Sliding Door Ideas For Small Spaces – Do you have a problem with your front door? You know, the kind of thing where you have a small room and a door in (or out of) the small area makes for awkward maneuvering? I love that we have an attached bathroom in our room, but it’s a bit of a small place to go and swinging the door in the already small space was frustrating from the first day of living there. My mom suggested when we moved that I fix the problem with some kind of sliding door, but I don’t know what that looks like. And it seems expensive in addition to all the other repairs we want to do.
I continued to be annoyed with the door situation until I saw the sliding barn door we installed in the studio to fix the same problem. The issue with that door is that it actually swings out and into the living room when it’s open (as you can see in the before and after pictures above). It’s amazing. A door that slides instead of swinging makes more sense and doesn’t take up space in a small bathroom or kitchen. Problem solved!
Sliding Door Ideas For Small Spaces
When I saw that the studio problem was immediately fixed with a new door setup, I knew this was the perfect setup to solve my door problem as well. Now, another door solution for small spaces is a pocket door, but they slide inside the wall instead of the wall. That’s why they are more expensive because you need a contractor to open and install the wall. I wanted to use the hardware we used on the studio door, but I also needed an actual door to hang the hardware on (duh!). The simple ones I want are about $400. Too much. So I recruited Josh to build a door I designed using a vertical and horizontal stripe pattern, and of course he nailed it and built it lower! Tell us your door secrets, Josh!
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Hey! Josh here. The real secret to building this door is that it is very easy and inexpensive to make. A door similar in appearance can cost up to 800-1000 dollars (I emphasize appearance because other materials are inherently more expensive.) This door cost about $80!
The first thing we do is make a plan, which is a good place to start. Laura’s door is narrow, so the door is only 29″ wide and 93″ tall. The door is just wide enough to cover both sides of the mold when closed (by design.) Don’t forget you can change your opening and area to fit!
After we finished the plan, it was time to cut the wood (or make a saw, as I’ve heard old timers refer to woodworking). I cut the plywood to the size we needed (29″ x 93″). To get the number of boards in the size we needed, I had to rip them to 3 1/4″ wide. After everything was broken, I cut them to the required length, then beat them.
After everything was cut and the edges were sanded, I placed all the plywood boards to make sure everything fit properly. Then it’s just a matter of gluing and nailing everything in place. I started with the horizontal boards. Then move down vertically, making sure that the pieces are tightly joined. I used 1.25″ 18 gauge galvanized nails.
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After everything was glued and sanded, I filled all the nail holes and any imperfections in the wood. Once the filler was dry, I sanded the whole thing with 120 grit sandpaper, then switched to 220. Since I was painting the door, I wanted to make the surface as free of imperfections as possible… almost so you wouldn’t know it’s made of wood.
To install the door handle, I drilled a few holes from the back of the door, inserted screws through the front, installed the screws in the handle, and then filled the screw holes with with wood filler.
At this point, all that’s left to do is tape and paint. I use painter’s tape with edge lock technology. It costs a few dollars, but you will know the difference! I taped all the edges very tightly, and then applied 3 coats of each color, lightly sanding between each coat. And that’s it! The whole thing takes a day to do. The last step is painting.
To install the door on the wall, we simply follow the instructions that come with the hardware. This process will vary depending on the hardware you’re going with, so make sure you choose hardware with an installation process you’re comfortable with (or you can always have a professional install that part and just point your door ).
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Isn’t Josh doing well? Work together! You can see above that I made the inside handle with a 1/2″ piece of quarter round that I cut to 7″ long, painted white and glued to the door. My husband wanted a low profile handle so we could open the door fully (it’s a narrow door so you need all the width you can get), and this was the perfect solution.
This sliding door has made all the difference in our bathroom, and it feels so much bigger since we made the switch. Plus, I love the character it adds to a room’s feature wall, and stripes are too fun not to love. Do you have an awkward door that needs a sliding door makeover? xo. Laura
Credits // Authors: Laura Gummerman + Joshua Rhodes. Photography: Laura Gummerman, Joshua Rhodes, and Janae Hardy. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.
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