before and after

before & after: repurposed horse stall doors

by Kate Pruitt

Doors are so cool. I love how much character you can get with just a door, and I love the idea of transposing a door from one environment to a totally different one, as Lucianna Samu has done here with these old horse stall doors. According to Lucianna, since moving to Saratoga Springs, NY (otherwise known as horse country), she has become obsessed with these old barn doors and scouts for them all over. Lucianna has really brought out their gorgeous details by simply refinishing them and placing them on modern sliding rails. This is a great idea that I plan to keep in mind when I see doors I like. Wonderful work, Lucianna! — Kate

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Read more about Lucianna’s refurbished horse stall doors after the jump!

Time: An ambitious DIYer can accomplish this project in a few hours. Part of what makes the install easier is the door itself does NOT need to fit perfectly inside, or even over, the opening. A bit too short isn’t a problem either, and adjustments can be made for the height when installing the track. The pocket-door install is the most difficult and will take the most time.

Cost: The cost of the project can be as little as $45, the cost for a lightweight by-pass door mechanism. Add to this the cost of the door, a handle if you wish, and any shelving you may wish to place behind the door. The cost for the spice niche and the bar installation were around $400 to 500 each, including the cost of the carpenter.

Basic Steps: I’m showing horse stall doors, but any found door can be re-worked to hang in this fashion by simply removing the old hardware and filling or covering the old hardware holes. I covered one door hole with a piece of aluminum and set a leather strap over the old opening. Another was left as is, and an old chain simply hangs from the opening — that’s a low cost idea for sure! There are many options available for the sliding, by-pass or “barn door” hardware set-up, and the prices vary depending on the design and the material. I used galvanized barn door hardware, which costs about $100 — brass, forged iron and all sorts of very fancy hardware are easy to find.

My advice is that the lighter the door, the easier and less expensive the installation. I’ve even used closet by-pass door tracks at times, which are fine for lightweight or odd-ball doors. Better hardware, while more costly, can be left exposed as a decorative element. My hardware is utilitarian, and my doors are super heavy (150 pounds!), so I designed a simple trim detail to hide the works. This is a super space-saving way to install doors and an excellent means to grab some storage space just about anywhere. While I have a soft spot for barn doors, I’ve done this with new flat panel doors painted in fun designs or colors, and all sorts of odd or interesting doors. — Lucianna

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