DIY Rustic Wood Doors


Rustic wooden doors are aesthetically appealing and functional. A traditional style of rustic door is known as a batten door. Batten doors are assembled from rough-milled, tongue-and-groove boards called ship-lap that are joined together vertically by two horizontal supports and one diagonal support. Pine and cedar are common woods for rustic door construction.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Ship-lap, 96-inch boards
  • Miter saw
  • 2 boards, 1-by-4-inch, 96 inches long
  • Table saw
  • Sanding block
  • Coarse-, medium- and fine-grit sandpaper
  • Wood finish
  • Paintbrush
  • Box of wood screws
  • Screw gun
  • 2 wrought-iron strap hinges, with screws
  • Handle or latch, with hardware
  • Measure the opening dimensions (width and height) of the doorway. Calculate how many boards you will need for the width plus 6 inches. Measure the ship-lap boards and mark the height dimension on the number of boards that you will need.

  • Cut the ship-lap boards to length with a miter saw.

  • Place the boards together so that the tongues and grooves join together. There will be a tongue on one vertical edge and one groove on the opposite vertical edge of the door assembly.

  • Rip the tongue off of the one length on the outside board with a table saw. Place the board back together with the other boards to form the door assembly. Measure across the boards from the edge of the board you cut the tongue off and mark the width of the door.

  • Cut off the groove side of the outside board at the pencil mark. Make the cut on the table saw. This will create a solid wood edge on both vertical edges of the door.

  • Place the board back together with the boards in the door assembly. Cut one of the 96-inch, 1-by-4-inch dimensional boards, using a miter saw, into two boards 1 inch shorter than the width of the door.

  • Lay the 1-by-4-inch dimensional boards across the door assembly so that they are parallel with the horizontal width of the door assembly. These are the cross supports. Position one support 6 inches down from the top edge and the other support 7 inches up from the bottom edge.

  • Position the remaining 1-by-4-inch dimensional board diagonally from the bottom outside corner of the top support to the top outside corner of the bottom support. Mark the angle onto the diagonal board where it intersects the top and bottom supports.

  • Cut the diagonal support board on the miter saw along the marked angles. Place the board between the top and bottom supports at a diagonal across the door assembly.

  • Sand the door parts with a progression of coarse, medium and fine-grit sandpaper. Apply wood finish to the door parts. Allow the finish to dry. Place the assembly back together.

  • Drive screws through the top, bottom and diagonal supports into the vertical ship-lap door assembly. Use two screws 1 inch in from each edge spaced evenly every 6 to 8 inches along the supports.

  • Install wrought-iron strap hinges onto the side of the door with the supports. Align one hinge up 9 inches from the bottom of the door on the side of the board where the diagonal support ends. Align the top hinge down 7 inches on the same side. Drive the provided screws into the door.

Tips & Warnings

  • Install the door handle or latch according to the provided instructions.
  • Select hand-forged or rustic-looking hardware to complement the rustic style of the door.
  • Wear protective gear, such as a mask and goggles, when sanding the wood.

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  • Photo Credit close door image by Andrew Buckin from
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