Sliding Door with Hidden Hardware: An Experiment

sliding door hidden hardware


I was lucky enough to go to Round Top for the fall antique shows earlier this month, and WOAH! That place is so intense! It was only an hour and a half drive away, so I think I’ll have to make it a bi-annual trip for sure. I saw so many amazing things, and happened onto this beautiful solid wood old door that just-so-happened to fit perfectly over the opening for our bathroom linen closet. I was thinking of ways I could mount it, with exposed hinges like our vintage pantry door and office closet door…





But there wasn’t really enough room to add a swinging door in the tight bathroom space. I decided it should slide, but what kind of hardware? Should I do the barn door track like the one in our old home?


white barn door


Or the pipe and wheels from our current large office sliding door?




I decided no on both of those, because I didn’t want to have a theme going on, other than my love of old doors of course! I thought I would try out something new. Something crazy. Something like…

sliding-door-hidden-hardware-openDrawer slides! I know, weird right? But so far it totally works! Our door opening was 24.5″ wide, so I purchased heavy-duty full-extension side mount 24″ drawer slides. They’re rated to hold 100 pounds, which is twice the weight of this door. I cut a scrap cedar 2×2 board to fit in the lower part of the door opening and attached it with pocket holes and 3″ screws. Then I mounted the drawer slides to the front of the door opening at the top and bottom, and to the back of the door. It took a lot of fighting and fumbling with it to get it up, but I was able to all by myself!



I love my “magic door”! It’s so nice that the hardware is completely hidden when the door is closed. And it slides so easily to open, it’s lovely.



One thing I (and you, if you look closely at that top left corner) noticed is that it does sag if left open. I’m also concerned about the potential of it falling forward off the rails. I’m thinking about mounting a bracket on the top to keep it in place, and possibly a small castor on that lower left edge. I haven’t fully decided yet. Right now I just encourage everyone to KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED PLEASE AND THANK YOU! Which is a good idea anyway because that closet is always a total mess.



I want to emphasize that this project is still firmly in the experimental testing stage, so I can’t give a recommendation as to whether you should do this in your own home. I just figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it out myself, and see if this crazy idea holds up over time. I will most definitely come back with updates, after a month of use, a year of use, and hopefully beyond! All I can say is right now, it’s working and doesn’t show any sign of falling off. But that could easily change.

On a lighter note, now I want to do something really fun with paint on that other door. Chalkboard? Decorative mural? Patterned paper? I just know that the white next to that pale yellow looks funky, like I tried to match them but couldn’t, or one door just got dingy. I’m looking forward to having some fun!



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