​Barn Door Trim or No Trim? Sliding into the Right Decision

Posted by The Barn Door Hardware Store on Apr 21st 2024

Barn doors are a fashionable and practical addition to homes that can support them, so it’s no wonder to see them become more popular in recent years.

If you’re renovating your home or a room in your home and you’re looking for a stylish and functional way to spruce up your space, the barn door is a great option!

However, for many, there is a major question that comes with the addition of barn doors. To trim or not to trim?

If you’re looking to bring barn doors into your home, you too will be faced with this question.

In this article, we’ll cover what it means to trim your barn doors, why you might consider doing it or not, and the pros and cons of the process for the long-term use of your doors.

Let’s get started!

Benefits of Barn Door Trim

If you’re considering trim for your barn doors you may well want to know what the benefits are.

Trim can be applied to the barn door itself, or around the doorjamb, or indeed on both.

That means there are a lot of options to suit your needs!

The first and most noticeable benefit of barn door trim is its aesthetic quality.

Trim can be a stylish addition to a barn door that helps frame both it and the doorway and offers a unique opportunity to introduce different colors or materials to your interior.

But did you know that Barn door trim can also be a functional addition?

One of the primary ways that trim can help a barn door is to reinforce the edges of the doorjam where damage is most likely to occur.

If you are replacing a door in your home with a barn door, there will likely already be trim present, which means it is not such a big ask to retain the trim and use the doorway as is.

Remember to hang the rollers the appropriate distance from the wall and the doorjamb so that your barn door will roll comfortably over the trim.

Trim over barn doors and doorjambs can also be excellent in ensuring a close fit between the door and the wall.

With different brackets and hangers available for different doors, some fashionable options may extend further from the wall than you would like.

Trim on the doorjamb allows the door to still fit close to the doorway.

There are several different ways trim might be added to a barn door, and each of them has its own functional and aesthetic appeal.

You might try any one of the following, whichever best suits your needs.

  • Flat Trim: Flat trim is a simple, flat piece of wood or metal that is attached around the edges of the door to ensure it has clean solid lines.
    Flat trim helps with edge protection as well, as most of the damage to a barn door is going to happen on the edges and corners.
  • Z-Brace Trim: Z-Brace trim looks like the diagonal bracing found on traditional barn doors and includes the titular z patterns across the door’s face.
  • X-Brace Trim: X-brace trim follows the same premise as Z-brace trim, but uses an X shape rather than a Z. It’s all in the name, really!
  • Picture Frame Trim: Picture frame trim hangs on the face of the door around all four sides of the door. This trim is mostly decorative and is named as it is due to the fact it acts like a picture frame over the door.

Trim style can be a largely aesthetic affair, and thankfully there are no right or wrong answers!

Trim can be done in metal or wood depending on your needs or tastes, so it’s really up to you what style you might choose.

Skip the Trim

Trim isn’t always necessary!

In fact, if your door fits flush to the doorway and the walls and slides comfortably, then you don’t actually need it at all.

There are a few other reasons some folks prefer to go trimless with their barn doors.

Chiefly, if you simply do not like the look of a barn door with trim, you can choose to leave it off.

There is no particular benefit or drawback to this course of action, and the clean look of a barn door without trim is appealing to many.

Barn doors without trim also have a modern look about them that pairs well with a number of interior design trends.

A painted barn door, either to match the room it hangs in or painted brightly as a feature door can be an eye-catching addition to any home.

While a barn door is undoubtedly a classic, traditional design, modernizing it with unique choices of trim and paint can do a lot to bring it into the modern day.

Trim can also pose something of an issue for cleaning and maintenance.

While this is by no means a deal break for trim, it does mean that forgoing trim can make cleaning and maintaining your door a little easier.

Trim provides a number of corners and joins where dirt and dust can gather, and a collection of dust in the bottom corners of your door trim can be both unsightly and a bother to deal with.

Trim may also have different maintenance needs from the rest of the door.

For instance, metal may need to be polished or cleaned differently from the wood of the door, or certain woods may need to be refinished occasionally.

If the whole door needs to be refinished and repainted, often the trim will have to be taken off to give greater access, meaning the trim is just adding extra work.

Factors to Decide whether to Trim or not to Trim

The most important consideration in deciding whether or not to add trim to your barn doors is personal preference.

If your door is installed and operated correctly, is painted to your liking, and suits its regular use, then trim is entirely a choice of personal aesthetic tastes.

Beyond your tastes, there are some things to keep in mind that will help you make a decision.

You may want to consider the space you are hanging a barn door.

Does trim suit the space? If you are working within a particular design language to which trim is uniquely suited, then forgoing it will make the door stand out in a negative way.

If instead, you are working with a more sleek and modern space, trim may be a strange departure of form and is best left off.

Keep the interior design of the space in mind when making decisions on trim.

The size of the door can also play a part in deciding whether or not to add trim.

For single entryway doors, the face of the door will be small enough that it won’t necessarily require any trim to break up its surface.

For larger doors, a plain face may make it appear to be simply a wall, or create a rather imposing look. Trim can help break up the plainness of such doors and give the door more visual interest.

Trim around the edges of the door won’t really influence the visual impact of the door, so when considering edge trim your decision reverts to whether or not you like the look and whether or not you need the extra edge protection.

Adding trim can also balloon the cost of your door. While you can certainly install your own trim, if you want a particular or unique type of trim, for instance, iron trim or heavily bolted trim, labour and material costs can add to the overall price!

If you have set aside the money for trim and the trim you specifically want, then this is no issue.

However, if you’re planning on renovating or installing a barn door with saving money in mind, then forgoing the trim or doing it yourself can certainly save plenty of money.

These are only a few of the considerations you will take into account when deciding whether or not to add trim to your door.

Trim might not even be this big a consideration and you’ll find a door that has or doesn’t have trim that you will love. In that case, congratulations!

If you are commissioning a barn door from scratch or looking for a particular door, take a moment to consider how these features influence your choice.


While far from essential, barn door trim can be a handsome addition to your barn doors that bring with them a few positive benefits!

With the information in this article, you now have the necessary detail you need to work out whether door trim is right for you and whether or not it fits into your interior design desires.