How to Lock a Sliding Barn Door From the Outside

Sliding barn doors provide an attractive way to separate two areas, such as a kitchen and dining room. If you have an exterior sliding barn door, it’s important to know how to lock it from the outside to provide security for your home. Locking the sliding barn door will help keep intruders out and ensure that your family is safe. Additionally, it can also help keep small children and pets from wandering outside unsupervised. Knowing to lock a sliding barn door from the outside is an important part of home security and safety.

How to Lock a Sliding Barn Door From the Outside

The major advantage of locking a sliding barn door from the outside is providing an extra layer of security for people and valuable items inside the building. Adding a lock can ensure that no unauthorized individuals can enter the building without permission and put yourself, your family, and your possessions at risk. In this blog post, we will cover the basics of how to lock a sliding barn door from the outside so you can pick the best option. 

Tools You Will Need

  • A Drill
  • A Phillips head drill bit
  • A Screwdriver
  • A Tape Measure
  • Wood screws
  • Locking bar  or sliding bolt lock
  • Hasp or hasp and staple
  • Lockable latch (such as a deadbolt)
  • Non-corrosive metal plates for the door frame (optional)
  • A stud finder (optional)

Step-by-Step Processes for How to Lock a Sliding Barn Door From the Outside

Step 1: Inspect  the Door

Ensure the sliding barn door is properly installed, and aligned and that tracks are correctly fixed. Make sure the door and frame are free from any debris or obstruction. Decide whether you want to use a padlock or have an electronic lock on your sliding barn door.

Use a Padlock on Your Sliding Barn Door

Step 2: Install Lockable Latch System

Install a lockable latch system such as a hook and eye latch, padlock, or deadbolt to your sliding barn door. Make sure to install the latch system for proper security correctly. Attach the lock assembly plate to the door frame. This will provide support and stability to the lock assembly when you install it.

Step 3: Attach the Lock Assembly

Carefully attach the lock assembly to the door frame and ensure it is securely fastened. Check that it operates properly before moving on to the next step. Install a keyed cylinder and knob to the door frame. Ensure the cylinder and knob are installed properly and securely to provide the correct locking function.

Step 4: Install Interlock System

Install an interlock system such as a spring latch, slide bolt, or deadbolt to the sliding barn door. This will help secure the sliding barn door from the outside when it is locked. Install an electronic lock system if you want more security for your sliding barn door. Make sure to properly install and program the electronic lock according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 5: Test Out Your Sliding Barn Door Lock System

Once you have installed all the parts, test out your sliding barn door lock system. Make sure it is working correctly and provides sufficient security for your needs. If you find any problems with the locking system or need to make adjustments, do so accordingly. Check that the lock operates properly before using it.

Step 6: Enjoy Your Secure Sliding Barn Door

You can now enjoy the peace of mind of knowing that your sliding barn door is securely locked from the outside. You can also rest assured that you have taken all the necessary steps to protect your home or business premises.

Sliding Barn Door is Securely Locked

Tips for How to Lock a Sliding Barn Door From the Outside 

  1. Always use a heavy-duty lock to secure the door from the outside. Look for locks that are designed specifically for outdoor use and can withstand varying weather conditions.
  2. Ensure your barn door is properly installed and securely fastened before attempting to lock it from the outside.
  3. Consider adding a security bar to the door to prevent it from potentially being forced open.
  4. If you have children or pets, ensure they cannot reach the lock and gain entry into the barn.
  5. Test the security of your locks regularly and replace any worn or damaged parts immediately.
  6. Consider adding a safety latch, such as a padlock, to the door and the heavy-duty lock.
  7. Ensure all windows and other access points are locked, or have security bars installed, to prevent unauthorized entry.
  8. Consider investing in motion detector lights near your barn door to alert you of any intrusions or attempted break-ins.

By securing your sliding barn door from the outside properly, you can ensure that your property is protected and your family is kept safe.

How Can You Prevent Someone From Opening a Sliding Barn Door From the Outside? 

  • Install a thumb latch on the outside of the door. Thumb latches are locks that can be opened from either side by pressing down on a metal lever with your thumb. They offer an easy, secure way to lock your sliding barn door from both inside and outside.
  • Install a keyed deadbolt lock on the outside of the door. This is a more secure way to lock your sliding barn door from the outside. It will require you to use a key to open it.Install a Keyed Deadbolt Lock
  • Secure the track with a padlock and hasp combination. You can install this type of lock on the track that supports your sliding barn door. A padlock and hasp allow you to lock the door from the outside without a key securely.
  • Install an electronic lock on the barn door. Electronic locks are becoming increasingly popular for sliding barn doors, as they offer a secure locking system that can be opened with a pin code or special keycard. They also provide an extra layer of security when combined with one of the other locking systems mentioned above.

By following these steps, you can easily and securely lock your sliding barn door from the outside.

Are There Any Specific Safety Measures You Should Take When Installing a Lock to Your Sliding Barn Door?

Before installing a sliding barn door lock, it is important to ensure that all safety measures are taken into consideration. First, you should ensure the door frame and hardware are in good condition and securely attached to the wall. Ensure no loose nails or screws are in the area before installing your lock. You should also look for any potential safety hazards, such as sharp edges, that could cause injury.

Once the area is verified to be safe and secure, you can begin your installation process. Various locks are available to choose from, depending on your specific needs. Before selecting one, ensure it is compatible with the door’s material and style. Additionally, it is important to ensure the chosen lock is strong enough to withstand any potential force that may be applied to the door to gain access.

How Often Should You Inspect Your Lockset to Ensure It is Securely Fastened and Working Properly? 

Inspecting your lockset regularly is important to ensure it is securely fastened and working properly. How often you should inspect the lockset depends on the frequency of use, exposure to weather, and its age. For frequent-use barn doors, it is recommended that you check the lockset monthly. This ensures that the lockset is still secure and that any weather damage has been addressed. If you live in a region with heavy rain or snow, it may be necessary to check the lockset more frequently for signs of rusting, loosening, or warping due to moisture exposure.

You should check the lockset every three to six months for barn doors that are not used as often. This will help you catch any issues that may be developing before they become too severe and lead to a more costly repair or replacement. Finally, it is important to inspect the lockset of older barn doors at least once a year. Even if the lockset appears to be in good condition, the hardware may be wearing out and require repair or replacement.

Inspect the Lockset of Older Barn Doors


One of the main disadvantages of locking a sliding barn door from the outside is that it can be difficult, or even impossible, to open the door from the inside. This could create a safety hazard when someone needs to exit quickly and cannot unlock the door. Additionally, some types of locks do not offer any form of security, leaving the door vulnerable to burglars.

In conclusion,  there are numerous ways to lock a sliding barn door from the outside. The best way to secure your barn door is to ensure it has a good-quality locking mechanism, such as a padlock or deadbolt. It’s also important to install additional security measures, such as sensors and alarms, around your doors to ensure maximum protection. With these tips, you should be able to secure your barn door from the outside easily. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to lock a sliding barn door from the outside. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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