How to Make Rustic Wood Beams

Rustic beams can help provide the beautiful and elegant look your home needs. Learn how to make wood beams from inexpensive lightweight boards that look just like reclaimed timber.

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Wood beams are the perfect way to add a subtle, rustic touch to any space. However, not every home's architecture allows for decorative ceiling beams. Fake the look with our easy tutorial. When you're done and the DIY tools are put away, you'll be proud of the work you created. Below, we'll show you how to make rustic wood beams in just three easy steps.

Brilliant Uses for Reclaimed Wood 

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What You Need

  • 1x4 whitewood boards
  • 1x6 whitewood boards
  • 4-inch screws
  • Wood glue
  • Nail gun
  • Wood stain
  • Beam straps, made from pliable metal strips found at home improvement stores
  • Spray paint

Step 1: Lay the Groundwork

Before adding wood beams to the ceiling, you need to find their placement. Examine your ceiling and find joists, lights, and other obstructions you'll need to work around. Then screw 1×4 boards across the length of your ceiling. This will be your guide. Attach the board at the joists with 4-inch screws.

Step 2: Create the Beam

Construct a simple box from one 1×4 and two 1×6 whitewood boards using wood glue and a nail gun. Distress and stain the box for a rustic look. Repeat until you have enough boxes to span the length of your ceiling. These boxes will be your ceiling beams. Place the boxes to fit around the 1×4 ceiling board, and nail in place.

Step 3: Cover the Seams

Create beam straps out of pliable metal strips found at home improvement stores to cover the seams in between boards. Spray paint them before installing to create an oil-rubbed-bronze look. 

How to Decorate with Raw Wood

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