How to Build Barn Door Shutters

Barn door shutters add character and privacy when needed. Begin building them by cutting pieces of 1-by-6 V-groove, tongue-and-groove paneling to the height you want the finished shutters.

On the table saw, remove the tongue side of one piece before you dry-fit several of them together. The assembled panel should be wider than the needed width for the finished shutter.

Clamp the boards together temporarily before measuring for the finished width. This will allow you to accurately identify where to cut the edge board, so you can rip it to size on the table saw.

Now, apply wood glue to the tongue and groove of the pieces before you clamp them together again. Make sure the ends of all the boards are flush with each other. 

The face frame for the barn door shutters is made from clear, primed 1-by-6, which is ripped down to 2-and-a-half-inch-wide pieces. These pieces are cut with a 45-degree miter at each end so that they match the outer dimensions of the shutter.

Starting with the top and bottom horizontal pieces, use wood glue and 1-and-a-quarter-inch finish nails to attach the face frame around the perimeter of the shutter. Be sure that the outer edges are flush with the V-groove material.

Next, prime the raw wood, before caulking any gaps or cracks and puttying the nail holes.

Once the barn door shutters are painted, you can cut the “guide groove” into the bottom of each shutter and install the sliding door hardware based on the hardware manufacturer’s instructions.

The result is an attractive, functional treatment for an interior cased opening.

Watch the video above to see the entire process!

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