Whitewashed Curtain Rod Tutorial

As promised when I shared my gray window, here is the tutorial on my $5 curtain rods.

Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!

I wanted something that complimented our dark wood furniture in the room and contrasted the white walls but added a little dimension and texture to a fairly simple room.

Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!

Plus, I did NOT want to pay a bundle for curtain rods.  Even at discount stores, I’ve never found any substantial ones that I really liked for less than $25.  But for these, I paid $5 for the rods and $8 for the bracket.  Not bad for $13 total:

Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!

To get this look I bought unfinished wood craft finials (~$2.50 for two) and a 4′ wooden dowel (~$2.50) at Lowe’s. I was planning to buy an unfinished wood bracket, as well, which they said online they had in the store for $1.50 for two.  Then I really would have been set!  But after three trips to two different stores, I gave up and splurged the $8 for a pair of “walnut finish” brackets by Allen + Roth.  Sometimes it’s not worth the extra effort to save $6.50.  I began with this:

TIP: Screw knobs or finials into scrap wood before staining or painting to get an even finish

TIP: If you are painting or staining something with a screw sticking out (like these finials or dresser knobs or whatever), attach them to some scrap wood; it will allow for an even finish all over!  

1) Stain the dowel and craft finials liberally. I used dark walnut stain on a sponge brush and waited 10 minutes or so before wiping off the excess with a paper towel.

Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!
Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!

2) Mix up a little light-colored watery glaze.  I used about 1/2 and 1/2 Paris Gray and Cream by Annie Sloan and then added water until it seemed runny.

3) Dry brush the glaze on the wood and then rub until you like how it looks.  I wanted a subtle look.  I was inspired by the “burnt oak” finish by Restoration Hardware which looks like reclaimed wood that’s been stripped of previous finishes.  Here you can see three finished and one still merely stained:

Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!

4) Glaze the pre-finished brackets to match.  If you are lucky enough to find unfinished brackets, then merely finish them exactly as you did the rod; however, if you have pre-finished ones like me, remember that the paint will have a harder time sticking to the glossier finish.  To adjust, wait a little bit (I waited ~30 seconds) after you dry brush it on before you begin rubbing off in places.  If you wipe immediately, the paint will simply wipe off.  You can see my finishes in process here:

Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!

5) Hang them up and admire your work!

Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!
Create your own "reclaimed" wood curtain rods for only $5!

6) Follow Maison de Pax (ok, maybe that’s not part of the tutorial, but I’d sure appreciate it!).

Follow Along!

Sharing at: Home Stories A to ZSavvy Southern Style, My Repurposed Life, and these other fabulous parties!


  1. These are really nice looking curtain rods! Just curious, what diameter of dowel did you use?

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thank you so much, Helen! I’m pretty sure those were 3/4″, but I bet a 1″ would look nice, too. Anything that will fit inside your curtains! :)


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