DIY Barn Door Shutters on a Budget

I’m embarrassed to even admit this, but I just started getting into the show Fixer Upper and am completely obsessed with Chip + Jo. I know…where the hell have I been?! Clearly under a rock y’all.

The binge sessions have been nonstop. Sorry not sorry to my hubby Gregory. Surprisingly enough though, he actually enjoys the show too. Thank God I married a handyman. On an episode of Fixer Upper, I saw Jo incorporate barn door shutters instead of curtains and instantly wanted to try and DIY them. I’ve always liked the barn door shutter look on the exterior of a home, but love the interior look even more. They add a bit of warmth to a space and the perfect shabby chic farmhouse vibes.

After looking on Pinterest, I couldn’t find anything that was a tutorial on a budget. Because if you didn’t know, just the hardware for the rolling part of a barn door shutter can run $75 or more. And that’s just for the hardware. Insert shocked face emoji! Yeah, not happening in my house. This gal is on a budget.

With the help of Gregory’s handy skills and creative thinking, we were able to DIY project the barn door shutters for less than $100. That’s 4 shutters and all of the hardware.

Before you get started, you’ll need to measure the window opening to determine how wide/long your shutters need to be. You will also need to decide what barn door shutter design you want to create. We went with a classic look. The supplies below is what you’ll need for two shutters, but you’ll have plenty stain, poly, screws, etc. to create more shutters.


6x 8′ Fence slats

2 Cabinet handle pulls (optional)

4 Drawer slides


Electric circular saw

Sand paper

Wood screws

Wood stain




Tape measure


You should have already measured the window opening to determine the size you want for the shutters. We went to our local home improvement store and purchased fence slats and other materials needed and had them cut them down to size for us. You can also cut them at home with the circular saw.

Also make sure you have safety glasses and some sort of mask for this project. The cutting, sanding and staining can get your sinuses all messed up. 


 Sand the precut boards. We used an orbit sander with 80 grit sandpaper. You basically just want to smooth down the fence slats to make it easier to stain and prevent splinters.


Time to assemble your barn door shutters according to the design you picked. We did the classic look of 3 vertical and 2 horizontal. To assemble, you’ll need a tape measure, level, wood screws and a drill. We were pretty OCD on this, but the spacing really just depends on what you want the shutters to look like.


Get your stain on! The color is up to you. For our shutters, we went with one layer ofMinwax Classic Grey Interior Stain and ended up doing a simple whitewash method over that. We chose to stain while assembled to keep consistency of color and make the process easier.


Once the stain is completely dry, you can apply a polyurethane to seal the stain. I would definitely do this in a well-insulated space with a mask because the fumes are strong. Again, make sure the poly is completely dry before moving on to the next step. Here’s a before and after comparison!


Add your hardware. Cabinet handle pulls are pretty self-explanatory and optional. We opted to add handles after these pics were taken. Next you’ll add the drawer slides. This is our DIY hack for the overly expensive classic barn door sliding rails. We mounted 2x 16″ drawer slides to the back of each shutter. The slides come apart for ease of installation…just make sure that you place the slides in the right direction to how you want them to move in and out of the window. This is when your level really comes in handy.


Hang up your gorgeous shutters! This is kind of tricky so you want to make sure you have some help. It also helps to have the drawer slide taken apart. You can measure where you have already installed on the shutter, line them up on the wall and then slide the pieces together to lock in place. Hard to explain so look at the pic below 🙂

That’s pretty much it! I would say our overall cost, without including the power tools, was $100 but it made two sets of shutters because you’ll have leftover materials. That’s a huge cost savings when the classic barn door hardware costs that alone.

We’ve really enjoyed the farmhouse detail in our room and the ease of dusting them compared to curtains. We have even decided a DIY farmhouse-style headboard is next on our radar. Stay tuned for that tutorial. If you’ve got questions, feel free to shoot me an email or comment below 🙂

– B –

Leave a Comment


  1. 1.17.18
    jessica said:

    These barn doors are so chic! Iwish me and my husband were handy.
    xo Jessica

  2. 1.17.18
    renee said:

    These look so cute! Did you check out Chip + Joanna’s home decor line at target? super adorable!

  3. 5.17.18
    Becky Schepper said:

    I love these doors ! Just may have to try this ! Thanks for sharing. Becky Schepper