It’s never easy to pick favorites, but these beautiful pocket doors are definitely up there. This build is relatively straightforward and you can customize it easily based on the size and style you are looking for. Lumber is still pricey so I wouldn’t call this the most budget DIY door – but definitely less than the $900 I found a similar door for. You can also build it a weekend (needs overnight for glue to set). Door lead times are 10-12 weeks at the time of writing this post so if timing is a motivation, this is a great project!
I started with maple lumber. 1×6 pine for the vertical pieces (stiles) and 1×8 for the horizontal pieces (rails). I prefer maple when staining but it is more expensive. In my experience, pine doesn’t stain evenly and poplar can turn very green with anything but a really dark stain.
I cut everything to length for 2 frames, being careful to use straight boards and get cuts as exact as possible. The vertical boards would be the entire height of your door and the horizontal pieces would be your total width – 11″. In my case for a 32″ door, I cut my horizontal pieces 21″ long.
I started by drilling pocket holes in each horizontal piece – 4 per board.
I used clamps when joining the horizontal boards to the vertical to assemble the frames. Pocket holes can get squirrelly sometimes so a good clamp can assist with any slight shifts.
After assembling the 2 separate frames – I used a heavy layer of wood glue to clamp them together. The beauty of this design is that once you glue these together, there are no visible holes from the screws! I used a foam roller to spread it out and make sure there was good even coverage everywhere.
Next up, clamp them together! Don’t underestimate how many clamps you will need. I wish I had more! It’s important to have these line up as well as possible even though you will be able to sand any unevenness down later.
You can design this any way you’d like – I chose to have a solid piece of plywood in the bottom section and wanted a ribbed glass in the top. You can also use different types of material to sandwich/hold them in and finish it off. I used door stop and ripped it down to 1/2″ so everything would be flush.
I made sure to do a dryfit before staining anything. You can easily stain/paint once things are in place but I found this easier and less fussy.
I gave everything a really thorough sanding after everything was put together. You will probably have a little unevenness where the 2 frames meet – but sanding made things really smooth and you can barely tell there are 2 pieces from the edge.
I also chose to make sure the door worked in my opening before I stained it… just in case!
If you missed it, you can read more about how we converted this closet into a laundry room here.
I bought a piece of glass from a local glass company. It took about 3 days and cost around $40. Make sure and get tempered or laminated glass. I bought some reeded film from Decorative Films and applied it to the plain glass. The process was pretty simple and even in person, you can’t tell that it’s faux!
I used my favorite pre-stain conditioner, waited an hour – then stained with a custom stain color I’ve been loving.
I prefer a matte topcoat so I used this polycrylic.
I’m still waiting on the pocket door hardware but isn’t she pretty?
I’m currently on the hunt for some pretty striped wallpaper to go in this hallway to really show her off! Hope this tutorial helped! You could easily use this to create a barn door as well but I’m not sure I would use it for an exterior door due to possible warping.