With a completed painting above the fireplace and a Superbowl party around the corner – this week will be a push to finish these lingering projects. It was an amazingly beautiful day today – at the end of January; on the anniversary of my engagement – how better to spend the afternoon with the one you love but cutting wood to build a frame? My husband came home and I had already mitred the corners of the second quality knotty pine 1″ by 3″ boards he had picked up for me the day before at Home Depot. I wanted barn wood, but of course the hunt for barn wood would have taken way too long and past the weekend at least before I could track it down – not to mention how long it would sit in the garage until I finished it. The next best thing to authentic barn wood is faux barn wood.
As I mentioned, I pre-cut the wood before putting the finish on it. In hindsight, I wish I had photographed this during the process because it actually turned out much better than I thought it would. However, the after pictures explain the result well and it was so simple I think anyone could do it. I lightly sanded the boards, but not too much to preserve the rustic finish of the natural wood. I used Minwax stain in a walnut color and coated the wood in one layer, keeping it dry and avoiding any puddles of stain or drips. I did not wait for the stain to dry before I used a flat head screwdriver to make long irregular cuts going lengthwise down the boards to create a damaged finish. Also at irregular intervals, I gouged the wood with the screwdriver knowing that the second coat of a whitewash would settle nicely in the cuts and gouges to create the weathered look. I painted white acrylic paint in thick layers on top of the stain, wiped it off with a paper towel as I worked, and immediately sanded the white off until it was barely visible on the surface, but rested in the indentations I had made.
After the finish was complete, I nailed the four pieces in place around the frame and put it back on the fireplace to be hung sometime later on. This project was so quick and easy – literally from cutting the wood, to having the stain finished, and the painting back in position on the mantle took all of an hour’s worth of time. Below is a close up of the finished product.