How To Build A Rustic Exterior Door: Do It Yourself!


Seeing the fixed design of the rustic exterior door in the store might have inspired you to try the DIY techniques instead of buying one (or maybe you don’t want to spend money on it). So, how to build a rustic exterior door?

Crafting the frame and the door panel using gears and then adding decorative stuff like windows, trim, and so on helps create the rustic exterior door. Finish the procedure by inserting the door handle and lock devices. Done!

Yeah, I know this seems too easy (which is not true). It’ll need around 2 – 3 hours to do the steps rightly. Let’s get to the method below to make that happen!

5 Steps To Build A Rustic Exterior Door

In this section, I’ll explain the direction in the simplest way so that you can follow it on the right track to make a rustic exterior door:

Step 1: Prepare The Tools & Materials

The first thing you’ll need to continue the following steps is the gears. Look at the table below which includes all the necessary tools and materials to grab them from a nearby store.

Circular saw Wood trims (square-shaped)
HammerWood scrap
Power drill & drill bitLumbers (2×4”) & oak plywood (8’x4’ feet)
ScaleDecorative glass, grille, Clavos screws, dummy corners, and so on
Measuring tapeDecorative iron bar
Pencil or markerNails, screws, and other tiny accessories
Electronic jig sawDoor handle

Step 2: Craft The Door Frame

  • Measure door opening is in width.
  • Cut the 2×4” or big size lumber according to the door opening size and then insert the brackets (45°) on each piece of lumber (left and right sides). Skip it if you don’t have the brackets.  
  • Insert the lumber (which you have cut) to use on the top header of the exterior door. Use nails to secure it on the top.
  • Attach 2 lumbers on the king studs (left and right side) after cutting it based on the door length. Hammer the nails to fit them nicely.

Step 3: Add The Exterior Door Panel

  • Measure the door opening area in length to find the door size using the measuring tape.
  • Take the 8–by–4 feet oak plywood and cut it using the jig saw according to the size. I would suggest marking the surface with a pencil before cutting it.
  • Cut the upper portion to add a window or decorative stuff. Insert the tiny window frame with glass on the door using strong glue. If you prefer not to have a window for security purposes, then skip it.
  • Sand the panel around 3 – 5 times so that door gets smooth and flat.
  • Attach 2×4” wood panels on the sides and one on the middle using glue to décor the door. Be sure to use pressure for 5 seconds using your hand to fit them nicely.
  • Measure the door corner to insert the door hinges. After that, add hinges that appear rustic like the Adonai Hardware T Hinge and secure them with screws. This will help the door look old-style with a vintage vibe.
  • Swing the door to see if it moves smoothly or not. If not, adjust the door hinges and screw them properly with a power drill.

Step 4: Decorate The Exterior Panel

  • Add the thin wood trims to the lower section using glue.
  • Insert the 2 dummy corners on the end of the exterior door. Secure them using screws on the holes with a power drill.
  • Attach the decorative iron Clavos screw on the wood panel siding vertically with the hammer.
  • Hang the decorative grille in the upper-mid section of the exterior side which gives a rustic vibe to the door. If you are looking for one, use the iron valley 10” grille for adding old-style beauty.

Step 5: Insert The Door Handle & Lock

  • Mark the area where you want to add the door handle.
  • Drill the marked spot using a power drill.
  • Hold the door handle and secure 2 screws using a screwdriver or drill.
  • Do the same thing on the front side by attaching the door handle and screws.
  • Attach the door lock which ensures good security. I would suggest using a strong locking system. 

List Of The Best Wood To Build Exterior Door (Rustic)

Once you choose a design in your mind from the rustic door frame ideas, it’s good to know what type of wood will be suitable for making the rustic exterior door.

Here are some of the woods which is ideal for this purpose.

  • Knotty Alder: It’s a natural wood that has a sweet honey color for improving the visual of an exterior door. This is both resilient and tough.
  • Pine: It’s a soft wood that contains a light and white yellow shade. This is ideal for heavily used areas. It also resists shock and vibration.
  • Redwood: It’s a strong wood that has a reddish-brown color. This also resists rust, termites, and fire.
  • Oak: It’s a reliable wood that mostly has a beige shade. Also, this ensures no damage if facing sun rays and moisture.
  • Cedar: It’s a versatile and durable wood that has a pinkish-red shade. This is beautiful in look and gives a shiny glaze.

Overall Thoughts

That’s basically all you need to know about how to build a rustic exterior door. I have tried to present this guide in a detailed way, so you get the ideas just how it is.

But you can try implementing the direction to use your own creativity when it doesn’t go with your style and simply customize yourself.

Hopefully, this guide is able to serve good information related to the topic so you can make your lovely rustic exterior door your way. Keep On Doing Hard Work!

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