DIY Curtain Rods (Restoration Hardware Inspired)

Domino Mag recently named Maison de Pax as one of the 15 best design blogs to follow for budget-friendly design inspiration… Pick my jaw up off the floor because it totally knocked my socks off, first of all.  I couldn’t be more honored.  Secondly, it got me thinking that it’s been a while since I’ve give you a good ol’ straight, budget-friendly, DIY tutorial.  So today I’m going to share how you can make gorgeous, real wood, DIY curtain rods that look like something from Restoration Hardware.  And the best part?  A 6′ curtain rod will cost you less than $15 and an 8′ one less than $20.  And we aren’t talking flimsy little things… These curtain rods are serious.  Plus, with my secret for incredibly affordable luxurious curtains, you’re all set.

these are awesome! DIY real wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

Now to be fair, like many DIY projects, they would cost a lot more if you didn’t have many of these supplies already on hand.  And I spent more because I essentially made three and  a half of them.  But still, $50 for 24′ of gorgeous, real wood curtain rods seems pretty wonderful to me.

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

I always say that mixing some splurge items with some more affordable pieces (whatever “splurge” and “affordable” means to you) is the best way to create a beautiful space with long-lasting style.  In that vein, we bought these chairs from Restoration Hardware several years ago (and, by the way, if you make the right finish choices and catch a sale, you can save quite a bit off the list price).  I just love the aged look of the “burnt oak” wood, and I wanted to recreate that for my curtain rods.

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

The key is in the grain of the wood.  And, let’s be honest, cheap wood doesn’t have beautiful natural grain… So I made some.

Materials needed to make DIY wood curtain rods:

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How to make Restoration Hardware inspired wooden curtain rods:

step 1: measure to drill your hole

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

step 2: using your hole saw, cut out a semicircle from each bracket
A hole saw works by first drilling the center drill bit to hold it in place, and then the surrounding blade connects to cut.  Therefore, you will drill into the wood just below the edge and actually be cutting slightly more than half a circle, if that makes sense.

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

step 3: sand any rough edges from the cut
You can use an electric sander or sand by hand.  Just get rid of the major rough edges.

step 4: beat up your brackets
Use a hammer, screwdriver, or any other heavy object to distress your brackets (superficially only! don’t compromise their strength).

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

step 5: stain your brackets
Paint or wipe on the Special Walnut stain and wipe off the excess.

step 6: create grain in your brackets using the stainless steel brush
Run the wire brush vigorously up and down on both sides of your bracket.  You are essential trying to create wood grain, so some waves are a good idea.  However, strong pressure (enough to dig into the wood) is most important.  I found it was easiest to make an impression in the wood if it was a little softer, so I did this before the stain was fully dry.

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

step 7: dry brush using your light warm gray paint
Once the stain is fully dry, take your light gray warm paint (I made mine by mixing two colors together)…

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

And dry brush a layer on the brackets.  To dry brush, just touch a tiny bit of paint to the tips of the ends of your brush and lightly brush the wood.  I like to use small, natural bristle brushes for this.  See how the paint begins to reveal the distressing and “grain” even more?

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

step 8: wax liberally with dark wax
This is where your “grain” really appears.  When your paint is dry, apply the wax liberally and rub with a cloth until it has the desired look.

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

Here you can see the progress of the finish: stained, dry brushed, waxed.

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

step 9: prepare your poles
Follow the same steps (minus the distressing – I didn’t want to damage my poles): stain, wire brush, dry brush, and wax.

these are awesome! DIY wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

step 10: hang your brackets

step 11 (if your windows are too wide for your dowels): connect dowels using dowel screws
As always, predrill your holes.  For the record, you can buy dowels by the foot, but it’s usually more expensive than the precut ones.  And if you do need to connect some, be sure you put the seam where a bracket will be.  This will both hide any imperfections and support your joint.

Hang your curtains and you’re all set!

