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Double Sliding Barn Doors for the Office

Remember that time my husband and I DIYed some double sliding barn doors and it was the biggest fail ever? Well I’m happy to report that we have learned from our mistake and these sliding doors are a complete success. I love DIY, but many times it is just not worth it. Considering this hardware was about the same price as the failed DIY hardware (that now sits in our garage taking up space) I’d say DIY barn door hardware is forever on the “just buy it” list.

glass double sliding barn doors

Alright, so here is the story of the doors…

Right inside the main area of our house is a tiny little room. I plan on putting two small desks in there, one side will be my office and one will be for a family computer. To close it off from the rest of the space I wanted something that I could see through (so I can keep an eye on the kids while I work) but that would close out most of the noise. So I began my search for a set of unique 8 ft tall double doors made mostly of glass.

I finally found this set for the amazing price of $250. They were originally $400, and the lady I bought them from said she had a bunch of sets (from an old building in England), and they all sold instantly beside these…because they had one broken pane of glass. I can replace that glass for like $5 and doing so will have saved me $150…so thank you broken glass, thank you. Anyway, I snatched them up and they have been sitting in the garage for about a year waiting for the shiplap to go up first.

So literally the second the shiplap was up over the office I was hassling Adam to hang the doors. I was all “It will be the easiest project ever, it will take like an hour.” And you know what, it DID only take us about an hour.

antique sliding doors

Problem was, they didn’t really look that great. I had planned on just leaving them chippy antique white for a simple layered whites look, but in reality the doors just disappeared. Adam wholeheardly agreed, and so down they came. So much for our hour.

We decided to strip off the paint off and have them be wood. The doors are made out a beautiful quarter sawn oak, and we figured you can’t go wrong with wood. And so out came the paint stripper.

And so we stripped.

And stripped…

and so many layers of paint came up, only to reveal another layer of paint.

stripping old paint

Adam and I took turns scraping, wirebrushing, and trying different paint strippers…and many days later we had two doors where the flat parts were clean but the grooves just weren’t giving it up.

stripping paint off of vintage doors

And so we both said “Forget this, let’s just paint them”.

And so I painted them green, and I LOVE them.

green glass sliding barn doors over office
wood and glass sliding farmhouse doors

Alright, let’s talk details, starting with the barn door hardware. Barn door hardware used to be super expensive, but since it’s really popular right now its become easier to find and way cheaper. I bought my set from Amazon for, get this…$47.  Yes, $47, and it functions beautifully.

cheap barn door hardware

I was debating between two sets, the one I bought and this one. The one I chose was cheaper, but it was a random brand and instead of being actual oil rubbed bronze it was painted brown. I gambled though because I liked how this one attached on the top of the door rather than by straps in the front, and I have to say I’m pretty darn pleased. We bought two sets and connected them (here is the connector that works for both sets) and it glides like butter.

As for painting a door with a ton of window panes, instead of taking the time to tape everything off I just painted right over the glass. After it was dry I used an old chisel to scrape off the excess paint and came off really easily. For me this was much more satisfying than carefully taping 192 corners.

scrap paint off of glass

Funny story – it took me a few days of randomly scraping paint to finish the doors, and my two-year-old (who I am quickly realizing is the family neat freak) would walk by them and yell “Mom! Mommy! Moooom!”, and when he had my full attention he would point to the doors and say “Doors yucky!” He probably said this 200 times over a three day period. I didn’t find it hilarious at the time, but looking back it was pretty darn adorable…of course pretty much everything is adorable when said in a two-year-old voice.


Then there was the hardware, which was also covered in paint.

vintage door hardware

I was pretty much over paint stripper at this point, so instead I placed the hardware in a crockpot and covered it with water and about a tablespoon of Dawn dishwashing liquid.

how to get paint off of hardware

I let them cook overnight, and in the morning the paint slid right off. I had to use a toothpick to get it out of some of the crevices, but as long as you do it while it is still warm than it comes off easily. Then I covered it in a wax coating and look how pretty…

how to rejuvenate door hardware

(This is the wax I use, it is awesome. I use it for projects all the time, plus it the best stainless steel appliance cleaner out there. It sounds weird, but trust me.)

