How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Wood beams add a great design element to any room. Ceiling design is a perfect addition to add in a room that needs some pizazz or elevated design. They are also super versatile to different styles. They can compliment mid century modern, French country, traditional, modern farmhouse, etc. In this post we are going to show you how to beautifully finish wood beams using pine.

Important!  Watch the video!  This video will teach you what kind of wood to use for gorgeous wood beams, how to add distressing effects and how to age wood naturally using vinegar and steel wool.  This is an on-location shoot of Jeremy working on a wood beam project for a client.  Watch and learn as he gives some great trade tips on selecting the right wood and how to make them look aged and filled with character.

Step 1:  Measure your length and cut all pieces to size. Then distress. Start by taking the sawzall in a vertical motion with the grain of the wood. Do each piece of wood including the side of the beams. WEAR protective eye glasses since a sawzall is a power tool.

Wire Brush 1 - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Step 2: Take a mechanical wire brush tool and brush with the grain on each piece of wood. WEAR protective eye glasses as these tools are power tools. Your wood is now distressed.
You keep the inside hollow so it turns into a U shape. Two sides and the top.

Next you will use wood glue and clamp them together and let dry. Once dry, nail or screw the side pieces together.

Clamped Wood - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Step 3: Your beams are now distressed and glued and nailed together. They are ready for finish.

 Steel Wool - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Okay, here is the secret sauce. Put one pad of steel wool (we use since it’s the softest) in one gallon of vinegar (cleaning or regular). Pick it apart and put it in the vinegar and let it soak for 1-2 hours. This creates the magical solution of aging the wood. The vinegar and steel wool mixture reacts to the tannins in the wood and creates a natural aging patina. Next brush the wood with the patina mixture. Do one coat and then see if you like the color and adjust. Make sure to test the color when it is completely dried. For the next coat we added more water for a weaker strength solution and we loved the color. The strength of the color is impacted by the amount of steel wool you put into the vinegar. So if you want it deeper, you should add maybe 2 pads of steel wool to one gallon and then test an area.
To start plan on buying a few to several gallons of vinegar and one package of steel wool so you can experiment on the strength you want.

Our color was derived from using one pad to one gallon. It came out a perfect light brown to complement the French country designed room.

Keep in mind you can put these on ceilings, doorways, as a single beam as an entry border into another room. The possibilities are endless! It’s a great inexpensive way to really add some design and style into your space.

IMG 7137 - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Wood Beams 2 - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

IMG 7056 1 - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

What We Used:

Sawzall – SKIL 9206-02 7.5-Amp Variable Speed Reciprocating Sawir?t=craftsma03 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B008J1GNEO - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Wire Brush Attachment: DEWALT DW4910 3-Inch by 5/8-Inch-11 Knotted Cup Brush/Carbon Steel .020-Inchir?t=craftsma03 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00004RHAL - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Wood Glue – Franklin International 5004 Titebond-2 Premium Wood Glue, 16-Ounceir?t=craftsma03 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0000223UR - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Clamps – Bessey LM2.004 LM General Purpose Clampir?t=craftsma03 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00004TRCD - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Steel Wool – HOMAX PRODUCTS TV713206 0000 Steel Wool Pad (12 Pack)ir?t=craftsma03 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B0018SCH2W - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Vinegar – Cleaning Vinegar (Original Scent)ir?t=craftsma03 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B00PJ2DPQU - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams

Paint Brush – Wooster Brush P3974-4 Factory Sale Polyester Paintbrush, 4-Inchir?t=craftsma03 20&l=am2&o=1&a=B000BQU1Y8 - How to Make and Finish Wood Beams


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1 Comment

  • Reply Ivory July 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Simply beautiful!

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