Do It Your Way

DIY: Rolling Canvas Door

If you have been reading the blog you might have noticed the rolling canvas door to my studio while on the House Tour.

Here is the DIY for that door. We managed to create the door for around $75 including paint, canvas building supplies, and the hardware. Compare that to the very expensive hardware for tradition track or barn style doors.

Ok, so first things first. Our entryway that we needed a door for was a little under 8 ft tall and 5 ft wide. We made the door 8 ft tall and 5 ft wide for overlap. That is a really big door…and in order for it to open all the way we needed a 10 ft curtain rod.

Depending on the size of your door, you might be able to do this project for a lot less than we were able to. Our biggest expense was the curtain rod.

We bought everything from Lowes and used the coupon that came inside our change of address packet from the post office.

Measure your door…several times. You don’t want to mess this part up. Add an inch or two to all sides so that you have some overlap.

The wood for your canvas:

  • 1 in X 3 in wood stretchers ( 2 for height and 5 for width)

You can get this cut for you if you buy it at Lowes or Home Depot. Keep the scraps, you do not get a discount for leaving them and you can use them as extra bracing if needed.

There are many types of canvas and if you want a fine work of art I recommend using something other than what can be found at the hardware store. However, for this project, a canvas drop cloth works perfectly and is very inexpensive compared to the canvas you would by at an art supply store.

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Here is a video on how to build a canvas. You can make variations as needed, but this is the basic  principle.

After you have your canvas put together make sure it is sturdy. If the canvas is not entirely tight, don’t worry too much. The gesso and the water will tighten things up. Put two to three coats of gesso on the canvas, letting each coat dry before applying the next. Splash some water on the back of the canvas to make it tighter. Do NOT drench the canvas.

Paint your canvas. Be creative!

Here is an in progress shot of our canvas door. C.J. and I had fun collaborating!

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After you are finished painting the canvas and it is dry attach the eye screws to the top of the canvas. I recommend that these screws be as close to the edges as possible, but not too close or the wood will crack. You can use a screw driver to help screw the eye screw all the way into the wood. Make sure that the eye screws you choose are big enough to slide on the curtain rod you choose.

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Next, attach the plastic swivel casters to the bottom of the canvas. I attached mine about 5 inches from edge.

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Next install your curtain rod. Make sure that it is high enough to account for the additional height that the eye screws and the casters gave to the canvas. I recommend installing the curtain rod with the door so that you can check the door’s functionality as you go. If your curtain rod needs a middle brace, make sure that one of the eye screws is on the other side of the brace in order for the door to open all the way.

Note:  Your canvas door is NOT hanging from the curtain rod, the curtain rod is acting as a track for the door.

Finished product.

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