9.05.2017

Rustic DIY Decor - How to Age Wood Projects

If you are like me you are hoping to get some little rustic odds and ends into your home décor without breaking the bank. Am I right?

I have been watching Fixer Upper (who hasn't) and my favorite bloggers on YouTube (Shanty2Chic) and decided that I needed some flower blossom stems in my home. BUT, as much as I LOVE LOVE LOVE the recycled glass vases that you see those stems in, it just isn't functional in my home. With four kiddos (10 and under) I need something that is a little more durable than a big glass vase.

So, I thought about it and decided that I was going to raid our wood scrap stash and build a vase (really, it's just a long skinny box without a lid) for my plum blossom stems. I wanted a rustic look to it though, so I came up with this way to get what I was wanting. The best part was, the only thing I spent any money on was the stems themselves (from World Market). Everything else I already had on hand.




Here's what I did:
I built my little box using 1x4inch pieces of board leftover from another project. I cut 4 of them to 18" long. I used some wood glue and some wire brad nails (that I had on hand) to assemble the sides of my box. Then I measured the bottom and trimmed a piece of 1x6 inch wood scrap that I had to create the bottom of my "vase". Again, I used the wood glue and nails to put it all together.

(I should mention that I did use some of my Irwin clamps to hold the pieces together while the glue dried and I hammered in the nails. If you don't have any clamps don't worry. You can do it without them... but it may be a little trickier, unless you have a friend/child/spouse who can help hold your wood pieces together.... BUT, it's totally doable!)

Next, I grabbed some sandpaper -- honestly I have no idea what number grit it was because I didn't even look, but it's pretty coarse so it was probably an 80 grit -- and sanded away the little splintery parts from cutting the wood with my miter saw. I rounded the edges ever-so-slightly, but I DID NOT sand the flat sides of my vase. I want that rustic look... remember!? Since this isn't something that is going to be touched I am not worried about it being a little rough to the touch.

Once sanded, the real fun began!!! It's time to start aging the wood. Now, you are welcome to take your hammer, chains, nails, whatever to your wood to distress it even more... but I was looking for the fast and easy way to do it, so I just left my wood the way it was.


Using my favorite Miniwax walnut stain, I put on my gloves, grabbed a cloth and stained the entire box (minus the very bottom that will sit on the table and the inside). I let that dry for an hour or so -- it's really hot and dry here in sunny So Cal so it didn't take long.


Once it was dry, I raided my craft paint basket to find the right color paint. I settled on Sweet Linen by Martha Stewart. It is a slightly off white color and I thought it would be the perfect thing to help age this wood a little.


Using an inexpensive dry brush that I had from another project, I very lightly brushed on a thin coat of paint. I was sure not to cover the wood entirely. Right after brushing it on I used a soft cloth to smear and wipe away as much of the paint as I could before it dried. You have to work FAST because the wood really soaks in the craft paint.



You can see that the stain still shows through underneath the paint. You can also see that I was intentionally sloppy when I put the paint on. I love how the texture of the wood shows through the paint because I didn't sand any of that away when I built my vase. This last picture is a good one to show you how simply I constructed my box too.

I let the craft paint sit for about an hour so that it was completely dry. Then I added another light coat of stain on top of it.




(they are actually plum blossom stems -- not cherry blossom stems as I mentioned in the video)

Here are a few pictures of the vase in case you can't see if very well from the video.





Here's how the finished project turned out:






In case you are wondering....
The metal tray is from Magnolia Market (and is sadly not available anymore).
The blue house candle holders are from Target (I got them on their summer clearance aisle).
The vintage window frame was from a local vintage market and so was the metal heart.
The cabinet is unfinished and was built by my husband. It houses the kids toys and I plan to stain it with my favorite walnut stain in the very near future.





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