Barn Door Shelf

by Ashley Weeks Cart

Since I’m expecting the Sesame Seed any day now, we’ve been in a tizzy organizing and preparing the house for a family of four. Given that the girls are going to be sharing a bedroom, we decided we needed some extra shelving space to better organize all of the bibs, and burp clothes, and swaddling blankets that have been pulled out of storage for life with an infant. We’re on a rather tight budget, so we decided to repurpose material we had readily available. Our friends graciously offered us their old barn door, and James constructed the entire shelf from that wood.

The hope is that when we move to a bigger home, this lovely little piece won’t be hidden away in a closet but can be out for the world to see. For now, though, it’s serving its purpose quite delightfully!

Time: 1 day

Cost: $20 for paint/finish

Basic Steps:
Since we wanted to keep the feel of the doors, and highlight the re-use of the wood, we didn’t take any of this tongue and groove paneling apart. Instead we treated each door like one big piece of wood. Careful not to cut through any of the screws that hold it together,  we sawed a straight line horizontally about 1/3rd from the bottom of the door. When we did this on the other door, it gave us our two sides. We then took the bigger 2/3rd pieces and cut them in half vertically. This gave us the four identical pieces we needed – 3 for the shelves, and one for the back. With a little sanding and planing we were able to get these 4 pieces exactly the same size which made assembly easy. We choose what we thought was the most interesting piece to be the back of the shelf. Then we sanded everything down, and fit our 6 pieces together. Since our little hardware store didn’t have a whitewash stain, we got a latex eggshell and diluted it, almost one-to-one, with water and put a single coat on to help highlight the grain of the wood and give it a softer feel. With such a thin layer of diluted paint, it was easy to sand down and see as much of the grain as we wanted. With a clear poly semi-gloss on top, we gave it a little bit more protection, and just a hint of sheen. We know that this will get much use throughout our lives in any number of homes and living situations!