes in large sheets and is sturdy. The downside is that it’s heavy, even heavier than plywood. That’s why in Jana and Mariano’s home, like in Arnie’s, the sliding doors were deliberately created in a way that makes them physically lighter.

(Image credit: Provided by Jana)

These giant sliding doors are actually hollow, as well. Here, two thin OSB boards were combined with long strips of wood along the sides, top and bottom to create a giant hollow panel, instead of just using a thick piece of OSB. Several of these hollow panels were stacked on top of each other and connected to create these tall doors. Thin strips of metal disguise where the OSB panels meet on the face of the doors, adding an interesting detail that adds strength as well as makes them look designed. Sanding and a semi-gloss finish on top of the OSB material give the doors a finished look. The result is two HUGE doors that are light enough to use and that add an industrial-style vibe to the home.

The sliding track hardware is hidden here as well. The tracks that the doors fit into and slide on is behind an MDF panel that was installed in front of the sliding metal hardware at the top of the doors. Painted white, the MDF panel blends into the wall and beautifully hides any bulky, dark metal hardware. Like in Arnie’s space, this deliberate design makes the sliding doors look sleek and intentional, more architectural and industrial rather than rustic.

(Image credit: Federico Paul)

More sliding door inspiration: