How To: Make your own Barn Beams

This is how we made our rustic beams………..actually they are “Faux Beams”! *Shhhhhhhhhhhhh* nobody knows that!

First we got some 1”x6” pine boards…the more “knots” the better! That just adds to the rustic appearance.
I painted mine the same color as the walls…NOT the RED walls-the taupe colored walls!! I also painted my ceiling-the same color as the wall, only I used a Flat on the ceiling and a Satin on the walls. I think a ceiling should have some color too!

Anyway-You can paint your boards what ever color you want….the color I used really worked well, and they did turn out to look like ole barn beams.
Then I sanded the boards, taking off the paint and making them appear ‘worn’. I applied stain over the sanded boards and wiped it off…..trial and error…till I got the look I wanted.
  • I always use a scrap piece of board, and do 'test blotches' on that, then I pick the bloth I think looks the best! I sand some blotches more than others when testing, and I try differnt stains too...
You can use 1”x4” pine boards, or whatever 1”x width” you want to use…it really depends on what size beams you want! Each beam consists of 3 pine boards. So if you are adding 4 - (1”x6”) beams to, lets say, your Kitchen ceiling, you would need 12- 1”x6” pine boards.
After you have your boards painted, sanded and stained- or antiqued...go ahead and throw a coat or two of 'poly on them. We use water base polyeurathane, it holds up well, cleans up well, doesn't smell and it dries QUICK!

To install the beams:
First we installed some “anchors” on the ceiling. Now these have to be the same size as the pine boards you used. [i.e. if you use 1”x 6” pine boards for the actual beams, then you would use a 2”x6” as an anchor piece]. We cut the 2”x6” boards to length, and screwed them to the ceiling, spacing them where we decided the beams would be.
After the anchor boards are installed…we then cut our finished 1-by boards to length, and using a finish-nailer, we nailed the 1-by boards to the anchors. What you are doing is “boxing in” that anchor board, that anchor board’s only purpose is to give you something to fasten your faux beams to!
Now, the most difficult part is the bottom beam board! The sides are pretty easy to install…just nail those to the anchor board, keeping them tight to the ceiling! When you are ready to add the bottom board to “close in” your beam, you have to be sure you keep everything even. I decided to leave a ¼” reveal on mine. Meaning the bottom board is set up in some between the two sides, oh, about a ¼”.

  • these pics show the 1/4" reveal - see how the 2 side boards appear wider, as if they hang down farther than the bottom board...and the bottom is set up in? that's the 1/4" reveal.... all boards are actually the same width...3 - 1"x6" boards!
Now you nail your bottom 1-by board into the two side boards, you would nail through the sides into the bottom!….that’s it...Whah-Lah....ya have beams!
This is, without a doubt, a “TPP”!!!! =TWO-PERSON-PROJECT!
It’s an easy way to get the look of real beams…and you would be amazed at the people who think they are REAL!!