DIY Barn Door Baby/Pet Gate

Cats and dogs.  We have two of each in our family.  Before the arrival of our tornado pup, Reba, our animals lived harmoniously together. That all changed when we brought a hyper beagle mix into our home.   When our cats slide by our dogs to go outside, the dogs go crazy and chase our poor kitties.  Alas, we needed a chic barrier to help protect our kitties from our doggies and keep the peace.

After searching Pinterest for ideas, I decided the best plans I found for our space were over at Remodelaholic.

The amazing thing about this project is it’s SO simple that you can have all cuts done at your local hardware store if you don’t have the tools or the time to make the cuts yourself.

Click here for free plans. 

Before you get started, make sure you measure your space. Measure twice, cut once.

Our space was slightly wider than the plans, but not wide enough to add another board for one of the door slats.  I decided to keep the same amount of board cuts, but add nickels for spacing – it worked perfectly for our space!  If you don’t want to do this, and are faced with the same dilemma, you can have a board ripped for you to size. Another option is using a piece of plywood as the backer vs boards.

Photo of the assembled, but unfinished gate..


Tips I learned along the way:

  1. Make sure you know where you are mounting the door (we mounted it directly into studs).
  2. Plan hardware and supports (if not mounting into studs) ahead of time.
  3. Paint or stain BEFORE assembling.  Trust me, it’s much easier to prep and touchup later. Getting stain between boards is tedious once assembled.
  4. Depending on where you mount the door, the top lip may hit your wall. Either do without the top lip, or cut at an angle on the side facing the wall to prevent damage.  This is something we didn’t think about, and we used a chisel and sander to cut it after the fact.  It worked out in the end, but had we known this going to be an issue, we would’ve cut a corner off before assembling.
  5. Don’t be afraid of wood filler.  Wood filler fixes imperfections, cuts that aren’t perfectly angled, knots in the wood..etc.  It is amazing!  Just fill, dry, and sand.
  6. Building the gate is a one person job, but make sure you have help for mounting it.
  7. Have fun!!  This project is simple, and the plans are easy to follow.

The final product..



What do you think?! I hope this inspires you to make your own at a fraction of the cost of store bought gates!

Until next time..

Xoxo – Catherine