Creating Custom Plank Wood Wall Art for Your Home

Never underestimate the power of scraps. I was able to create the most awesome custom wood wall art for my nursery for super cheap. It was time consuming but easy. You don't need to be handy or crafty to tackle this project.

Here is what you will need:

Wood planks (I used scraps I had from a previous project)
Some tools (saw or circular saw, hammer and nails or drill and screws)
Sand paper (I used my orbital sander)
Wood stain
Natural bristle brush
Scrap cloth
Acrylic or other decorative paint
Small detail paint brush
Computer and Printer
Pencil
Pencil Sharpener
Hooks and picture wire (if you plan on hanging your piece)  



So, I enlisted my hubby to assist in the assembling of my board. He took the scraps from above and cut them in half with his circular saw. He trimmed up the edges so they would all be around them same length, but I wanted it to look pretty rustic so the edges don't line up perfectly. To attach the planks together he used three thin scraps on the back and hammered them into each plank. You could also use screws and a drill. Just make sure your screws or nails are short enough that they aren't going to pop through the front of your board.

Once it was assembled, my next step was to sand. Again, I was going for a rustic look so I lightly sanded with a medium grit sandpaper in 150. I wanted to keep all the dings, cuts and glue on the sides (remember I am using scrap wood) to give it some character. I used my Dewalt orbital sander that you have heard me rave about before, but you can also use a little elbow grease and a plain piece of sandpaper. If you are a DIY maven like me, it is worth the $50 to invest in this sander. It makes projects so much easier. After sanding, make sure to wipe it down with a cloth to remove all the dust before staining.

This was my first time working with stain, and it was a lot less intimidating than I thought it would be. I watched a couple of YouTube videos from Minwax and jumped right in. For my first coat, I used Minwax Interior Wood Stain in Special Walnut. I simply followed the directions on the can by applying it with a natural bristle brush designed for applying stain, let it set for about 5 minutes and then wiped it down with a cloth to remove the excess stain. Here is what it looked like once I was finished. 

After, I let this dry for six hours, I decided to do a second coat with Minwax Interior Stain in Weathered Oak to tone down the walnut color and give it a more aged, barn wood look. I applied this stain the same way as above but let it set for 20 minutes before I wiped it down with my cloth. I know you can't see a huge difference in these pics since they were taken in a shop room with no windows, but trust me the effect I achieved is worth this second step.

Since this will be hanging on a wall inside, I decided not to varnish it. Again, going for rustic here. I am applying a verse to my board for my gender neutral nursery I have been working on, but you could literally put anything on here you want from a phrase to an image. Use your computer to create your art or sketch it out yourself. I just created mine in Pages on my Mac using one of my favorite fonts, American Typewriter. 

Once you have your image all set flip it over and rub pencil over the area you will be tracing. Don't be shy. Really slap that lead on there.


Next, place it back on your board with some tape and trace the outline. Again, use a heavy hand.


Look at this magic. Your image should now be visible on your board. 


Now, you can fill it in anyway you want. I used a can of my Americana Decor® Chalky Finish Paint in Lace and Serene because I had it on hand, but you could any type of craft paint that works on wood.

I just love the finished product. I will be hanging this on the wall in my nursery, so I plan on attaching some hooks and picture wire to the back that I picked up at Hobby Lobby. But I think it looks great propped up on a dresser or shelf as well. Here is what I used on the back of mine.
Ook D Ring
Ook Hanging Wire (50lb. support)

I can't believe how inexpensive it was to create this custom wall art for my nursery. I had most of the items on hand, and the only thing I spent any real money on was the stain. Overall, I think I spent around $15 for my supplies. Stay tuned to see a pic of this project in its true home when I give you a tour of my nursery next week.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliates links. I may receive a small commission from products you purchase after clicking on its associated link.

Creating Custom Color with Americana® Decor™Chalky Finish Paint

Sometimes it's hard to find just the right shade for your project. Today, I will be talking about mixing a custom color as well as showing you a new paint, Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish. This paint requires no stripping or prepping just like other furniture paints I have used before on Pretty Distressed. You can paint right over your existing finish. The most exciting thing about this paint is that it is really easy to find. It is sold on Amazon.com as well as in your local Hobby Lobby and other craft and hardware stores.

Right now, I am in the thick of finishing up my gender neutral nursery before baby arrives in the upcoming month. I am reusing and repurposing most of the items I had for my daughter's nursery to save some money. This little nightstand is the perfect companion to sit next to my oversized plush rocker. I will be spending lots of time in this thing day and night, so it is a must to have a nightstand to hold my water and Amazon Kindle Fire for late night binge watching while I feed baby. Downton Abbey got me through my last baby.

A couple of years back, my mother refinished this sweet little nightstand we found at Target with some spray paint and acrylic paint when I had my daughter. With the pink highlights, I knew this needed a makeover for my little foxes nursery. It is hard to paint something that has nothing wrong with it, but it is also nice to save the cash by repurposing it and not having to buy brand new. This little project only cost me about $20 in paint, and I have a lot left over for future projects.

chalk paint navy

To achieve this navy color I was looking for I had to custom mix a couple of colors. Like I mentioned above, I used Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish paint in Carbon and Legacy. I am not an expert in color theory, so if you are like me just simply do a internet search on the color you are wanting to achieve and mix away. I recommend doing a color card like you see below and playing with your paint ratio before you mix a whole batch for your piece. Using a heavy card stock works best for creating a color card like this, and you can store it for future use. I use a teaspoon to mix my proportions evenly. For this project, I wanted a deep navy, so I ended up going with the 1:1 ratio on the card.
americana decor chalky finish

Here is what the paint looks like. As I mentioned, you can buy it on Amazon.com, HomeDepot.com, at Hobby Lobby and some other craft stores. If you click on the images below, you can buy them directly from Amazon.com. (I will receive a small percentage from Amazon of this sale if you use these links. See my full disclosure page.) You can also buy Americana® Decor™ waxes and other finishing products as well as brushes. I have my own brushes and used my Annie Sloan Soft Wax that I had on hand, so I can't offer my opinion on those products.
Legacy
Carbon

I was really happy with the paint though. I ended up doing around three coats to achieve the coverage I wanted. And while this paint is perfect for creating a shabby, distressed look, I decided to keep it sleek and modern. It is going to look perfect in the nursery which I hope to take you on a tour of soon.



That is my take on Americana® Decor™ Chalky Finish paint. Are you interested in checking it out? Any questions about mixing a custom color? Let me know what you think.