Z Door Goes Up

A fabulously easy barn style z door!

Ok y'all my confidence is soaring after my build on Monday! Monday was a fabulous day. No. Kids. Yay! AND I built an awesome fabulous z door for my closet! You may have gotten some sneaky peak on my Instagram account, if you don't follow me, click here.

I am going to fill you in on how I built my "z" style barn door. Now this is fairly simple project. However sometimes the simplest things go awry when I get behind the "construction" of a project. This was a super simple DIY job. And I had so much fun...I cannot wait to build some more. My biggest problem is how am I going to finish this one. {I finished this masterpiece in aged white finish, for tutorial click here.}


  • 7 - 1"x6" @8' {my door was 30" wide}
  • 1 1/4" screws


  • table saw
  • miter saw
  • drill
  • shims
  • level
  • clamps {especially if you plan on gluing the boards}

Start off by getting the exact measurements for your z door. We put in this doorway over 8 years ago...meaning our skills weren't as honed then. The door was one dimension on the top and another on the bottom. Yay. I also had fun with the height of the door. Old farmhouses generally have sloping floors and ours is no exception.

Door opening for my fabulous Z Door

Once you have your measurements get your paper, scrap or graph, and start deciding where you want your  "z". Some people do it old style, like I did, others do the new style where upper and lower horizontal braces are flush with the top and bottom of the door. While designing allow for your hardware. I used gate hardware like this. And remember to give your self a little gap! You need the gap, it prevents rubbing and loosing the finish.

Z Door - Always good to write your measurements down.

I wasn't to concerned about the door gaps, it was more important to me that the door was plumb. If framing our the door definitely make it plumb. It will save you grief later. My door width ended up being 29 1/2". I made the height 76 1/2". Take 4 of your boards and strip them to 5" with your table saw. {Standard dimensions for a 1" x 6" are 3/4" by 5 1/2".} Take 2 of your boards and strip them down 4 3/4". NOTE: stripping boards to these dimensions will get you a 29 1/2" wide door. Cut 2 boards to 29 1/2". You can choose to strip them to whatever width you choose.

Now I had a funky angle to contend with. So I cut the length and angle board by board starting with the short side. Now you could also build the door to overall height and then cut the angle. Which probably would have been easier. But that would not work for me since our farmhouse has "character" i.e. really awkward stairs.

Once the angled boards were cut I laid them down on my floor/level surface and clamped the boards together. I then placed the horizontal part of the "z" where I wanted it. About 9 1/2" down from the short side.

Z Door construction is really simple.

Use the 1 1/4" screws to attach the Z door top and bottom horizontal boards. You can also use wood glue for added integrity. Since I was cutting each board individually, darn stairs, I attached one board at a time.

Next, add your angle of your "z". I am usually not very good with angles so I cut my angle board at 4 feet long. I placed it on top of the back {z side} and marked where I needed to be.

After cutting the appropriate angle with Hubby's miter saw, I tested my accuracy, perfect!

The back of your Z Door.

Close up of how your angled Z should meet on your z door.

After you have your door put together, you should be ready to put it in your opening. Now is the time to have some fun with shims. Please, please, please ask for help on this part. It will make things so much easier. I want to apologize, it is hard to juggle sometimes so I do not have pictures for this part. I placed my shims towards the top and bottom of the door trying to get somewhat even gap. More importantly I wanted the door to be plumb. {Straight up and down.} Once I got the z door centered and plumb I attached the hinges.

I had one major snafu with my build, I originally put the hinges and latch on the wrong sides! Oops. The door won't open this way.

Z door with hinges on the wrong side, but still pretty.

As a result of that silliness I had to re-shim the door. It took me about 20 minutes to fix my mistake...ah much better. I love my Z door for my closet!

Z door all finished with hinges on the right side! Yay!

Now if I could finish another project I am working on this week would be golden.