Ikea Ritva white curtains with diy curtain rods: affordable decorating ideas | maisondepax.com

I love that they’re real wood and how the rich tones stand out against the light walls.  Even if you didn’t want the Restoration Hardware look, I love how a hole saw can transform affordable wood brackets into curtain holders.  And you could stain or paint with your color of choice.  So happy DIYing, friends.

these are awesome! DIY real wood curtain rods with a Restoration Hardware look for a fraction of the price | maisondepax.com

 

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Comments

  1. This is the greatest idea since sliced bread! I love the look and will definitely be copying it in my living room soon. Actually, I will also be sharing a post soon about repairing wall damage and reinforcing around curtain rods. Would you mind if I linked back to your post to give you credit for the lovely rod and bracket idea?

  2. GORGEOUS! Love the look. Thanks for the DIY details.

  3. I love it! I’m thinking I might try it in my living room. How did you actually attach the brackets to the wall?

  4. What a great project! I love that finish. Congrats on the honor! You so deserve it.

    Nancy

  5. Maria luisa BUtista says:

    I liked so preauty

  6. Candice van slyke says:

    Where are the brown chairs from? I LOVE THEM!

  7. What color are your walls please?

  8. sonya tartt says:

    Where are you curtains from? Beautiful room! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. I’m curious if using oak dowel would also be a cost effective option. And I think it would be fun to cut brackets out of some oak so that the grain is already there. Looks like a great project and one that I will take on myself with a few tweaks:) Thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Great question, Debora! I have not priced oak in our area that would work for this project, but it would probably still be cheaper than the RH version. I hope you enjoy yours however you make them!

  10. Hi! I can’t quite tell how you hung the curtains to the rod. Are those regular metal clip rings? Thanks. Great project idea!

  11. Hey Rachel! I’m so glad you posted this and the steps to accomplish this look. I’m definitely going to be doing it as I already have most of the material! I was wondering if you could share the paint color for your walls? I’ve been struggling to find the right neutral and I really like yours! Thank you!!!

    Beth

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I’m so glad you like the project! The wall color is Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams. You can get more sources from my home here if that’s helpful. :)

  12. Great idea! I made these today, they are amazing. Funny enough, I used the same wooden brackets for dining room shelves 😄 thanks for sharing the idea!

  13. Thank you for your idea! I saw a similar bracket in old cottedges. I’d like make these brackets in my living room)l hope my husband will make these…

  14. Where can you buy these wood brackets?

  15. How did you hang the brackets on the wall? I’m very new to doing things and I can’t quite see how you did it.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      There is actually a hole on the back of these brackets made to hang on a screw. I simply put the screw into the studs surrounding the window (if you don’t have studs where you want to hang them, you’ll need to use a plastic wall anchor) and then hang the bracket on the screw. So easy! :)

  16. I just bought everything that I need to give this a go. It’s so beautiful – – I am hoping this won’t be somewhere on the list of epic Pinterest fails….. Wish me luck!

  17. Nikki pollock says:

    Rachel!!! These are amazing and I need them! I have looked every where to try and find some to buy, any ideas? I’m in England :) Thank you Nikki x

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      I’m so sorry, Nikki, but I have no idea where you could buy these in England. :( I admit that I’m pretty spoiled having a Home Depot so close to home here. I’m so glad you like it, though, and I hope you can find something similar to use over there!

  18. Great idea, my wife loves the look. However I think I’d paint 1st, sand, then stain in that order to get more grain to pop on the shelf bracket/rod holder. Just a personal preference, thanks for sharing!

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      So glad you like the project, Chuck! And I love your idea… There are so many fun ways to create that look of grain!

  19. Beautiful job and thank you for sharing such a wonderful and affordable idea.

  20. So pretty. How do you stop the dowels from sliding around when you move the curtains? Or is this not a problem.

    • Rachel Paxton says:

      Thank you, Janis! I actually haven’t had any problems with that. The rod is fairly heavy because it is so long, and it fits more snugly in the brackets than the rings fit on the pole. Make sure your rings are larger than your rod, and I don’t think you’ll have trouble. :)

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