DIY Rustic And Distressed Wood Trim

In getting ideas for the type of wood trim we wanted for our laundry room remodel, we browsed through our local home improvement store. We saw wood planks that looked like they came right out a centuries old barn. It’s amazing how engineered wood products these days are made to look rustic and distressed right out-of-the-box. And you can pay a pretty penny for them too! While they are quick and easy to install with little labor involved, they are still ‘engineered’ wood – meaning fake, and to us they certainly had a ‘plastic’ look going on. In keeping with the rustic vibe, we knew right off that we were going to have to do the grunt work to achieve it. But, the trade off would be custom, one of a kind, REAL wood trim.

How Wood Is Graded

We started with #3 pine. Wood comes in grades, like A, B, C, and 1, 2, 3, etc.. ‘A’ grade is typically ‘clear’, as in no knots, splits, or imperfections = a beautiful piece of wood. As the grade goes higher, the quality, or clearness goes down. So a ‘C’ grade will have lots of knots, and imperfections. They are also priced accordingly – ‘A’ grade and #1 are both expensive. You get the idea. So as I said we started with a very inexpensive #3 pine with lots of imperfections, and as we were intending to beat the crud out of it, the more imperfections the better! We wanted it to look like we just rough cut and milled it right out there in the forest with turn of the century tools…. too specific? Maybe. But for this project, using a beautiful, hard #1 or ‘A’ grade would have been a waste.

Pine Wood Door Trim

As you can see in the above photo, lovely imperfections! But we needed the wood to have a bit more character than this, so we assembled our ‘professional’ DIY wood distressing tools and supplies 😉

Distress Wood With A Hand Sander

How To Distress Wood With Simple Tools

We used a sander scraper to round out some of the edges, a screw, a metal rod I found laying around the house left by the previous owners, a handful of rocks from the backyard, a spare wood block, and a hammer to beat it all with.

Distressing Wood Trim

After scraping some of the edges, and sanding down splinters, I hammered the screw lengthwise as well as used the screw tip to put little holes in the wood. I laid the metal rod down at different angles and hammered it to mimic old metal strapping. Next I sorted the rocks out atop the trim, then sandwiched them with my extra wood block and pressed and rolled the block around, grinding the rocks into the trim. I varied the areas of distressing so that it wouldn’t look too uniform, giving it a more natural weathered appearance. After distressing, I cleaned off the boards, set them up onto a couple of sawhorses for staining. We went with ‘Gunstock’ by Varathane….

DIY Wood Trim Stain

We brushed it on sort of thick, and let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes.

DIY Staining Interior Wood Trim

With disposable gloves on, Aaron and I then rubbed off the excess stain. The stain settled into all the distress marks and natural imperfections, bringing out all the character….

Staining Distressed Wood Trim

DIY Rustic Wood Door Trim

Stained Interior Wood Trim

Rustic Laundry Room Wood Trim

Create Your Own Rustic Wood Moldings

We loved how they turned out! The color was perfect as well, not too yellow, not too ashy, but not red either. Just a nice warm, rich brown. Want to see them installed with a bit of ‘industrial’ hardware?….stay tuned then for more of our laundry room makeover 🙂