I feel like this post should begin with a sigh of relief.
It has been my plan to add a sliding door between the bedroom and small master bathroom since day one. On home inspection day, right after we opened escrow, I toured the house and knew immediately we'd be taking the door off the bathroom. It opened in, blocked the toliet and was difficult to maneuver around.
My dad removed the traditional door the weekend the first weekend I moved in. And then we went door-less for 18 months. This is not "new" in Cripe land. The past three spaces we've lived we've removed the door to the master bath. Normally we hang a curtain in the doorway to make it feel like a separate space. But this time, since we owned and had the wall space to do it, I was committed to adding an external sliding door (often called a "sliding barn door" but since we didn't use a "barn door" that feels silly).
So the question became, "when will we have time to do this?"
Answer : never.
But "never" takes too long so we decided to jump in anyway. After too much debate I decided to buy the absurdly cheap (compared to other sources) hardware track from amazon. The reviews were good enough and I liked the look and loved that it came in black. (All the door handles in our house are black.)
(the door looks totally crooked in some of these photos. It's not, I promise.)
We bought the track first (and that sat at the house for a month) before we found a door at Lowe's. Our door opening is narrower than "standard" which meant we were able to get a normal sized door and it still covered the white door frame. I could have taken years to pick the perfect door, but I decided to go with "what's available." Our house is not "shabby chic" or "rustic" so restoring some sort of cool old door didn't make much sense. I didn't want something solid because I like that there is a window in the bathroom and I want to keep as much natural light flowing in this house as possible. Since we've been door-less for over a year, privacy is obviously not that big of a deal and so going with a glass paned door made sense (this wood door was about $100 at Lowe's).
Next I had to decide how I wanted the door to look. It came as a solid naked wood so I had a few options. I could paint it dark like the beams of the house. I could paint it glossy white like the door frames. I could paint it Benjamin Moore Athena like the walls. I could stain it a cool wood stain. But none of those options felt right. I worried the dark and stain would be too heavy. I worried the glossy white would stand out. I worried the Athena would look cheap. So I decided to white wash it which means make it white(ish) but let the the wood grain show through.
We could have just mixed some white paint with water but instead we bought a mix. It's called Olympic Maximum Stain & Sealant in one. It's semi-transparent and has a neutral base. The lady at Lowe's tinted it for me with some white paint.
Two coats of that and I had a door that I really loved. (We added a $4 black handle to the outside, also from Lowe's.)
I wish I could say the install process was straightforward and simple, but it took some finagling. The track had pre-drilled holes every 18 inches and most wall studs are 16 inches apart. We got lucky and found studs for the first two, but we had to drill very close to the door frame to hit wood for the next too. The final hole (on the far right) is not in a stud and we used a very heavy duty drywall screw there (thankfully that side doesn't support the door's weight).
I recognize this is A LOT of information about a hanging door but I'd hate for this project to sound as easy as say, hanging a frame on a wall. It was intense from the planning to (finally) the execution. But seriously? I LOVE IT. LOVE IT. Well worth the 18 month wait.
Thanks Dadio, for your installation help!