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DIY Airstream Barn Doors

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Let’s be honest….RV decor is not the highlight of today’s RVs. That is usually the main complaint from RVers is the outdated look and the bold unflattering choices they choose to stock them with. When we decided to purchase an Airstream, our dream was to make it our own style and feel like “home” to us. We didn’t feel ready to do a complete gut-job, but we did feel comfortable buying a used model we could give a facelift to.

We purchased an 08 Airstream Classic 31 ft model. We loved the abundance of windows letting in sunlight and the good shell it provided. It needed some love, but it has been so fun creating a space we enjoy. One of the changes we decided to make was changing out the plain stock sliding doors and replacing them with DIY Barn Doors.

Yes you heard right…Barn Doors in an Airstream!

When it comes to RV’s, you really need to pay attention to weight you add to the rig. Some RVs can handle more weight than others, so pay close attention to the amount of weight that can be safely added to your rig. When you think of barn doors, the first thought is heavy wood. We wanted something very lightweight and functional for the space. We created just that and for less than $100 for both doors. They are light weight, functional, and provide the perfect warmth and texture our RV needed.

Let’s get started!

Materials Used:

  • 4- 8 foot long 2×4’s

  • 2 packs ¼” inch thick cedar tongue and groove

  • 3/8” cross boards

  • 16 gauge trim nails

  • 18 gauge Brad nails

  • Dark Walnut Minwax Gel Stain (Or Stain of your choice)

Barn Door Perimeter Trim

1) Using the table saw rip ¼” off each side of the 2×4 making it 3” wide. Then, stand the 2×4 on its side, set fence to 1” and rip board to make it 1” thick. Next, run the 2×4 through the table saw standing up again in order to cut a 1/4” thick x 1” deep slot out of the center on the 1” side (this is where the cedar tongue and groove will be pressed into the trim board). This may require a rubber mallet. Repeat these steps for 2 additional 2×4’s.

2) Cut 2 boards equal to the height desired. These will be used for the left and right sides of the door trim. Identify your desired door width. Subtract 4” and use the 3rd board to cut 2 trim pieces which will be the top and bottom trim.

3) Create 1” long x ¼” tongue on the left and right side of the 2 trim boards used for the top and bottom trim. Do this by removing 3/8” x 1” off of front and back of left and right side (we did not do this step, we just subtracted off 6” from our total door width when making top and bottom trim boards).

Tongue and Groove Slab

1) Chop tongue and groove to desired door height minus 4 ¼”. Then, piece tongue and groove together until it matches close to the desired door width. Place on a flat surface. Next, place trim boards on top of tongue and groove to visualize where the grooves center with respect to door trim. Make sure to measure the door diagonally in both directions to ensure your door is perfectly square while centering grooves (aka same measurement in both directions).

2) Rip the left and right tongue and groove boards to make the overall tongue and groove slab width 4 ¼” less than the total door width.

3) Assemble tongue and groove slab with wood glue. Hammer over slab perimeter using wood glue, rubber mallet and frustration :). Measure diagonal. Measure total top and bottom width. Nail ¾” 18 gauge brad nails into trim boards through the slot section every 3 inches around the perimeter making sure to secure each tongue and groove board.

Diagonal and Horizontal Slat Boards

1) Using your last 2×4 rip ¼” off each side to make the total width 3”. Then stand 2×4 upright, set table saw fence to 3/8” and rip 2 slats, each 3/8” thick by 3” wide.

2) Cut 2 slats to desired door width minus 6”. Mark vertical center point of the door measuring left and right side. Glue center slats to front and back of door. Nail center slats from the front and back using ¾” 18-gauge brad nails.

3) Place slats diagonally across top tongue and groove square section from top left corner to bottom right corner. Use a straight edge to mark where slat will touch trim. Cut board and glue in place. Repeat other side mirror image so that the boards lay on top of one another (We did not add back boards to save on weight).

After both sides are glued nail diagonal slats from front and back of door. Use clamps as needed. Repeat steps for bottom diagonal board. Reverse corners to make an arrow. Reinforce perimeter trim with 1”16-gauge trim nails, nailed diagonally to tie in four corners.

Finishing Touches

1)Sand down uneven seams. Make sure exposed glue is removed before staining. Apply your favorite stain.

2)Hang using existing door tracks.

We are so excited with how the Barn Doors turned out. This project was completed in only a couple days with the help of our Amazing friends at Fitts Outdoor Cleaning. What a fun and easy project to make any space feel like home. Even an RV!

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