I've been wanting to add beams in our media room for quite some time now and after seeing Katie's @halfwaywholistic I knew I needed to go ahead and do it!
This is actually my first time making beams and there are different ways to make them, but I love the look of the mitered joint vs butt joint so I'll be going that route.
Butt Joints or Mitered edges?
I'll be mitering the edges of my boards to create this look!
You could skip the cutting and butt your joints like this- it's really just personal preference.
My room is 14' wide and boards are sold up to 12' long at Lowes/Home Depot so I will have to add two pieced together to get them to span the width of the entire room.
The beams I'm making will be 5" wide and 3" deep. Because I'm mitering the corners I will use 1X6 boards cut down to 5" and 1x4 boards cut down to 3".
What you'll need
1x6 straight pine boards
1X4 straight pine boards
Featherboard (not required but definitely helpful!)
Bondo or similar wood filler
80 grit sandpaper
220 grit sandpaper
Wood Conditioner (water based)
General Finishes Antique Oak
General Finishes White Wash
Let's get started!
The key to making this as easy of a project as possible is straight boards. We all know that's nearly impossible at a big box store but try your hardest and you'll thank yourself later!
I then began mitering both sides of the 1X6 boards and one side of the 1x4 boards.
When mitering long boards, the featherboard can attach to your table saw a few different ways. It helps hold the board steady when you're running wood through. Super helpful for long mitered cuts!
I applied lots of glue and used tape to hold the boards together to form a U shape before clamping them together to dry.
My beams needed to be 14' long so I made an 'extender' piece the same way I made the beams and attached it to each beam with a scrap piece of wood, lots of glue, and clamps. You could use pocket holes or biscuit joints, but this worked fine and was fast + simple! It looked rough at first but did the job and looked pretty freaking good once all was said and done!
I used Bondo to fill in any gaps as well as the place where the boards met.
I wanted to test fit one before finishing them all, so I put up the support pieces (I used 1X4s).
I pre-marked and screwed them into the joists.
After test-fitting the first beam, I was pleasantly surprised to discover they don't have to be PERFECT miters cut into PERFECT boards that come out PERFECTLY square. I was a little nervous at first, but was happy with how good it looked on the ceiling despite looking crooked before attaching it!
Sand + Stain
I sanded them down with an 80 grit, working up to 220 to get them ready for stain. Then I wiped the beams down with a damp cloth and started applying a water based conditioner.
After the conditioner dried, I applied my favorite stain combo - this time the ratio was approx 10 parts antique oak to 1 part whitewash.
I LOVED the way the stain came out!
Once they were all dry, I brought them in and had Phil help me hold them up while I screwed them into the support pieces with trim screws (they have a smaller head that's less noticeable!).
I think this project added SO much to the space and I couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.
(I had everything but the lumber and needed a new can of stain!)
Stain: $40 for a quart
Total Cost: $370
Wood conditioner: $10
General Finishes Antique Oak: $25
General Finishes White Wash: $25