I’ve had ants in my pants over this DIY Sliding Barn Door Loft Bed project for months now and I am SO EXCITED to finally share the plans and tutorial with you guys! If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll have seen sneak peeks and behind-the-scenes footage as we were building this DIY sliding barn door loft bed.
Here’s how it’s gonna all shake out… and if you’re curious about the basics of staining and finishing wood, watch the videos at the end of this post! You can purchase 2×2 lumber off-the-shelf, but we found it to be more cost-effective to rip down 2×4 studs to make the 2×2 balusters.
Fill the screw holes with wood filler, then sand smooth. Once you build the frame, you’ll just glue and nail the T&G boards in place – easy peasy.
Tamra’s not only listened to me over-analyze, second-guess, and agonize over every part of this project, but she helped me sand and paint ALL THE THINGS. Attach the mattress box to the legs, then measure the space for the front and back panels, then build for those dimensions… and so on and so forth. Because I built the side, front, and back panels beforehand, then tried to put it all together in the room, there was a lot of trial and error.
I hope you have a sweet husband who lifts heavy things repeatedly too. For the windows, I constructed the outer frame with pocket hole joinery and cut overlap joints for the muntins (the criss-cross part). You can also use a circular saw for this – just be sure to set the depth of the cut so that you’re removing half the amount of material on both pieces so that when you join the two, you’ll have a flush surface.
Measure and mark the center point on the short ends and attach the fence brackets. We pre-drilled the holes into the 4×4 legs and 2×6 mattress box, then inserted the carriage bolts, washers, and cap nuts. Be sure to pre-drill pilot holes so that you minimize the risk of the wood splitting.
I used 1×8 boards for this, which is plenty strong for the kiddos, but I feel a little uneasy when my husband puts his weight on these stairs.
I used leftover scrap tongue-and-groove boards and 1×3 mattress slats to build the doors. Below, you’ll find a couple helpful videos on my staining and finishing process.
Remember, the hardware set includes 2 hangers, so you’ll need to order 2 more because you need 4 total – 2 for each door. We did have to cut the metal rail down from 96 inches to 79 inches – we used an angle grinder for this, then used a file to remove any burrs and sharp edges and touched up the edges with black spray paint. Because this DIY sliding barn door loft bed already weighs a ton, I didn’t want to add too much more weight with the roof. We chose the 8-foot panels in Castle Grey and used battery-powered RYOBI shears to cut it.
You can also use a circular saw or even some heavy duty kitchen shears – the panels are plastic, so they’re super light and easy to work with. We used these wood screws with foam washers to attach the roof panels to the rafters.
We also switched out the existing ceiling fan for this pretty flush mount light fixture. So… are you ready to build your own DIY Sliding Barn Door Loft Bed? Hope you enjoy them – feel free to reach out if you have any questions along the way and please tag me on social media if you build this bed – I’d LOVE to see your versions!
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