Introduction: Faux Reclaimed Wood Wall Art

I have been playing with a couple of different finishing processes, and this is one that came out really cool. This is more about making an awesome canvas to paint on than it is a woodworking project. I hand painted the coffee cup one, but made stencils for the other two. I was trying to come up with a way to make a bunch of these is one day.

This is a cheap and effective way to create your own distressed wood plank.


  • Poplar board. (Length and width it up to you)
  • Router and round-over bit (OPTIONAL)
  • Chisel and hatchet or something similar
  • Wire brush for drill
  • Blow torch
  • Tung oil
  • Clear top coat

Step 1: Cut and Prep Board

  • Cut the Poplar board to desired length.
  • Round over the corners using router and round-over bit
    • This part is optional. You can achieve a really cool look by burning and sanding the sharp edges too.

Step 2: Rough Up the Edges

  • Take the board and lay it on a hard flat surface. Use a chisel to chew up the front edges.
  • Stand the board upright and continue to chew up the edges with a hatchet.
  • Once the edges are sufficiently chewed up, make it worse by hitting them with a wire brush on a drill.
    • Go both with the and against the grain and the cut. Some splintering is good.

Step 3: Burn and Brush

*This step can be dangerous. Be sure to do in a well ventilated area outdoors only. Have a bucket of water and/or a fire extinguisher on hand. (I had both) Use proper protective equipment like eye protection fire retardant clothing or gloves.*

  • Now burn the wood with a torch. The Poplar will turn completely black. Don't worry, some color will come back out in the next step. Start at the edges and burn towards the center. Burn the edges thoroughly.
  • Once completely burnt, you go over the entire board with the wire brush on the drill. This takes the bulk of the ash off of the wood and brings out some of the grain and nice color. It also helps to round off and clean up the edges.

Step 4: Now You're Ready to Paint

Now your canvas is done, and you are ready to paint. You can hand paint something on them or use a stencil. I have some pictures of using the stencils I made. Once the paint is dry, go over the image again with the wire brush on the drill. This gives the aged antique look.

They look great hanging on a wall or leaning against the wall on top of a counter or bar.

I hope you enjoyed my latest project!