September 28, 2023
In this tutorial you’ll learn how to reuse existing closet doors and install swivel bifold barn doors.
Do you have sliding closet doors that just don’t function well?
That’s been a huge problem in Gavin’s room.
The doors were constantly falling off the track and with such a small closet it was difficult for Gavin see what he was looking for.
We spotted this swivel barn door hardware a year ago at the Parade of Homes and knew it would be perfect for the kids small bedroom closets.
Not only will you find that this makes small closets more functional, but it also creates a stylish modern update.
We’ll also show you how to repurpose your existing closet doors to achieve this budget-friendly transformation.
Not only is this solution incredibly practical, but it looks amazing too.
Get ready to unlock the charm of swivel bifold barn doors and elevate your home’s aesthetics with ease.
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Can You Turn Any Bifold Door Into a Barn Door?
Have you been wondering if you can update a bifold or sliding door into a barn door?
Today we’re going to share how you can take existing closet doors and make them look and function like a sliding barn door.
Whether it’s a traditional sliding or bifold closet door it can be done and it’s really rather simple to do with this swivel bifold hardware kit.
It’s a simple project that can be installed in just a few hours.
For more barn door inspiration, take a look at 20+ Sliding Barn Door Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind.
And to see how to install a traditional sliding barn door click here.
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We’re Michelle and Steph, we a mom and daughter team who love to DIY.
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Bifold Barn Door Supplies
In order to install bifold barn doors you’ll want to gather your supplies and tools.
We used this bifold hardware kit we found on Amazon for less than $100.
To prepare our existing closet doors. we gave them a scuff sanding and applied a new coat of paint.
Install Bifold Barn Door Rail
First you’ll want to install the rail for your sliding bifold barn doors.
In our bifold barn door hardware kit the rail comes in sections.
You’ll want to first lay them out on a hard surface and connect them with the provided grommets.
Next you’ll determine the height of your rail according to the height of your doors.
Then using a level on the rail, mark the placement and then mark the holes where you’ll need to make pilot holes.
You will definitely need help holding the rail while you mark the pilot holes.
Then using a drill bit that’s slightly smaller than the lag bolt, drill the pilot holes.
If your closet if full of clothes like ours, you may want to cover them with a towel to keep them clean.
As we were making the pilot holes we discovered that we didn’t get into the structural header in the wall.
So we decided to add long screws to secure the decorative header to the structural header.
However once we inserted our lag bolts, we found they were going into the structural header.
It turned out that our drill bit just wasn’t long enough.
So there was no real need to add the extra screws.
To mount the rail to the header, place the spacer against the wall, then the rail and finally place the lag bolt through the holes.
Secure the lag bolt with a wrench.
You’ll find that a ratcheting wrench will make this job a lot easier.
Just apply pressure with one hand against the wrench as you turn the handle.
Bifold Barn Door Hardware
Now it’s time to get the existing closet doors ready to hang from our new bifold barn door rail.
First we scuff sanded the doors and gave them a new coat of paint.
Then place the two closet doors on a flat surface and connect them with three hinges, that are provided in the kit.
Space the hinges 3.9″ from the top and bottom of the door and then one in the center of the door, spaced 24″ from the top hinge.
Next using the J-roller as a template, mark the holes for the hardware.
One J-roller will mount on left and right side of the doors.
Align the roller piece flush with the side and top of the door.
Then drill with a 1/2″ bit.
Finally attach the J-roller with the enclosed hardware, using a wrench.
Fixed Side of Bifold Doors
While the door is still on a flat surface, drill a 5/8″ wide hole and 3/4″ deep into the bottom of the door, in the side of your bifold barn door that will be fixed.
Then hang the doors on the rail and determine the placement for the fixed pin.
We placed the fixed pin under our door and let it hang and then marked the placement where we would attached the pin to the floor.
You can also use a plumb bob and attach it to the J-roller on the fixed side of your door and mark your placement that way.
We discovered that our fixed pin was not going to be long enough, so we cut a block of wood the size of the fixed pin piece and painted it black.
Next we drilled a couple of pilot holes in the block of wood and then secured the fixed pin piece to the floor with wood screws.
Finally we hung the doors back on the rail, with the fixed pin in the hole of the right side of the door.
Lastly there are two bolts that need to be placed on each J-roller. This will keep the fixed side in place and the rolling side from sliding off the rail.
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Where Do the Handles Go on a Bifold Barn Door?
Now we are ready to install the barn door handle.
But where do you place the handle?
While our handle will open the bifold barn doors, you need to use your left hand to do it.
In most cases, the ideal position is to locate the bifold door handles in the horizontal center of the middle two doors and near where the bifold doors hinge.
This will ensure smooth opening and smooth closing.
You can even add two handles one on each door for aesthetics.
We are so pleased with the way Gavin’s closet looks and functions now.
When the door is fully open, he can easily access anything in his closet.
And with the addition of new shelves in his closet, the closet always looks neat and orderly!
By repurposing the existing closet doors and adding the magic of swivel barn door hardware, this closet is more functional and looks great!
Not only is it easy on the budget, but it adds that modern look we’re going for in this bedroom.
We hope you’ve found a little inspiration today!
And that this tutorial will be a valuable resource, as you add sliding bifold barn door hardware in your home.
Is this a project you’d like try in your home? Where would you add bifold barn doors?
Drop us a comment, we love to hear from you.
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