DIY Barn Door Baby Gate

Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs 2

Baby gates have a tendency to be eyesores in otherwise beautiful homes. So we loved this idea, gleaned from the folks at Remodelaholic, for a gorgeous barn-door baby gate that's perfect for farmhouses or new homes with a little country charm.

Difficulty: Medium 
From Remodelaholic

List of Tools:

  • table saw (for ripping cap to 2 1/4”, you could use a 1×3 if you don’t have a table saw)
  • miter saw (for cutting the lumber to length and the angles)
  • drill
  • utility knife (for shaving edges of pine boards)
  • framing square
  • tape measure
  • pencil
  • sander block
  • sand paper
  • 4” foam brush
  • old rag

Important Notes:

  • This gate was designed for a 35 1/4” opening.  The width of the opening where the gate is needed will determine the width of the gate.  Generally you want your gate to be 1/2” to 3/4” less wide than the door opening. This will allow it to swing freely and give room for hinges.
  • I used pine boards with lots of character for a good rustic look. But you can use any material you like
  • After all the pieces were cut the length, I used a utility knife to shave off the factory edge on all corners.  By doing this it will give the wood a more hand carved look.  After shaving off the edge use a sanding block to soften the edges from any slivers.
  • All pine wood used is 3/4” thick.
  • All dimensions are finished dimensions .
  • All screws in this gate were drilled in through the back stiles.  This made it look better on the side with the cross x to not show any screws.
  • For additional support, wood glue can be applied in-between all the wood joints where screws are used.
  • The angles listed on the cut list are for quick reference only and are approximate.  You will need to make proper measurements to ensure the proper angles especially if your gate is not the exact same size.

List of Materials:

    • (2) 1x6x96 pine boards (actual width is 5 1/2”)
    • (6) 1x4x96 pine lumbers (actual width is 3 1/2”)
    • (1 box) 1 1/4” drywall screws (I decided to use screws, because it pulled the two pieces together nice and tight.)
    • Wood glue
    • Wood stain of your choice (I used Minwax water based staina nd had it mixed to a gray color)
    • Extra Heavy Gate Hinge
  • Gate latch (the gate latch that I used requires a hole drilled in the door frame.)
  • Handel (pull)

Cut List:

  • (1) Cap - 35” x 2 1/4” x 3/4”
  • (2) Short Cross Braces  -~14 13/16” x 5 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (1) Full Cross Brace – 33 5/8” x 5 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (2) Front Stiles – ~24 3/16” x 5 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (10) Back Stiles – 35” x 3 1/2” x 3/4”
  • (2) Front Rails – 35” x 3 1/2” x 3/4”

Exploded Assembly View

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Cut the front bottom rail to length on the miter saw.
DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 1
2. Cut the front top rail to the same length on the miter saw.
DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 2
3. Cut a back stile to length on the miter saw. Use a framing square to square up the corners. Drill in one screw on each corner to attach the back stile to the front rails.  Before assembling any of the pieces, shave off the factory edge for a more rustic look.
4. Cut a second back stile to length on the miter saw. Use a framing square to square up the corners. Screw in one screw on each corner to attach the back stile to the front rails.  Be sure that the back stiles are aligned with the front rails at 35” apart from outside edge to outside edge.  After all four screws are in place, check the frame that is is square.  Do this by using your tape measure and measuring from one corner to another on a diagonal (see image below).  If the two measurements are the same, drill in an additional screw by the first one, to lock the frame into square position.  If they are not the same make small adjustments by pushing or pulling the the opposite corners together or apart.
5. Cut front stiles to length.  Now that you know your exact spacing for the stiles between the front rails you can cut them to the right length.  Now screw the stiles in place through the back stiles.
6. Cut the full cross brace to length.  The opening for the cross brace has now been determined and can now be measured.  Place the board under the frame at an angle.  Overlap the ends lightly to provide part of the board to be cut off.  Take a pencil and mark where the frame crosses over the cross brace.   Be sure the make the piece on the wood that will be discarded.  The angles are listed below but it might be slightly different.   That is why you should just trace the angle from the frame.  Cut the length and shave of the edges.  Sand and get ready for assembly.
DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 6
7. Cut the short cross braces.  Follow the same instructions as above, but this time mark along the full cross brace where the short cross braces will stop.  Cut to length, shave off the corners and sand.
DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 7
8. Cut (8 more) back stiles.  Screw the stiles in place one at a time.  As you screw in the back stiles make sure that you are on top of the front boards: the front stiles, rails and cross braces.  This is so the screws hold the pieces in front.
9. Cut the cap.  Screw or nail on the cap.  I used brad nails and clue so they wouldn’t show.
DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 9
10.Now that everything is assembled and sanded, all you need to to is stain it.  After you stain it you can brush a layer of clear varnish to protect the stain finish.
DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 10



Final Baby Gate For Stairs

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs final

 Exploded Assembly View

Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs 2

Nicole Caldwell

Nicole Caldwell is a self-taught environmentalist, green-living savant and sustainability educator with more than a decade of professional writing experience. She is also the co-founder of Better Farm and president of betterArts. Nicole’s work has been featured in Mother Earth News, Reader’s Digest, Time Out New York, and many other publications. Her first book, Better: The Everyday Art of Sustainable Living, is due out this July through New Society Publishers.