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Faux Barnwood Beam Doorway | $100 DIY Projects

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

(This post is a follower favorite moved over from my old blog)

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I really love the rustic post and lintel look of barn wood beams in a doorway. How gorgeous is that texture and warmth it brings to a space? I knew the real thing wasn’t going to happen in our home any time soon, so instead I looked for a way to get the look for less, and a DIY faux beam doorway was just what our kitchen ordered. Let me show you how I did it!

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Images are from Decor_pad and @finding_lovely - click to view their sites.

Project Completion Time:  4+hours.

Materials:  4 -1×4’s, 3 -1×6’s, 2 -1×8’s

These are all adjustable widths depending on how wide your door is and how big you want your faux beam to look.  For my door frame, the 1x6's fit perfectly on the interior portion, the 1x4's were for the exterior post, and the 1x8's for the exterior lintel. This is basically a distressed wood casing but I think it accomplished the look I was going for.

Tools I used:  measuring tape, small prybar, box cutter/razor, saw (you can have your boards cut at the store, use a compound miter or a hand saw), nail gun and compressor (you can certainly install without power tools too), orbital sander (or just sand paper), a paintbrush and some random distressing objects from around the house

Cost:  this depends on which species of wood you choose and how large your doorway is.  My 90×82 inch doorway was $120 using rough sawn cedar boards. These were more expensive; I just really liked the look and feel of it in person and I specifically chose boards that didn’t have a lot of red undertones in them.  

Using old barn wood boards would save you the step of distressing and staining. Or you could opt for cheaper pine boards and do a burning technique that I'll share below. There are several ways to keep this project around $100.

STEP 1:  Distress your boards. There isn't a correct way to do this so just have fun with it.  But here’s some ideas to get you thinking:  throwing sand or pebbles over your boards and scuffing your feet on them; hitting it with a chain, a sock full of nails, a mallet or even a high heel; tapping some screw edges into the wood with a hammer….the options are truly endless! I wish I had distressed ours a little more, so don't hold back.

Another option for newer looking boards is adding a layer of burn to the grain. Click on the image below to find a brief video on how I faux aged pine wood for our mantel. If you do not own a torch, then this would be cost prohibitive to the $100 budget, but if you do, then you may be able to buy an even more budget friendly wood option.

STEP 2: Remove your door casing using the small prybar. Run the razor along the caulk - very gently, at an angle - to release it from the wall. Razor off any remaining caulk residue from the wall after your casing is gone.

STEP 3: Remove all surrounding base trim.  You’ll need to trim it to fit your new casing and reinstall it at the end, so be careful prying it off. Clean off the caulk residue here as well.

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STEP 4: Measure and cut, then attached the top interior 'lintel' board first, followed by the interior 'post' boards.  I wanted it to look like that lintel piece was resting on the others so the vertical interior 'post' pieces were attached 2nd.  

(As you can see, I waited to completely finish my boards until then were hung. But after doing this, I do recommend doing the distressing before they are hung and the staining after.)

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Finish steps 4-6 as if installing casing.

STEP 5: Measure and cut, then installed the exterior ‘post’ pieces on either side. Finishing the post portion first will give you the right measurements for the lintel.

STEP 6: Attach the exterior ‘lintel’ (top) boards on either side of the opening. When I installed mine there was a slight dip at the center of the doorway, either because my door frame wasn't square or my boards weren't perfectly straight. I took my orbital sander to that portion and smoothed it down. This is the one reason I was glad I waited to stain.

STEP 7: Stain and finish. I used Minwax Weathered Oak on our faux beams. The wood burning project was a custom mix of Weathered Oak and English Chestnut. You can finish with a matte water-based poly or whatever you prefer. I actually rubbed ours with a Minwax natural wax. But I think if I were to do this again, I might try the matte poly. There is zero sheen with the wax, which I love, but I don't know how it will hold up over time.

STEP 8: Cut the old baseboards to fit and reattach them. Caulk the baseboard seams and touch up with paint.  

This one addition to our home has brought so much character and warmth to the kitchen and living room. I absolutely love it! And you can't beat how simple and budget friendly it is.

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If you create your own faux barn wood beam doorway and share it on IG, please tag me @the.simple.farmhouse and use the hashtag #tsf100dollarDIY to be featured. I enjoy spreading the love and encouragement to my fellow DIY-ers!

Until next time!

1 Comment

Jan 22

What kind of wood did you use for your beam? Trying to pick trim and stair boards for a room we're working on and this is the look I'm going for

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