Building a Baby Gate (DIY)

Hi there! Today I will take you step by step through the process I used to build my first baby gate for my little mister. Previously, we were using a pack n’ play to block the steps. Unfortunately, it took up more than half of the walkway, not to mention damaged the walls, and then became very unsafe once my mister began moving it. This motivated me to build a baby gate. I’d previously purchased one before, but returned it simply because the stair railing was in the way making it impossible for the baby gate to properly fit. Stressing about his safety, I went to the local Home Depot.

Very unprepared, looking through the selection of lumber, I literally picked my lumber by price and by weight. My purchase included: 6- 1×4×6 common boards, a hand saw, and a sander. Little did I know, I would be right back at Home Depot the next day for more.

Based on my measurements, I needed at few more boards for the style I wanted, plus nails shorter than the ones I already had so that they wouldn’t go through the board. In total, I purchased 9- 1×4×6 boards for this project.

The measurement for the width of my stairway is 41 inches. I subtracted 2 inches so that there would be space for mounting the hinges onto the boards on the wall. Now the width for the gate is 39 inches and I chose a height of 33 inches.


  • 9- 1 x 4 x 6 boards
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Nails 1 1/4 inch
  • Ryobi Corner Cat Compact Finish Sander
  • Rust-OleumRust-Oleum Gel Stain American Walnut
  • Minwax One Coat Polyurethane
  • 2 Door Hinges- Everbilt 3 inches with a 5/8 radius
  • 1 Barrel Bolt- Everbilt 4 inch lock


  • 11 boards cut to 33 inches in height (back frame)
  • 2 boards cut to 39 inches (the top and bottom width of the front frame)
  • 2 boards cut to 26 inches (front frame height)
  • 2 boards cut to 33 inches (mounting to wall)

Your measurements may vary depending on the width of your stairway and the height you prefer.


I lined up 11 boards for the back-frame, then measured to make sure it measured at 39 inches. It was less by 1/4 inch or so. I found it pointless to cut an extra board super thin, so I left it alone – you could barely tell. After, I laid the top and bottom board for the front- frame on top of the back-frame. Then I made sure the board underneath for the back-frame were lined up before nailing. As I insert each nail, I used my index and middle finger as spacers in between each nail. Be careful not to bang your finger. If you have a nail gun. Hurray!!! It’ll make the process much faster and easier. Next, nail the 26 inch side boards to complete the top frame. I inserted 2 nails on each board.

After completing the frame, I then sanded the wood using the Ryobi Corner Cat Compact Finish Sander and 220 Grit sand paper. Then I stained it with Rust-Oleum Gel Stain American Walnut. It only took one coat. I waited 24 hours to let it completely dry before applying Minwax One Coat Polyurethane. I waited another 24 hours before attaching the gate to the wall. Finally, I attached the last 2 -33 inch boards to the wall. Also, attaching the door hinges and the barrel lock and there we have our finish project. Yay!

I will be working on another baby gate soon for the bottom of my stairs. The plan is to take more pictures of the entire process step-by-step. Be on the look out! Until next time friends!