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!).

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    1. 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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  2. I love this look, and your idea for “a stocking’s holder” is such a clever one. I have literally ruined my mantal by (i know, shame on me! ) hammering in nails to use to hold up the stocking’s. But i was thinking why not extend the wire to reach the very back of the mantal where it meets the wall. Place a small screw into the crevice where the mantal meets the wall and attach the wire to the screw. That way it will hold weight and after it comes down, will easily be concealed with decor, or it could be filled in will calk or wood filler. Wish I would have thought about this long ago.,lol. Sincerely, Diena

    1. Absolutely an option, Diena! