Barn door baby gate sliding

Barn door baby gate sliding DEFAULT

Introduction: Barn Door Baby Gate

My wife wanted baby gates for our house but was hoping for something with a little more character. Off to the inter-web! She really liked the doors we eventually found on The Pink Moose. Since I was installing the doors (one upstairs, one down stairs) against a banister, I figured it would take a lot of custom fitted work. So, I decided to tackle the project myself.

I got all the wood and hardware from the Home Depot. When it was all said and done I spent about $350.00 for both doors or $175.00 each. It would have been cheaper if I used knotty pine but I went with select pine. The doors were easy to make but I actually spent more time fitting the hardware then making the doors.

We have used them for about a month now. We ended up installing automatic door closers for a few reasons. The older kids would forget to close the doors. And if they did, the latch in the sixth picture was just the right height to potentially give my four year old a black eye (if she ran into it). Also, the kids were slamming the doors shut which was so loud. The spring piston closes it nice and quiet.

Step 1: Measuring the Frame

First I used scotch tape to mock up the hinges and locking plate against the wall. Then I measured the opening of stairwell to get a rough idea of how wide to make the door. I made sure to leave plenty of gap on both sides to prevent little fingers from getting pinched in a closing door. About 1" on the latch side and 1/4" on the hinge side.

I used a radial arm saw to cut out the frame first. Then I cut the beadboards to size.

Step 2: Join the Frame

For the downstairs door I used floating mortise and tenon joints. A router table comes in real handy for cutting out the mortises. I didn't measure anything. I just marked a layout with a pencil and fit the pieces around my markings. I used my table saw to make the tenons. Getting a perfect fit took a lot of time though. So when I made the upstairs door I just used pocket hole screws. That worked just as good. I used pipe clamps to for the glue up.

Step 3: Add the Beadboards

Beadboard comes pre-cut with a tongue on one side and a groove on the other. I applied a little glue along each board and fit them together. Then I screwed the boards in all the way around the frame. Make sure to clean up any excess glue with a damp rag and wet toothbrush.

Step 4: Test Fit

I didn't want to drill into the oak banister so my workaround was encasing it in pine. The hardware attaches to the pine and not the banister. Now if I want to remove the door I just have to patch the screw holes in the drywall on the hinge side.

This is where I marked the position of the handle. All the other parts are modified based on this location. I also trimmed the door down on each side because it was too wide.

The top of the door has a cap the runs the whole length. This is the step that I added it.

Step 5: Door Hardware

With the handle screwed in place, I drilled a pilot hole all the way through. I used my router to cut a channel out but it wasn't deep enough for the entire thickness of the door. To complete the channel I had to flip the door over and cut from the back. This is where the pilot hole helped out. It showed me where to start cutting on the other side.

I also used my router to counter sink the locking plate on the pine post that mounts to the banister. This particular set of hardware has a bar that you can slide sideways to lock the door shut. In order to accommodate this feature I cut a hole in the banister post (sixth picture).

Step 6: Cutting Down the Latch

The door hardware I got is designed for an outdoor gate. As is, it was too long for this set up. To figure out the right length, I installed it and marked the place where it contacted the locking plate. From there I use a hacksaw to cut it down and a diamond wheel to shape it.

Step 7: Counter Sink and Thumb Latch

I wanted all the screws on these doors to be uniform. To do that I counter sunk all the holes on my drill press.

The thumb latch was also too long so I cut that down as well.

The channel I cut in the door turned out to be too long. This caused the thumb latch to slide out of place. To prevent this I used a file to cut a notch which keeps a retaining ring in place.

Step 8: Patch Up the Gaps

The upstairs door was more involved the first one I made. I made a few mistakes so I had extra opportunities to use spackling paste. The location of the locking plate seemed to give me the most trouble. Normally you would use this paste on drywall but it works just fine here too. I filled all the voids and sanded them down once dry.

Step 9: Paint

"Key Largo" was the color of choice here. Any of the parts that touched the house were painted before they were mounted to the wall or banister. I continued on from there. The screws were all countersunk, covered with spackling paste, and painted over.

Step 10: All Done

Here are more pictures from the finished product.

Thanks for reading. Brent

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Tutorial Time! Thank you all so much for your sweet compliments on the baby gate! It’s a quick, 1 day project…perfect for the holidays! And, as others have suggested, this would make for a great pet gate too! .

We got all of the supplies at our local hardware store. The whitewood is smooth and super easy to paint. .

First, lay out the ‘backbone’ of the baby gate (all of the straight pieces) then lay your framing pieces on top and use a finishing nail gun to nail the framing pieces to the straight pieces underneath. (We prefer the Portercable 18 gauge, with 1 1/4″ nails). Then nail your x pieces on top. I would LOVE to give measurements but everyone’s doorway is a different size, so it will vary. Last, we nailed the top piece on. We used black gate hardware, also found at our local hardware store. We attached the gate to 2×4’s that my husband anchored to the wall.

We installed it at the top of our stairs because that’s where the toy room is and this helps contain the little people. I would love one at the bottom of our stairs too but they flare at the bottom and have wrought iron spindles…so for now we’ll just continue removing Mr. Scout from the 3rd or 4th step every 5 minutes. ??  Let me know if you have any questions! Happy Gate Making!

In the mood for more DIY’s?! Check out our DIY Farmhouse Table here!

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DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate

How To Build A DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate, Indoor Pet Gate, With Matching Dutch Split Door #remodelaholic

Build your own DIY barn door baby gate to keep your children and pets safe. This rustic wooden baby gate is a stylish indoor gate that can be used as a half door gate or as a full-height Dutch door baby gate. 

For more barn door DIY tutorials, build a sliding barn door console, upgrade an existing door to look like wood barn door, and see our favorite DIY barn doors and hardware. 

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs | Rustic Wood Baby Gate with X | Half Door Baby Gate with Dutch Door

Get the printable barn door baby gate plans

Our DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate

In our new place, we have two young girls and a set of steep stairs, which is a bit of a safety issue. So, we decided to build our own wooden baby gate for stairs, so they wouldn’t fall and get hurt.

I designed this DIY baby gate to look like a rustic wood barn door (since we love barn doors!), so we get added safety *and* style in our living room with a barn door baby gate!

This indoor gate looks amazing, whether you pair it with the matching Dutch door or build just the half door gate.

split farmhouse dutch door, barn door baby gate

And if you have pets, this makes a great DIY pet gate or dog gate, too! Build it for a staircase, hallway, or door to a room where you want to keep your little ones or fur babies from having access.

When I first sketched a plan back in 2011 to show Cassity, she immediately fell in love (like the first time she saw me! ha. ha).

There was nothing else like it that we had seen and we loved the unique look of our original barn door baby gate.

This split barn door baby gate really adds character to the finished room!

Baby Gate For Stairs

See the full Dutch door here, build the Swedish Mora clock here, install the thin floor-to-ceiling board and batten here, and build the console table here.

Over the years since we first built this half door gate (and Dutch door), we’ve heard that many of you love this DIY baby gate as well.

We love seeing photos, so if you’ve built our rustic barn door baby gate, please send us a photo here or tag #imaremodelaholic on Instagram.

DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate

This is a sponsored post and may contain some affiliate links. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments. Please see our full privacy policy and disclosure here.

Thanks to our partners at True Value, we were able to get all the supplies that we needed for the job.  The design of the wooden baby gate plays off of the rustic look.

We wanted it to be like a barn door and have a really rustic feel with some country charm, so read our tips below for the extra steps we used to achieve a more hand-carved look.

Ready to build you own barn door baby gate for stairs?  Keep those kiddos safe and have fun building!

Click here to purchase the barn door baby gate woodworking plan.

The printable building plan includes additional instructions for adjusting the size of the gate, and for adding the top to make a full Dutch door, as shown here. 

DIY Barn Door Baby Gate for Stairs STEP 10



To build your own DIY wooden barn door baby gate you’ll need:

Our wooden baby gate measures 35 3/4” tall and 35” wide, to fit a 35 1/4” opening.

The woodworking plan includes instructions for adjusting the baby gate size. Be sure to measure your space and take into account the type of hinges and latch you want to use.

The gate hinge and latch hardware that we purchased is hardware that you would use on an exterior gate, but you can use it on an indoor gate as well.

Heavy Duty Gate Hinge On Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate #remodelaholic

Total material cost was around $60, including the hardware and stain. Your costs will vary depending on the type of wood, hardware, and stain you choose.

Note: Even though the latch we used was quite tight, we added a locking carabiner (a metal loop with a spring-loaded gate) to make the gate latch toddler-proof and extra safe for our kids.

Important Notes About Building a Barn Door Baby Gate

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 3/4″ thick common 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.  This gives the wood a more hand carved look.

After shaving off the edge use a sanding block to soften the edges from any slivers.

DIY Wooden Dutch Barn Door, Farmhouse Barn Door Baby Gate

For more photos and building tips, see the DIY Wood Dutch Barn Door tutorial.

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 approximate. The printable plan includes instructions for measuring and adjusting the board lengths and angles to customize the wood baby gate to your door or opening.

For full instructions, including a cut list and assembly diagrams, please purchase the barn door baby gate woodworking plan HERE.

Finished Dutch Barn Door Wooden Baby Gate @Remodelaholic

Click here for more building plans.

Customized Wooden Baby Gate or Pet Gate

We’ve heard from many readers who have loved this farmhouse rustic baby gate style and customized it to fit their doorway opening and needs. All it takes is a few tweaks of the building plans to have a custom sized wooden pet or baby gate!

See what our readers have shown us they’ve done to resize the gate and adapt it to their specific needs. (And if you’ve built one, please send us a photo here!)

Sliding Baby Gate for Hallway

Reader Brian built a double-wide barn door baby gate to make a wonderful sliding baby gate across a hallway in his home. He says:

“I doubled up everything to make it wide enough to go across my hallway. I added a wheel on each end and a track in between with a wheel upside down on the floor to ride in the track. This keeps the bottom from sliding out and keeps the gate straight while rolling back and forth.”

Double Wide Wooden Sliding Barn Door Baby Gate For Hallway, Built By Brian, Plans By Remodelaholic

This makes a great adaptation for a hallway baby gate — wonderful year-round but I bet it’s especially helpful keeping kids and pets away from the Christmas tree!

Bifold Hinged Baby Gate

Jessica from Sew Homegrown had a small stair landing that wouldn’t allow for the full-sized gate to swing open, so she adapted our building plans to a bifold baby gate.

Bifold Barn Door Baby Gate For Small Stair Landing, Built By Sew Homegrown, Building Plan Design By RemodelaholicBifold Hinged Barn Door Baby Gate For Small Stair Landing, Built By Sew Homegrown, Building Plan Design By Remodelaholic

Wide Wooden Baby Gate with Caster Wheel

Reader Kurran built a wide version of the barn door baby gate for their nursery school and added a caster wheel to help support the added weight as it swings.

Wide Barn Door Baby Gate With Caster Wheel, Building Plan By Remodelaholic

Tips for Installing an Indoor Wooden Baby Gate

Since every baby gate installation is unique, we’ve collected a few of our best tips from experience, readers, and comments here for your convenience. When installing this barn door baby gate, keep in mind that the strong wood construction makes it heavier than traditional plastic baby gates. You’ll need heavy duty hinges and a firmly secured post, door jamb, etc.

Installing a Half Door Gate in a Door Frame

To install our baby gate in the door frame, we used heavy duty gate hinges in black. We wanted the hinges visible since they match the farmhouse rustic aesthetic, so we installed the hinges on the outside of the door and on the door jamb. Read more installation details HERE in our post about the split Dutch door section of the baby gate.Heavy Duty Gate Hinge On Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate #remodelaholic

Installing a Baby Gate with a Metal Stair Banister

Another reader, Chelsey, sent this pic over to show her beautiful rustic baby gate and how they installed it between the wall and a metal banister. Chelsey says:

We had to get clever with attaching the latch end to a metal banister but I think we executed it well. (We agree 100%! Wow!) And we ended up changing the X into 1 single cross beam. Other than that we kept it the same.”

Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate Installed On A Metal Stair Banister, Built By Chelsey, Plans By Remodelaholic

Installing a Baby Gate without Damaging a Wood Newel Post

Even though this wooden baby gate is beautiful, it’s nice to have the option of removing it later without having to replace or patch a wooden newel post or stair banister, too.

One creative reader shared this simple solution for their adapted gate: using zip ties to attach a matching stained board to the post. The latch is attached the the board, which is zip tied to the banister, and the gate hinge is attached to another board that is screwed into the wall (and the studs) along the stair wall.

Barn Door Baby Gate Attached To Stair Wall And Banister Without Screws #remodelaholicBarn Door Baby Gate Hinge Attached To Wall #remodelaholicBarn Door Baby Gate Latch Attached To Banister Removable No Damage #remodelaholic

Lesley W Graham used a similar approach with the same type of sliding latch as we used:

Attaching A Barn Door Baby Gate To A Wooden Banister Without Screws, No Damage Lesley W Graham, Building Plan From Remodelaholic


Additional Tips for Installing a Wooden Baby Gate

No studs to attach the baby gate? We recommend using a couple toggle bolts (also called molly bolts) to secure the board to the wall, to attach the gate.

Looking for a simpler baby gate latch? Jessica from Sew Homegrown used a hook and eye latch, which requires fewer screws in the wall than many latches. And isn’t that turquoise color beautiful!

Aqua Turquoise Barn Door Baby Gate For Stairs, Building Plan By Remodelaholic, Built By Sew Homegrown


Ready to build it? Purchase the DIY baby gate plans here.

You’ll also like these building plans:

plus check out our entire collection of Farmhouse Furniture and Decor Plans! 

How To Build A DIY Wooden Barn Door Baby Gate, Indoor Pet Gate, With Matching Dutch Split Door #remodelaholic



I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Originally published 09.12.12 // Last updated 10.16.19

Remodelaholic is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Please see our full disclosure here.
We love hearing from fellow Remodelaholics, so let us know what you like about this and leave any questions below in the comments. If you've followed a tutorial or been inspired by something you've seen here, we'd love to see pictures! Submit pictures here or by messaging us over on Facebook.

Filed Under: *Our Projects, $20 to $250, Beginner, Build, By Cost, By Level, By Material, By Style, By Tool, Canyon House, DIY, DIY Project Plans, Farmhouse, How To, Miter Saw, Pets, Tutorials, Wood and Plywoods Etc.Tagged: baby gate, barn door, building plans, Canyon House, Canyon House Living Room, DIY, Kids, Project Plans, stain, Stairs, woodworking, woodworking plans

About Justin


Toddler + Stairs = Barn Door Baby Gates for the WIN!

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Baby gate door sliding barn

UPDATE:  Ive had some comments about how far up the door is, and that a child’s head could get stuck underneath it.  The good thing is, you can place your door anywhere you want it! :)  For your baby or pet’s safety, I would definitely suggest not having it any higher than 2-3 inches off of the stair. When we first installed it, we didn’t realize how far up it was, and it was a super easy fix. I just happened to take pictures of it right away!  All babies were (and are) fine.  :)

Yes, the zip ties do hold them on, and they have worked really well.  I would suggest the HEAVY DUTY ties–we ended up switching out the black ones for thicker, heavier ones, and they worked great!  We only did that because we didn’t want to ruin our banister, but you can also anchor the gate to the walls if you have that option.


Baby Caroline started crawling (sniff, sniff) a couple of months ago–much earlier than I expected her to.  It’s so funny–with my first baby, I couldn’t wait for him to crawl and walk, but by now I realize that mobility comes at a price.  :)  We have stairs in our house, right in the kitchen area, and where we spend the majority of our time.  At the bottom of the stairs is tile, and if she fell, it would really not be good.  I want her to learn how to do stairs–I think it’s important-but only if I’m right behind her to catch her.  So…it was time for a baby gate, and what could be cuter than one made from a barn door?

barn door baby gate |

Yes! I love love love it!

You’ll see the black ties around the posts–we decided to give those a try so we could attach the gate to the posts, instead of having to go up a couple of stairs for it to go into drywall. So far so good!  I went back and forth on color–we just bought our house and it’s all builder’s beige (which I can’t wait to change!), so it really needed some color somewhere. I’m so glad I went with the red–it’s the perfect pop of color in my kitchen/family room area.

Good news…they are easy to make!  Here’s how we did it:

SUPPLIES: (affiliate links included below)

-2×4 board

-1×4 boards

-1×2 board

-wood glue

–nail gun

–miter saw/chop saw

– 2-8 inch extra heavy T-hinges

-window bolt

-spray paint

{barn door directions}

1.  Measure your space for the width, and decide how tall you want your gate to be.  Cut enough 1×4 boards to fit that measurement and line them up.  Remember, 1×4 boards aren’t really 4 inches in width–more like 3.5 inches, so you need to consider that when figuring out how many you’ll need.  We needed 39 inches, so we had to cut one last board on the end a little thinner to make it the right total width. I bought the rougher boards (not the select pine), because I knew I was going to distress it, and they are SO much cheaper than the select wood.  Just know there are options when buying wood, and your budget and end result will both be factors!

2. Once your boards are lined up, cut another 1×4 to go across the bottom, and one across the top.  Attach them with wood glue, then a nail gun.  Cut two boards–one for each open space on the sides (it will about 7 inches less than the height of the baby gate, since you already have the boards across the bottom and top).  Repeat with the wood glue and nail gun.

3.  For the “x” in the middle, a sliding bevel is key to helping you get the right angles!  They aren’t very expensive, and if you plan to do other projects with angles (including frames), it’s a really great tool to have on hand. Once you have them cut,  once again, use wood glue and a nail gun to secure it in place.  We wanted a finishing piece on top of the gate, so we added a 1×2 along the top, to give it a little bit of a lip. You don’t have to–whatever you like!

barn door baby gate |

You’ll see our sides are a little different–instead of the side boards being flush against the bottom and top boards, we have our “x” into that space.  That’s only because we changed plans midway through the project and didn’t want to start over. You’ll want to have your side boards go from top to bottom, with the x in the middle–it’s too many angled cuts otherwise, and it’s not necessary. I just wanted to point it out in case you wondered about it!

4. Sand all the surfaces really well to finish it, wipe off the extra dust, then paint as desired. I used Rustoleum’s Colonial Red/Satin Finish.  I then went over it with a power sander and medium grit sandpaper to rough it up and make it distressed.

5. In addition to the barn door, you will also need two pieces of 2×4 board that have been cut a little bit taller than your gate.These are your brace pieces, and help keep the gate up. You will either screw these into the wall (find a stud), or zip tie them onto your stair posts.  If you plan to use the zip ties like we did, you’ll need to pre-drill holes at the top, bottom, and middle of the board for the zip ties to go through and tie onto the banister.


1. Once the door was finished, it was time to install the hardware. We used a drill to attach our heavy duty hinges to the door. (see link to what we used in the supplies section)

2.  We stood our 1×4 brace pieces against the inside of each post, and slipped our zip ties into the pre-drilled holes, then used Robogrips to tighten them as much as possible.

4.  We attached the window lock next–it has two pieces, on for the brace piece on the right, and one for the door itself.  You can use other locks if you like, but we knew this one would be secure enough for those that shouldn’t be opening the door, but easy for this who should be.  ☺

barn door baby gate |

barn door baby gate |

5. Lastly, we attached a small strip of wood on the inside of the brace on the right, so the door wouldn’t swing past that point, and get caught on the stair behind it.

barn door baby gate |

And we’re done!!!

barn door baby gate |

barn door baby gate |

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How to Make a Barn Board Baby Gate / Pet Gate


Here’s our experience with this simple project to help keep your little ones safe – a DIY farmhouse baby gate, easily modified to fit your space and style!

Here's our experience with this simple project to help keep your little ones safe - a DIY farmhouse baby gate, easily modified to fit your space and style!

This was one of those projects that was born of necessity. When Christian was born, we put a plastic gate in front of the staircase in our old house, but it wasn’t as much of a concern. The staircase was relatively short, carpeted, and had a landing half way down, so the farthest a little one could really fall was a few carpeted steps. Not good, but not lethal. In our current house, the staircase is a straight shot from bottom to top, much longer, and ends in a wood floor. Also, the baby this time around is not chill baby Christian of six years ago, but Ruby, our one-year-old redhead, AKA the “fire chicken”. She’s delightful and adorable, but also feisty, energetic, and everywhere.

One plastic gate at the bottom of the stairs wasn’t going to cut it. It might keep her from climbing the stairs, but it certainly wasn’t going to do anything about her going down the stairs, plus, we were afraid that those expanding gate types (like we have) would get pushed down the stairs by the little mischief-maker. I could just see her riding the gate down the stairs toboggan-style, a little cowboy hat on, lasso in hand, red curls flying in the breeze…

At any rate, we decided we needed something a little more substantial, and while we were at it, it might as well have some style. So, farmhouse, barn door, built to fit, etc. I found some excellent plans over at Remodelaholic, easily doubled to cover top and bottom, as well as adapted to fit the varying widths of the staircase (the top is slightly narrower than the bottom). I built the gate for the bottom of the stairs first, loved it, and then took some photographs and video of the making of the top of the stairs gate for this post. This is an extremely easy DIY project. The only parts that can be a bit complicated are adjusting the size of the baby gate to fit your space, and, of course, actually mounting it.

  • 2 – 1×6’s (8 ft)
  • 6 – 1×4’s (8 ft – you may need to adjust this depending on the width of your gate)
  • 1 – 1×3 (a 6 ft board would be fine here if it’s cheaper)
  • Gorilla Wood Glue
  • 1.25″ T-25 construction screws (about 40-50)
  • Hinge set of your choice (I used these)
  • Latch of your choice (I used this one)
  • Small ball-bearing wheel (optional – I used these ones)
  • Brad nails for nailer (optional)
  • Stain or paint of your choice

Links are from Amazon, Home Depot, and Ace Hardware – hopefully most of these are accessible wherever you are. Depending on the number of DIY projects you have going, you may have the screws, glue, and stain on hand – heck, you may even have some of the lumber left over from other projects, as these are really, really common pieces (I did!). Regardless, your total cost here shouldn’t be more than $75 or so. As far as tools go, I used the following:

  • Miter saw
  • Speed square
  • Impact driver (you could use a regular drill if you don’t have one)
  • Brad nailer (you use more screws or a hammer and nails if you don’t have one)

You’ll also need standard tools like a tape measure, carpenters’ pencil, a sander, staining pads, and any additional bits needed to install the gate hardware you choose.

You’ve got to do a bit of measuring to decide how wide to make your gate. Remodelaholic‘s plans are for a gate that is 35 1/4″ wide, which obviously isn’t going to fit everybody. Mine were more like 40″ at the bottom and 39″ at the top, so each of the gates I built had slightly different measurements. You want to leave about 3/4″ or so on each side of the gate for clearance and hinges, etc. I ended up adding additional 1×4’s on the wall itself to secure the hinges to, as my studs weren’t placed exactly where I wanted them, so I had to leave extra room for those.

I said it before, but I’ll say it again – this is a really basic build. Anybody can do this. There are two angled cuts for the “X” in the front, but, otherwise, these are straight measure-and-chop cuts. You’ll lay out your 1×6’s in a square, as shown above, make sure everything is square with the speed square, and then use wood glue and screws to secure the first two back stiles (1×4’s) in place, which actually holds the entire thing together.

You can kind of see in the picture above that I took Justin’s advice in the original post and carved a bit of the edges off of the lumber with a box cutter. Definitely an optional step, but it adds a hand-carved look to the pieces. If rustic is what you’re going for, you might consider doing this. If you’re going to paint it white and go for a more polished look, you might want to skip it. I talk about the a bit in the video as well.

Once that basic square, or frame, of the gate is put together, you can use it to determine where to cut your cross pieces for the “X”. you’ll basically lay them out the way you want them under the frame, and then mark the cut lines. A really simple way to get what would otherwise be some pretty complex angles. I measured and cut my full length cross piece first, and then, with that one in place, measured and cut the little “arms” to finish the “X”.

Once your cross pieces are cut out, you just want to find a very flat, hard surface (like the garage floor!), put them in place within the frame of the gate, and begin attaching your back stiles with glue and screws. The back stiles themselves are what actually hold the “X” in place. Depending on the width of your gate, you may need more or fewer back stiles to cover the whole thing. In my case, the gate was a bit wider than the plan, so I had to add one and then stretch them a bit, meaning, I gapped the first two stiles from the edge by a certain amount to fit the rest in properly (you can see this in the photo above). You could also cut a narrower stile on a table saw if you wanted to, in order to fill the space perfectly. I didn’t do this for two reasons – one, a baby gate is probably not going to be around forever, so it doesn’t have to be perfect. Two, if you place the gap where I did, it isn’t visible from the front of the gate because of the wider 1×6 that makes the frame.

And that’s almost all there is to building the gate! When you finish with the back stiles, you’ll lift it up and you you should have that iconic barn door “X” in front, giving your gate a farmhouse feel. You’ll want to add a piece of trim to the top – I used the 1×3 and my brad nailer, along with more wood glue, to do this, which made it really easy. Sand it, and you’ll be ready to stain.

I think this gate design could look great stained dark, painted white, painted blue or gray, or even just shellacked if you were going for a cabin-y look. We chose, however, to try a new product we’d never worked with before, called “aged wood accelerator”, a Varathane product that we found at Home Depot. I don’t know how longer it’s been around, but we loved the results! With a single coat, the fresh pine or fir of the door had taken on an old, weathered look.

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times, the actual process of hanging the gate is going to vary a lot based on your stair case, wall situation, stud placement, etc. For ours, I drilled a hole in the newel post for the latch to slide into, and mounted another “stile” on the wall, secured to studs, that I could screw the hinges into. For the top gate, there wasn’t a newel post, of course, so I had to use some latch hardware to give the latch bold something to slide into. Most of these latch kits mount and secure in multiple ways, so you should be able to find something that works for you (also, looking at the picture below reminds me that I need to work on my newel posts – another project I hope to get to this winter!).

Now, I chose to put a small ball-bearing wheel on the bottom of my gate, opposite the hinges. I did this for three reasons – one, the finished gate is actually pretty heavy. Two, kids have a tendency to lean, hang, climb, etc on these gates, and I wanted to avoid gate sag at all costs. Three, I wanted to avoid putting too much pressure on the stile attached to the wall. Is the wheel necessary? Probably not, but it gives me some additional peace of mind knowing the gate will not sag.

You could certainly hide the hinges if you wanted – again, I think this goes back to what kind of look you’re going for. Chels and I wanted to use black hardware that was meant to be seen, something pretty prominent. We went with strong, but decorative black hinges – they look great, but they’re sturdy, too.

I mentioned the latch earlier. You could use almost anything to do this, of course, including a standard gate latch, but we liked this bolt slider. It secures in a bunch of different ways, which should allow you to adapt it to whatever situation you’re installing the gate in. It also requires a little coordination to operate – just enough to foil your average one-year-old (I also mounted it on the inside of the gate, just to be on the safe side…).

That’s really about it! I did decide to round the edge on the trim piece on the first gate (the downstairs one), because I thought it might rub on the wall or something. As it turns out, it didn’t make any difference. I left the upstairs one square on the edges, and I actually think it looks nicer.

We’ve been using the downstairs gate for a couple of months now, and the upstairs one for a few weeks. Both have held up great! More importantly, we’re able to let little Ruby roam around upstairs or down, and not worry about her taking a tumble down the stairs. I hope our experience building these baby gates is helpful if you decide to give it a try!


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But Im just mechanically. Somehow I remembered how we sat here a few years ago. what you were.

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