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Wood-Slat Sliding Door

Connect two rooms by sliding aside this custom wood door with casual contemporary style. Open or closed, it makes any room more distinctive.

Sliding door with horizontal slats.

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Cordless drill and driver bits
  • Combination square
  • Tape measure
  • Pocket-hole jig
  • Random-orbit sander; 120-grit and 180-grit sanding discs
  • 180-grit sandpaper
  • Level
  • Fine-grit sanding sponge


  • See Project Diagrams for lumber required
  • 1 1/4-in drywall screws
  • 1 1/4-in coarse-thread pocket-hole screws
  • Stanley-National 2.01-in door roller, #48217
  • 3 – Stanley-National door top brackets, #48202
  • Stanley-National 8-ft x 2.4-in x 1.88-in steel track, #48208
  • Minwax pre-stain conditioner, #46575
  • Minwax dark walnut wood stain, #86165
  • Minwax wipe-on satin polyurethane, #24499

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


This slatted door is easy to scale and build to fit your opening. Once you know how big the door needs to be, adjust the length of the top/bottom rails and slats to the desired length. To adjust the height, adjust the spacing between the slats, add additional slats, or change the width of the slats. If you make the door taller, adjust the length of the vertical frame parts.

Stain First

Step 1

Cut the frame verticals (A), top/bottom rails (B), and the slats (C) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting List & Cutting Diagram). Sand the parts with 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper. (A random-orbit sander makes quick work of sanding.) The final pass with the sandpaper should always be in the direction of the grain to avoid cross-grain scratches that will appear when you apply the stain.

Step 2

Apply a stain and clear finish to the wood according to the product directions. A dark finish may require two or more applications. Before applying stain to a soft wood like pine, use a pre-stain conditioner and allow it to dry prior to the stain application.

Step 3

Once the stain has dried, apply a clear protective finish. After the first coat has dried, lightly sand the finish with a fine-grit sanding sponge. Wipe the finish with a tack cloth to remove any dust and apply a second coat of the clear finish. An optional third coat can be applied without sanding first.

Make a Door

Step 1

Pocket hole screws make joinery simpler, and assembly faster.

At the ends of the three frame verticals (A), drill a pocket-hole (Project Diagram, Drawing 1) according to the jig manufacturer’s setup instructions for the jig and bit.

Good to Know

Pocket-hole screws come in fine thread and coarse thread. Use the fine thread for hardwoods like oak or maple, use a coarse thread for softwoods like pine, poplar, and plywood.

Step 2

Clamp the frames to a flat work surface and drive the pocket-hole screws.

Align the two outside frame verticals (A) with the ends of the top/bottom rails (B) and clamp to a flat work surface. Drive the pocket-hole screws to make the frame. Add the third frame vertical centered in the frame.

Step 3

Align the top of the frame with the top edge of the first slat.

Cut a spacer 1 1/2 inches long. Lay the slats face down on your work surface, flip the frame over to hide the pocket-hole screws, and place the frame on top of the slats. Place the top slat even with the top of the frame (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). The width of the frame is centered on the length of the slats. Use the 1 1/2-inch spacer to keep the slat/frame overhang consistent.

Good to Know

The top rail and slat will have notches cut to receive the sliding door hardware. When securing the top rail, keep the screws clear of the hardware (Project Diagram, Drawing 2) and the bolts.

Step 4

Use spacers to equally place the slats on the door frame.

Attach the remaining slats using 1/2-inch spacers and drywall screws. Because the boards can vary slightly in width, check the measurements at each side of the door, measuring from the top of the top slat to the bottom of each added slat as you go to make sure they are of equal distance on both sides.

Good to Know

The black finish of drywall screws complements the dark stain on these doors. They can also be used for doors made with a clear natural finish. If you choose, steel screws can be substituted for a different look.

Mount the Hardware

Step 1

Painter’s tape protects the finish while you cut the hardware notch.

Apply painter’s tape to the area around the hardware notches you’ll cut at the top of the door to receive the hardware, then mark out and cut the notch with a jigsaw (Project Diagram, Drawing 3).

Step 2

Position the roller bracket on the door; use the holes in the hanger to locate and drill holes for the bolts. Attach the hardware by pushing the head of the bolts from the back side; and using the nuts and washers on the front. The rounded heads of the bolts protrude less on the back side and prevent them from scraping the wall.