I still haven’t replaced the broken pane…but really, you can’t even tell that it’s missing. I love how the green stands out and add a bit of fun and color, plus they look great with the fabric I’m going to use to make a roman shade for the window in the office.

sliding doors for office

For now I just jammed the entire roll of fabric into the window frame to see how it will look, but eventually I will have to break out the sewing machine and figure out how the heck to make a roman shade. Or perhaps I’ll just cheat and make a fake roman shade, since I never actually plan to close it.

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  1. What color green is that? It looks like the perfect shade I’ve been searching for my bathroom vanity. And yours looks so great with the white shiplap and the wood front door!

    1. Thank you! I tried so many before I got one that felt wasn’t too blue or too yellow (aka, the 70’s or 80’s greens), this one is called Oakmoss by Sherwin Williams.

  2. They look amazing! And what a great idea to boil the hardware. It must be lovely to be able to shut the doors and work in a little bit of peace.

  3. The pained doors look great, and your tip for painting over the glass sounds like a real time saver. Have you tried Peel Away to remove multiple paint layers? My husband used it on a vintage wooden boat, and although it is not the cheapest product, the time savings were well worth it. (He removed nearly 20lbs of old paint!)

  4. Wood would have been pretty, but since you have so much right next to these doors in the entry, I think the green paint was the perfect choice. And of course it ties in your kitchen cabinets beautifully. Love it!

  5. Oh it just looks perfect! What a lovely choice and thank you for sharing all the steps it took to get to it. As usual, it looks very expensive and you did it for so little. Well done! (And I’m in love with your new site design!) — Your friend Kate at http://www.housemixblog.com

  6. Can you explain a bit more about the hardware in the crockpot idea? Did you just wipe the hardware down after cooking it overnight?

    I have a front door handle and knob that is brass and was a royal pain to clean — so much so that it’s mostly still dirty, so I’d like to try your technique.

    1. I read about the crockpot idea somewhere online forever ago, and this is the first chance I got to try it. After I cooked them overnight the paint pretty much just slid off the hardware in one big chunk…it was awkwardly satisfying, haha. Mine had a ton of grooves and places for paint to hide so I did have to pick at it a little, but nothing too bad. Just make sure you put something on it afterward so that it is protected from future rust and whatnot.

      1. Thank you for the response. I will add this to my to-do list and give it a try. You’ll probably have another 20 beautiful projects done before then. :)

  7. Those doors are incredible, and they have great history! The color is great, too, and so much better than leaving them white, though restored wood would have been nice, too. I’m just so impressed with your house; it’s exactly what I would love to have.

  8. I absolutely adore what you did! Painting it that lovely shade of green (what is it called?) really makes it stand out, and the lovely neutral tones of the floor and your favourite couch (ha ha) allow it to stand alone. That handle is to die for! Great job, even if you have no feeling left in your hands after all that scraping and painting!

  9. Thank you so much for the link to the wax you use. I happen to check it out, and I think it might be just what I’m looking for. We’re reinstalling some of the original 1916 pantry cabinets in our kitchen, and they just need a little spiffing up. I think that product just may be exactly what I’ve been looking for (but wasn’t sure if it existed). Seriously, THANK YOU!!

  10. I’m so glad you found and bought and love and give props to the uh-mixing wax/ stainless appliance cleaner. I remember mentioning it to you a loooong time ago in a comment and didn’t even imagine you’d consider giving a try to a random product from a tiny business in rural Cali. So stoked you loved it and now hopefully all your readers will buy it. Best. Product. Ever!!!

    1. Yes, it was you! I wasn’t sure if you were still a reader or not, but thank you so much for telling me about the wax. I bought it the second I read your comment so many years ago and have loved it ever since!

  11. Oh God. I don’t know what to do as I have Lots of work to do next week semester. Plus the university exams are getting, it will be a torture. I am already panicking maybe I should this to calm down a little bit. Hopefully it will all go well. Wish me luck.

  12. Looks amazing! We just framed in a new office and I want to do something just like this. I am wondering if your doors hang and slide freely or if there is something for them to glide over at the bottom? One of the blogs I read said that door kits have a groove and a peg-type thing for smooth sliding. Of course, those doors are all super expensive. Thanks!

  13. I love your idea and my husband and I will attempt to copy your idea this weekend if the hardware comes in soon enough. I found a set of French doors we will convert to sliding barn doors for $100 this past weekend.

  14. They look beautiful! I’m super curious where you got your natural wood front entry doors! They are so pretty!

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