Welcome to Kelli's Olympic Nest's tale of how we are creating a home we love through thrifty DIY projects, crafty ideas, and a willingness to get dirty. In between, there's the stories reminding us to also live the life you love. 

DIY scrap wood wall decor project

DIY scrap wood wall decor project

Today’s post is all about how to paint wood for a worn coastal look.

Have you ever completed something that just didn't quite sit with you? Like you liked it but eh.... This handmade sign was one of those. At the time I was looking for some color and something that added some character to our wall decor and didn't cost a small fortune. My go-to was to make a sign. I really enjoy the process of making free hand signs which you can see some of them here

Besides the glossy sheen, bleh, I wasn't too proud of the lettering. Now, years later, it was time to make this piece speak to me (in a good way, wink).

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In my mind I saw it so clearly-- rustic and warm against the light blue wall. So with an electric sander I began "roughing" it up until it looked like this...

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But it was still just kind of speaking to me. Does that happen to you? You work on something thinking you know what you want and then the project takes the lead. 

Did you notice the far right board? It's different from the original; because as I was sanding, the dang board split in half. So, there's that.

Still ho-hum.

I decided to give it a white wash treatment similar to what I did with our faux barn style by-pass doors

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This looks better in the picture than it did on the counter. How is that even possible? What I didn't like was it was too white and I thought it would pretty much become lost on the wall.

Back out to the shed I went for some more sanding (each time I did wipe it clean before painting); then, with a cotton cloth, wiped on-wiped off some dark antique wax. 

And I thought I would love it!

scrap wood antique wax distress look.jpg

So I hung it on the wall and added a boxwood wreath to it.

when your rustic decor isn't what you want it to look like.jpg

But, no. Just no. 

It looked too redish, greenish...dare I say it, pooish. I tried all sorts of photography tricks and nothing was working. I'd stand back and look at it. I'd sit and look at it. I'd look at it from the kitchen. 

Nope. Not feelin' it.

Off the wall for some more playing.

I went to my paint collection and grabbed different chalk paint colors. From left to right these are the colors I used: Waverly Agave, Waverly Maize, DecoArt Americana Retro, and ArtMinds Pale Moon.

Then I water downed some Waverly Ink chalk paint and with a brush added some streaks. Before it dried, I took the cotton shirt rag, dabbed it in some water, and rubbed out the streaks. This gave it a smudged look. The last thing I did was washed it with white paint and wiped with a paper towel until I got the look I liked.

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Well wasn't really the last thing...

Also took the jig saw to that last board, sanded it, then painted all the edges black.

Now that's better. Sigh.

Really like the beach vibe. I actually smiled.

Here's what it looks like next to our entry.

(Sorry about this photo. Still trying to learn how to use my DSLR camera.)

coastal home colors.jpg

By opening the door the natural light helped get a better picture.

simple diy scrap wood wall decor project.jpg

For kicks and giggles here's the before and after.

hand written rustic home decor.jpg
make your own wall decor with scrap wood.jpg

So what do you think? Does it remind you of the beach just a wee bit? Love to hear about one of your project do-overs.

If you like coastal colors, I've put together a shopping cart just for you. Happy shopping!

Like it and share it. Thanks for stopping by.


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