I LOVE…LOVE…LOVE…how this beam turned out for my Vintage Kitchen One Room Challenge Reno. It adds so much warmth and character to this all white kitchen. However, it is also the thing that scared me the most during this makeover because I had never done it before. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out. Can I really make it look like a beam? Will it be too big for the space? Is the stain too dark? How will I install it? These are just a few of the questions that kept running through my mind.
If you are wondering why I needed a beam in the first place. Check out this photo of the original kitchen. Do you see the drop down above the cabinets? Well there is a bunch of HVAC and plumbing behind that wall. So I knew that getting rid of the drop down wasn’t an option.
Also, one of the major design elements I wanted to add in the kitchen was vertical shiplap on all of the walls. However, the shiplap would look funny on the drop down because it is just not tall enough. So I considered a few different options like just painting it white or adding some flat trim. Neither of these options seemed right. Then finally I stumbled upon the idea to make it into a faux beam. I really hoped it would work!
The boards I would need for this project were a little bit bigger than the typical boards I could find a my local hardware store. So I needed to build my own. It is actually a really simple process if you have some good clamps. The Family Handyman has a really good article about gluing boards together if you want to learn more.
Ugh! I am not sure what happened, but I lost my photos of the faux beam before the install. If you look at the photo above you can see that it is basically just 2 long pieces of wood that I attached together using wood glue and finish nails. I used a simple butt joint instead of mitering the edges because I wanted it to look “vintage”. Here is a closeup of the beam.
I also used a few of my wood working tools to bang it up a little before I applied the stain to make it look rustic.
After the stain dried for a couple of days, it was the moment of truth…Install Day! FYI: The cabinet doors were being painted in this pictures. They didn’t need to be removed for install. Only the crown above the cabinets needed to be removed. We slid the beam into place and rested it on top of the cabinets while I grabbed my nail gun. Then my husband and son lifted it into place while I nailed it to the wall.