Remodelaholics, I’m so excited to introduce our newest contributor, Jen from Fresh Crush. You’ll love her style, so go check her out and see below for her beautiful and easy method for turning a basic piece into a faux barn board beauty!
Hi Remodelaholics! I’m Jen, and I blog over at Fresh Crush, where I explore all kinds of DIY and decor adventures. We’re in the middle of a huge renovation right now too, so I’m sure I’ll have a ton to share over the next few months. This is my very first contributor post, and I’m excited to share my nightstand makeover with you today. Maybe you’ve got a beat-up beauty, or forgotten gem hanging around, and you can grab a little inspiration from my transformation this month! I hope so, let’s get started…
The before is pretty bland. I wanted to give it a modern rustic farmhouse look. The goal was to create some vintage-inspired DIY barn board. In a few easy steps, I’ll show you how to get this look for yourself. I’ve used these handy tricks before, like on my barn board entry shelf.
How to Give a Nightstand a Faux Barn Board Makeover
- Wood boards (sized according to your project)
- Steel Wool
- Old Jar
- Two Paint Colours (latex or chalk paint)
- Wood Glue
- Furniture Piece
First create your weathering stain. This is where the vinegar, steel wool, and old jar come in. I used an old salsa jar. Pour vinegar into the jar until it’s about 2/3 full. Then toss in a pad of steel wool. Now here is the hard part… wait 24 hours. I know, I hate waiting too — but it’s worth it, I promise! Here you can see my naked fresh-from-the-hardware-store wood pieces, waiting for their big day:
After having a good nights sleep, open up your jar. You’ve just made your own custom, weathered wood stain! Congrats! Now you’re ready to apply it to your wood. Use an old rag, paper towel, a paint brush… whatever works for you, and paint it onto your wood. Depending on the type of wood you’re working with, you’ll either get a dark rusty look, or a grey-tone. (The wood species unique tannins change the effect).
Above, you can see fresh wood in the middle, a single-coat of stain on the left, and double-coat on the right. Let your boards dry completely between coats and before moving on to the next step.
Next, use your two paint colour choices to swipe on some colour. Don’t worry about this step too much. Let it get a little messy and don’t be afraid to cover up some of that stain you just worked so hard on. It will all work out — have some fun with this part! (I used Aurora by Country Chic Paint.)
Then, the magic happens. This is my favourite part! Use your hand-held sander to remove the dried paint. How much you remove, and how deep you sand it down, is completely up to you. I like to aim for a heavy weathered look — as if a farmhouse or barn had a bunch of paint jobs over the decades and had been windblown and forgotten for years.
Once your happy with the look, you can use your saw to trim the boards to your desired size. I used wood/construction glue to attach them to the sides of my nightstand. You can finish off this type of application with a brad nailer for extra durability.
My trimmed boards are held in place with a squiggle (that’s a technical term) of construction glue. I used heavy paint cans to “clamp” them in place, while the glue dried.
My nightstand started out with two large drawers, but I thought it would be more fun to create a lower cubby. This also gave me the chance to highlight those gorgeous faux farmhouse boards once again.
The simple addition of some side supports (created with 1″ x 1″ new lumber) along the bottom, and centre brace, allowed me to string my boards across the bottom where my drawer once sat, creating a pretty shelf cubby. Level, and screw into place, and you’re ready to go.
A couple coats of chalk pant continued the transformation. I used the same deep teal tone that I used when creating my faux farmhouse boards.
I finished things off with gold wax (a first for me), but it really adds a bit of a weathered look, blending well with my faux farmhouse boards and keeping the chalk paint from looking too new. (Mine is from Country Chic Paint.) I used a stiff bristle brush to really dig it into the grooves and corners where natural wear and tear would occur. It truly added gorgeous depth to the colour of the piece.
I found the perfect vintage inspired drawer pull at my local hardware store. Can’t you just see that in an old farmhouse kitchen?
I love all things farmhouse and barn board. If you like this project, you might want to check out my Reclaimed Farmhouse Accent Wall, or my Foyer Makeover with my Faux Barnboard Shelf. I also kept things retro with beadboard and other vintage touches on my Vintage Camping Trailer Remodel.
Try these other ways to fake the wood look —
Jen makes her home in the Alberta prairies with her husband and young daughter, where she writes about all things DIY. From home renovations to arts and crafts, if it's home decor she'll get her hands dirty and give it a shot!