I’m super excited to share with you how I built these lovely antique corbels. There are so many ways you can decorate with corbels, the possibilities are endless. Some options are bookends, mantel decor, shelf supports or adding character to a kitchen island. I hung mine in the corners of the wall opening between my kitchen and living room. However, you decide to use them I know you are going to love having them in your home. Make sure you stick around for the whole tutorial because I have some really great tips on how to get that amazing chippy antique paint finish.
Cost: $30.00 (depending on what you have on hand)
Time: 8 hours
Makes two 11″x14″ Corbels
- (4) Fancy Outside Scroll Pieces
- (6) Chunky Interior Pieces
1. DOWNLOAD AND CUT OUT CORBEL STENCILS
I used Silhouette Studio Designer Edition software to design this stencil. These corbels are 11″ x 14″ so since they are so big I used the 24″ cutting mat and freezer paper to cut the stencil out with my Silhouette Cameo.
2. TRACE CORBEL STENCIL ONTO 1×12 BOARD
Tape your stencil onto the 1×12 pine board and trace the fancy scroll pattern 4 times and the chunky interior piece 6 times.
Leave a 1/4″ gap between each stencil tracing; this is so you can cut the 1″x 12″ board down into smaller pieces with a chop saw or jigsaw.
3.USE A SCROLL SAW TO CUT OUT CORBEL PIECES
Cut out the 4 fancy scroll pieces on the scroll saw.
Now for the 3 pieces that create the chunky interior of the corbel. You can cut them out individually with a jigsaw or scroll saw. I tried to do it this way but they didn’t line up when I put them together.
I decided to glue and nail the 3 interior pieces together, then my hubby cut them out on the bandsaw. That way they lined up perfectly. If you have access to a bandsaw that’s definitely the way to go; if not you might just have to do a little extra sanding but it will still work.
4.USE A CHISEL TO DISTRESS CORBEL PIECES
Now to destroy them!
You can use whatever you want to beat them up. Use the claws of a hammer to create dents. Add scratches with a screwdriver or knife. Create some smaller dings by lightly tapping a nail with a hammer. I used a chisel because I wanted to do some real damage.
Try to focus on areas where they would receive the most wear and tear over the years, like curves and edges. I really went to town, so don’t be afraid to do the same, you really can’t mess it up!
5. USE A PALM SANDER TO CREATE A WORN LOOK
Since we are going for a century-old look we need to soften the roughness of the chips and cuts we just made to make them look worn. You can use palm sander or sand by hand with sandpaper either way is fine.
I used a combination of two Stains for this step; Minwax driftwood and homemade apple cider vinegar stain. The varying colors and sheen of the stains help to give it a rustic wood effect. The Minwax has a little shinier finish than the matte finish of the apple cider stain.
7. APPLY FIRST STAIN COLOR
I started with Minwax Driftwood and randomly painted it on all the pieces.
8. APPLY SECOND STAIN COLOR
Then I blended it all together with a homemade apple cider vinegar stain. To make this stain: dissolve one pad of fine steel wool (0000) in 2 cups apple cider vinegar overnight. I keep a bucket of it on hand because I use it quite often. I hate the smell of it but it is the closest match to real Barnwood there is. So, it’s worth having around.
9. USE A BRAD NAILER TO ATTACH CORBEL PIECES TOGETHER
At this point, you can attach all the pieces together using a brad nailer. So for each corbel, you should have 2 fancy scroll pieces and 3 chunky interior pieces. Nail a fancy scroll piece on each side of the chunky pieces sandwiching them in the middle.
If you like the rustic wood look you could stop here. I loved how pretty they were and was extremely tempted to leave them be, but I had originally envisioned them white and chippy so I pressed on.
Ignore the mess this room will someday be our master bedroom, for now, it has become my workshop. As usual, my little building assistant is always close by. Somehow my tape measures and pencils always seem to disappear.
Okay, now for the chippy paint finish.
The first step is using spackle. This will make the paint look thick like it has been painted a hundred times over the years. Put this in areas where the paint would have been protected and painted over and over again. Like inside cracks and crevices and away from the edges.
11.PAINT SPACKLE WITH BROWN CRAFT PAINT
Next, I painted the spackle with brown craft paint. It looks dorky right now but it will make sense I promise. This is so when the paint crackles the brown paint will show through the cracks instead of the spackle.
12.APPLY CRACKLE MEDIUM
Then, you want to apply the crackle medium over the brown paint and feather it out onto the surrounding wood.
Here’s my thought process when I paint chippy finishes; there is the paint that survived through the years, then around the perimeters of the paint it begins to crack then eventually chip. So it goes in this order: Spackle(thick paint), crackle(cracking), and then vaseline(chipping).
Now we apply the Vaseline, this is how you get the chippy look. The vaseline prevents the paint from sticking where you apply it, making it easy to chip off after the paint dries.
You want to Focus on areas where the corbels would be bumped, scraped and subject to the elements. Mostly around the curves and edges but dapple a little bit here and there as well.
If you are using spray paint you can apply the vaseline in a fairly thin layer, but since we are using a brush you want to apply it about 1/8″ thick.
14. PAINT ENTIRE SURFACE WITH CHALK PAINT
Next comes the chalk paint.
Dab the paint on fairly thick all over the corbels. You want to have quite a bit of paint on your brush so you don’t smooth out the vaseline too much. I like the texture that a paintbrush gives, it adds to the appearance of old layered paint.
15. SCRAPE OFF LOOSE PAINT WITH SPACKLE KNIFE
After the paint is dry take a spackle knife and scrape off the paint where you put the vaseline. If you can’t remember where you put it. No worries just start scraping and you will find it.
TIP: If you were light handed with the vaseline and your paint isn’t chipping off easily you can use a heat gun to melt it and the paint will start to chip easier.
16. APPLY ANTIQUING WAX
Are we done yet? Last step I promise!
Since paint wouldn’t stay looking so pristine and white all those years we need to antique it. I tried out Amy Howard’s Light antique wax for the first time and I loved the result. It really brought out all of the texture and made it look old without darkening the white paint too much.
Well, you made it! These are all the steps I take when I want a century-old chippy paint finish.
Here they are installed and looking lovely!
Which finish would you do rustic wood or chippy paint? Let me know in the comments below.