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.

Cottage Inspired Dining Hutch - Before & After

I know I owe you one more video tutorial on dark wax to complete our dresser makeover we have been working on for a couple of weeks now, but I have lots of other things I have been painting that I have been dying to share with you. So today, I am excited to reveal my cottage inspired dining hutch.



paris grey kitchen hutch


This piece is truly amazing. It is a Thomasville and was in such good condition I almost had a hard time painting it...almost. I bought this thing back in January thinking I would use it in my dining room, but as some of you might remember, I had a dining table and hutch fall into my lap in February that belonged to my husband's nana. After I refinished those, I fell in love with them and their history. This beauty then got shoved into my husband's office until our neighborhood garage sale lit a fire under me to finish this baby off, try to sell it and promote Pretty Distressed.

My garage sale looked more like a showcase. I set up a digital frame with all my work loaded onto it complete with my ever favorite before and after shots. Anyone who merely glanced at these pieces got an earful about my blog and love of furniture painting. It was so much fun. Maybe a warmup for a flea market or vintage show? Lots of people left with my Website in hand. Note to self: I really need some business cards. 
My French Linen dresser that is the star of my Chalk Paint video tutorial series sold this weekend, but this gorgeous hutch still needs a home. It is finished in Paris Grey, and I did an Old White dry brush technique on the back of the shelf to give it a really shabby, cottage vibe. Check out my Shop Furniture tab to purchase this piece and see what else I have for sale. 
annie sloan chalk paint

annie sloan paris grey dark wax

annie sloan chalk paint paris grey

For all of you anxiously awaiting completing the Chalk Paint video tutorial series, the last installment will be on Tuesday where we will apply our dark wax. I will be taking Monday off, and I hope you are, too. Until then, have a great Memorial Day weekend!

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Savvy Southern Style

Pin-spired: DIY Country Chic Window Treatments


branch curtain rod

Are you a Pinterest addict like me? I love that there is a simple place to go for inspiration and store it all in neat little categories. This weekend, I finally turned one of those pins into reality, and I am beyond excited to be sharing it with you today.

This project was "pin"-spired by Jennifer over at Town and Country Living. I am a little bit obsessed with burlap. I love its natural, earthy color and the relaxed, country vibe it gives off. I really loved the idea of pairing it with a tree branch for an extra punch of rustic charm.



I started this project by dumpster diving over at my brother-in-law's house after he had a long day of pruning his trees. I measured my window and searched the pile for a branch that was long enough and fairly straight. I had to cut off lots of excess branches, but I found two sticks that worked really well for me. If you don't have trees yourself or a relative or friend that you can use to "branch hunt," take a drive around town. Right now, people will be pruning to prepare for spring. If you see a pile of wood in someone's yard, go knock on their door and see if they are okay with you taking a stick or two off their hands.


branch curtain rod

You will need to debug your branches before you bring them in your home. I washed mine down with a bleach and water solution and a scrubbing brush. After a quick rinse with the hose, I let them dry in the hot sun for an hour or two. If your sticks are smaller, you can place them in a garbage bag and put a bug bomb in there. Most of us don't have a spare kiln or oven big enough to bake these suckers, so those are the best suggestions I have for killing any critters on them.

For hanging the sticks, I used some steel corner brackets. As I have told you before, my hubby likes to use his drill, so he helped me hang the branch. I do know how to use the drill, but doesn't he look so hot using power tools? After we figured out where the stick would be flush with the wall (your stick will not be straight so don't panic) we marked those two spots and hung the brackets there. Then, hubby drilled a screw straight into the stick. Leave enough space between the branch and the wall to weave the fabric through.




hand branch on wall

Per Jennifer's suggestion, I bought landscaping burlap to swag on my branch. I work with burlap a lot and normally get it from the craft or fabric store, but this is a lot lighter and flexible- perfect for swaging. I tied it off at one end and looped it around the branch a couple of times. Then, cut it to the length I wanted and tied off the other end. No sewing. Super simple. 

burlap curtain

burlap valance

burlap branch valance

I just love it, and cannot believe how cheap it was to make this project a reality. Thank you again to Jennifer at Town and Country Living for the "pin"-spiration. Does this "pin"-spire you to take a pin a make it come to life in your home?

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Foyer - Before & After

I look around my house sometimes, and all I can see are the mountains of projects I need to tackle. It is often hard for me to pause and reflect on just how far we have come on our journey of making this house a home. Today, I want to take the time to slow down and enjoy my foyer. 


foyer

Walls
Let's start with the walls. I wanted to brighten things up with a cool neutral, so I selected Sherwin Williams Pediment. This baby has been in the Pottery Barn Collection for a couple of seasons, and it is really beautiful and versatile. I used SW Emerald paint for this job since the foyer will take on a lot of heavy traffic. It is super durable and wipes up really well.

Flooring
The old flooring really chopped the house up- tile in the foyer, vinyl in the kitchen and carpet in the living, dining and family rooms. We selected Morning Star's Solid Antique Strand Handscraped Bamboo from Lumber Liquidators. This wood is really stunning, and the hand scraped aspect really gives it a rustic look. We also added new, taller baseboards.

Decor 
Thanks to my new found love of refinishing furniture, I was able to decorate this space without breaking the bank. The dresser is from Goodwill and the shutters were from my mom's garage. The metal orbs are from Hobby Lobby, and the rest of the items on the dresser are from HomeGoods. I didn't pay over $15 for any item. My bench and rug are also from Hobby Lobby, and I had those left over from our previous house. I also made the pillows myself.

foyer makeover

Never finished
I am hoping to eventually replace the chandelier in the foyer. I conveniently cropped it out of these photos. It is glass, brass, and ugly. I also plan on staining and painting the banister this fall once the weather warms up, and I can ventilate this puppy. But I refuse to dwell on any of that today. Today, I am enjoying my foyer and how far it has come!

Take some time today, and bask in one of your recent accomplishments. You deserve it!

Linking up at Savvy Southern Style

1950's End Table Makeover

The last two weeks have been crazy with traveling and the kitchen remodel. The kitchen remodel is almost complete. We just need the cabinet hardware installed and we are done! The big reveal is coming soon, so keep checking back.

I finally found some time to paint this week. This end table was a Goodwill purchase a few months back, and I thought it would be a quick project to bang out. It is a quintessential 1950's end table. Both my mother and mother-in-law mentioned to me they each had one in their houses growing up.





I wanted a chippy, farmhouse finish for this piece so I put my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in refrigerator for a couple of house before I applied it so it would go on thick.



I applied two coats of Old White to the piece and let it dry for 24 hours. Then I took multiple pieces of duct tape stuck it on the table and ripped it off. This process took off some chunky chips of paint.




I got my sanding block out to distress the edges down and added a fleur-di-lis to each side in Duck Egg Blue. Then, I finished it off with some Annie Sloan clear wax.







I would love to put this piece somewhere in my house, but I have officially run out of space. So this will be my very first piece I try to sell. It is available for $50. Use the "contact form" to the right if you would like information on how to purchase it.