This weekend my husband and I decided to tackle one of the MANY Pinterest projects I have pinned for our house. I had a three day weekend and thought, hey why not spend half of it at Lowes and the other half in my garage?
I had been toiling around with ideas for window treatments for our morning room and living room, and thought I would make some curtains since I had an extra day off. When I mentioned this idea to my husband, he was not a fan. I guess the idea of hanging pieces of fabric next to our couch and super awesome wall art didn’t jive with his feng shui idea of the living room. So, I showed him this idea from Pinterest and it was an immediate hit.
We decided that we would start with the morning room and if we liked the finished product, we would move on to the living room windows.
We have three stacked windows in our morning room, totaling ten feet wide. We measured our area and spec’d out the size and placement of our boards and headed to Lowes for supplies. For this room, we decided to go with a two board valance.
- Two 6″ x 12′ cedar boards cut into 6″ x 10′ sections. We then used the scrap pieces to make the side boards, which were both 6″x 6″ each
- 1 Quart of Minwax Ebony Wood Finish stain (We used maybe a tenth of the quart for both rooms.)
- Four 4″ mending plate sets with screws
- Eight 1.5″ corner brace sets with screws
- 2″ wood screws
- 1.5″ x 6′ cedar board to attach the units to the wall. (This was added later once we realized our boards weren’t cut properly.)
- Minwax clear polyurethane spray
- Rustoleum black gloss spray paint
For the one valance, it cost us about $70, which includes the stain at $25. We have a TON of stain left, so I will be finding more things I can stain ebony over the next year.
The first item on the to do list for this project, once supplies were purchased and boards cut by the friendly staff at Lowes, was to sand and stain the boards.
We only sanded the edges and corners of our boards as we wanted a rustic look, but in hindsight, this step may not have been completely necessary. Following this, we attempted to stain the smooth side of the board, but we realized we would have to apply numerous coats of stain before we got the desired effect, so we turned the boards over and stained the rough side. We used a microfiber cloth to apply the stain, the brush method was coating too thick and a cloth applied it just perfectly. One coat and we were done. Once all the boards were dry we added a couple of coats of the spray polyurethane (which we already had in our inventory) to give it a slightly glossy appearance.
Once the boards were dry, we began assembly. This part was relatively easy for me and by that I mean, I participated 0%. My husband attached the mending plates to both boards to combine them, and then attached the corner braces to add the “side” boards to the front boards.
Once the valances were assembled, I spray painted the backside with the glossy black paint. Since we had already discovered that the stain would not take on the smooth side, this was the easiest and quickest option for the underside of the valance.
Now came the tricky part of hanging them. We attached the 1.5″ cedar boards to the wall using the 2″ wood screws and drilled them directly into the wall studs. Since the cedar is a lighter wood, we figured they would hold just fine, and so far so good. We then attached two corner braces to each of the boards and screwed in the valance directly to the wall mounts.
When requesting the cuts for this project at Lowes, my husband did not get his measurements exactly correct and we actually had about 2″ on the ends of the board that were longer than we had originally planned. Our “fatal” mistake was that we had installed the mounting pieces prior to this realization. Using a drywall saw, (which was the only device we had on hand at the time) we cut additional pieces from the 1.5″ cedar board to attach to the inside of the valance in order to make up for this discrepancy. From the outside you could never tell. I do plan on going back and painting the inside brackets with black paint this weekend when I have some time.
I suffered through holding up this 6″ x 122″ board while my husband installed it to the mounting brackets. This was not fun and I am struggling to type now (four days later) because my forearms are just useless from the strain. I have been less “present” at my body pump class than I would like to admit of late and felt like I was doing a twenty minute long push up. Regardless, I managed to hold out and just like that, they were done. I absolutely love the way they look once installed. These pictures really don’t do justice to how great they look and what they add to the room.
*Note: Our house is only ten months old, and we are still stuck with the standard builder’s paint until our 12 month drywall repairs are done at the end of April. I cannot wait to finally get some color on our walls and paint that can be wiped clean. If you have never built a house before, let me tell you, builder’s paint is the WORST. It shows every mark, this is super fun in a household with two toddler boys, and two black labs. 😉
Now that the morning room was done and our lessons were learned, we moved on to the living room. Because we had less wall space to cover, we decided to go with a single 8″ x 42″ board for the front panel of the valance. We used the same concept as the morning room, except we used 4″ x 8″ boards as the side panels. Since we had our wood cut accurately this time around, we didn’t need to use any attachments to the inside of the valance and were able to hang them directly to the wall mounts. (They were actually so accurate that we could slide the valance onto the wall mounts and it would hold without screwing them in, which made the latter step much easier.)
I think they look fantastic! We plan on doing something similar in our master bedroom, although using a different stain color to match our bed.
I may have done some permanent damage to the brain box huffing all that stain and paint fumes, but aesthetically, it was totally worth it.