How to Make a Distressed Wood Beam

My husband and I have been taking our time building our house. Like, it will be three years once we’re completed LOL. I’ve definitely learned patience through this whole process, that’s for sure. We are paying as we go as we don’t want a mortgage with this home. I’ll share with you more details on how we are doing that soon. Meanwhile…..


Because we are building our home ourselves, we are being very methodical about everything that goes into our home. We have a pretty high pitched ceiling and we’ve gone back and forth about putting one of those cool old beams up in the middle.

We started looking at a few places and found some beams but they were either way expensive and we were also concerned about the weight. Those beauties are heavy!

So, once our shiplap ceiling was installed, we felt the center looked bare. I got with our carpenter and he said, “Why don’t I just make you a beam?” I was like, “You can do that?” Our carpenter is amazing! He thoroughly gets our style and blows me away with his talent.

Here’s how he made it and the cost was maybe 3/4 of what we would have paid for an old reclaimed beam. We pretty much had all of the tools and borrowed the planer.


  • 1 x 12 Radiata Pine
  • 1 x 10 Radiata Pine
  • Festool Planer with Curve Blade
  • Circular Saw
  • Chisel
  • Hatchet
  • Wire Wheel Brush
  • Screwdriver
  • Weed Burner


  • Start with the planer and just go back and forth over the top of the wood, making sure you cover the entire board.
  • Next, take your hatchet and just start making marks all over the board.
  • Take the circular saw and make deep cuts to resemble and old beam splitting
  • Use the chisel and spread those cuts longer
  • Using any kind of screwdriver, just start making tiny holes all over the board

Once you are done beating your board, you might think you messed it up and need to flip it over. DO NOT do that. Your board should look ugly LOL. Just hang with me for a second.

Your next step is to take your boards out in the grass and burn it. Not like black burnt charcoal looking. Just, go over the board with the burner until you see the black marks covered over the entire board. It’s ok if your grass catches fire. It will end up growing back prettier in that spot. Just don’t get anything else caught on fire!

Your final step is to take the wire brush and go over the entire board. This gives it a final touch of distressing and it also sands it smooth.

Now, you are ready to hang your beam. Make sure you put blocking up if it’s going in the ceiling so you have something to attach the nails to. Start with one side, then the next side and then attach the bottom piece last.

Our beam measures out to 8×10 and 38 feet long.



scratch made. simple home. old fashioned living

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13 thoughts on “How to Make a Distressed Wood Beam

  1. I absolutely love the look of your beam! Such good instructions too!

  2. It was really good. Showing to my hubby. He loves anything wood working related. Everything is going to look fabulous:)

  3. arrowhillcottage at Reply

    That’s awesome! It really gives the ceiling great texture and character! And for a fraction of the cost!

  4. I love this. The rustic look is so adorable. It adds architecture and style to a room. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Jen at Reply

    This is so cool and informative! I don’t know that we can put up a beam in our house but I’m showing hubby the technique to use in some other future project. Love the look!

  6. everydayfarmhouse at Reply

    Excellent post! Good info and great video!

  7. It looks lovely! Your house is beautiful!

  8. Beautifully done! Thanks for showing us how to in our own homes.

  9. Wow! I love how this looks! Great tutorial!

  10. Wow I love it! Looks like something my hubby could do!

  11. farmtownfather at Reply

    This is awesome! Great way to get a rustic look in your home without breaking the bank.

  12. That turned out so well! Thanks for sharing this idea!

  13. wow! That’s looks amazing! I love you videos too! Thanks for participating in our Blog Hop You’re being featured twice this week!!

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