DIY : Sliding Track Doors

Our absolute favorite design trick is to take something ordinary and turn into a showstopper. And that's just what we did when we found these old Chinese restaurant doors for our client's attic master suite closet! So how about we show you how you can make something like this, too? 


But before we dig into the DIY.....

Designer Tip:

Always look to the architectural elements in your space to be the showstopper. Don't just go budget-friendly on every single thing. In this case, instead of spending $150 on boring closet doors from the big box stores, we spent about $300 to buy, then fix up these old restaurant doors. Take a look at the after pictures in this space. If we had generic doors here, the ENTIRE space would fall flat. Because of that small splurge we actually SAVED money because you don't need a single thing in here besides those doors - no wall art, no curtains, no plants, etc. THEY are the art piece. THEY are the showstopper. So I encourage you to think outside the box when it comes to the materials you choose for your space and see if you can make something architectural be your wow-factor! 


Now for the DIY 

step 1

Clean the doors thoroughly. I don't care how good a quality of paint you buy, nothing will stick if there's years of grime stuck on there. Use a 50:50 vinegar/water solution and scrub scrub scrub. Your method depends on the type of doors you have. Maybe a squirt bottle and brillo brush work well,  maybe a bucket of the solution and a dish rag is best. You may even need to try a few techniques to get into the nooks and crannies. Once clean, give it a few days to dry out before painting. 

step 2

These doors needed to be taller, so we put a back on them so that the new top area had something to be secured to. We purchased a 1/4" thick sheet of plywood and cut it down to size using a table saw (you could use a skill saw, too). We painted the back before securing the door on top. Since our doors were so thick and we wanted to ensure everything was covered well with paint. We used wood glue and pin nails to secure it all. The pin nails should be long enough to go into the plywood, but not all the way through! Your typical wood glue (this is our go-to wood glue) will work just fine. If your doors are warped at all, you may need to clamp it together and let the glue dry for a few hours or overnight. 



step 3

Build the top pieces! We bought a mix of wood trim pieces from Home Depot that we thought complemented what was already on the door, then made up our own unique design. We cut everything to size using a mitre saw, then used wood clue and pin nails to secure it to the back. 


As you can see below, we actually built our design around ensuring we had pieces big (and strong) enough to secure the sliding door brackets to. 


step 4

Paint! We don't have any pictures of this step. But given the intricacy of this design, there's really no way you can successfully paint it by hand with a brush or roller. We used a professional paint sprayer but you could even use cans of spray paint if you wanted to. Just make sure you use a good quality primer as the first coat. Then paint for the second (or maybe third) coat. 

step 5

Install the track and enjoy all your hard work! We chose a white track because we wanted it to blend in with the wall. Again, the doors are the showstoppers here, right! This is the 6' long version of the sliding door track we used. It'd be good for a single door. Looks like Amazon isn't currently selling the double-door version. 


after photos from the amazing photography, Lucy over at Shuttersmack