What is the best wood for a barn door, with many designs and species options?

Barn doors allow you to incorporate modern and contemporary styles into the interior of your home while making a bold statement. The barn door also saves space, especially where regular doors may not fit.

This article will help you find the best wood for your barn door, whether you want to use it indoors or outdoors.

Factors you Need to Consider Before Making Your Choice.

Many suppliers are selling various types of barn doors all over the place. The following factors can assist you in narrowing down your options.


Barn doors come in a variety of specifications and price points. Setting a budget will allow you to shop within a more limited price range. Solid wood barn doors are typically more expensive but more durable. Wood veneer doors are a less expensive alternative.

Wood Treatment and Finishing

Depending on the weather and climate in your area, a wooden barn door, particularly one that will be exposed, may require treatment for additional protection. It may also require termite protection.
There are four finishing options you will get with wooden barn doors. The first option is unfinished wood, which has an untreated natural appearance. If you want to keep the wood color, choose you can opt for a stained barn door. The third option is to have it primed, which allows you to paint it later if you want a different look. The fourth and final finish is a finished and wholly primed painted barn door.

Wood Durability

Durability is heavily influenced by wood species, as well as timber treatments. Some woods are thought to be harder than others. If your barn door will be subjected to a lot of wear and tear from animals or equipment, harder wood may be preferable.
Harder woods are more durable but are usually more expensive and may be out of your price range. Softer woods are more common and, with proper wood treatment, can last for a long time.


Wood may warp, crack, or shrink if not adequately treated or exposed to prolonged weather conditions. Inspecting your wooden barn door for signs of damage regularly and taking preventive measures is critical. Knowing the characteristics of the timber you are buying will help you understand what maintenance you may need to do to preserve the barn door for a more extended time.

Door Design Hardware

Barn doors are available in three popular styles:

● Flush barn doors.

● Paneled barn doors with rails and stiles.

● Glass barn doors that allow in light.

Rollers and tracks are common components of barn door hardware that add character to the door. They can be hammered or nailed to the door in a unique pattern. Consider adding faux hinge straps to the door's outer edge. Privacy locks and door pulls are also necessary hardware components for opening and closing the barn doors while maintaining privacy. You can also purchase hook latches, teardrop locks, hasps, and pocket door locks to secure your door.

When choosing the best wood for the barn door, you have options in both hardwoods and softwoods.


Pine is one of the barn door's most popular softwood timber species. It is light-brown colored with a varied grain pattern. Depending on the species of tree the wood is from, and how it is cut, pine can have various colors and grain patterns. Pine barn doors can be painted or primed to prevent the appearance of knots. A good finish will give a smooth, sleek glass-like final look. Another benefit of pine is that it's often more affordable to transport because it's lightweight. It is also cheaper than most wood types.

Because pine is a softwood, it can dent and scratch easily. When treated and maintained well, pine barn doors can typically last up to years. Maintenance typically involves sanding and finishing scratched areas to prevent moisture absorption.

Knotty Alder

Alder wood has many variations. It may form a light brown to a rich reddish-brown color depending on the treatment and growing conditions of the tree. The type commonly used for carpentry is the red alder. It gives a clean, smooth finish with refined straight grains. The knotty alder has numerous visible knots that give the barn door a rustic and cottage look. The finish is ideal for any space that needs an upgrade, even the outdoors because alder wood is also moisture resistant.


Poplar wood is among North America's most popular hardwood timbers for barn doors. The trees do well and are always readily available, making them very affordable. The wood has a straight grain and uniform textures, making it very easy to work with. Poplar offers a variety of colors with light-colored sapwood that is sometimes stripped and green, purple, or black heartwood. It is a good choice if you are looking for a uniquely colored barn door. However, the timber has to be treated, sande, and finished well to prevent insects attack.


Oak, beech, mahogany, and walnut are hardwoods used for barn doors. Hardwoods have many properties that make them ideal for barn doors. They are long-lasting and durable. They are also very resistant to wear and tear. Maintenance is simple, requiring only sanding and varnishing to restore a beautiful appearance. Most hardwoods have a high density and may be challenging to work with. They are also significantly more expensive than softwoods.


Oak is a highly durable hardwood timber excellent for standing guard in any room. It is sturdy and has excellent water resistance, wear and tear, and insects and fungi. These characteristics make the oak barn door more expensive than other barn doors, but it is worth the investment, especially for external use.

White Cedar

The presence of natural oils in white cedar makes it resistant to rot and infestation, making it ideal for barn doors. Additionally, the oils eliminate the need to coat your barn door. Softwood is widely available, simple to work with, environmentally friendly, and long-lasting. The wood comes in various neutral colors ranging from white to tan and brown and is easily painted or stained. White cedar is also known for having straight and consistent grain with tiny knots, giving your barn door a rustic and ranch-style look that can elevate the interior appeal of any room.


Birch is a light-colored, straight-grained hardwood. It is also resistant to wear and tear, which is ideal for your barn door. Birchwood becomes yellow when exposed to sunlight. It may also crack if it becomes too dry, so if your barn is in an arid location, it may not be suitable for your barn door.

Birch is one of the least expensive hardwoods due to its widespread availability. It is, however, a hardwood, hence more expensive than softwood. Furthermore, birch wood is preferable for indoor use because it is vulnerable to fungi and insect attacks when not treated well.


Another commonly available softwood is fir. It is also one of the most robust and durable types of softwood available, making it slightly more expensive than other softwood species. Fir is a medium-weight, medium-hard wood with colors ranging from light cream to a rich reddish-brown.

Fir wood is very workable and resistant to moisture. It is also resistant to rot and decay. It must, however, be inspected regularly for refinishing.

Finding the best wood for the barn is less stressful when you understand the properties of each type. Hopefully, our research saves you the trouble of determining the best wood for a barn door and the critical considerations you should make.

July 13, 2022 — Della Wang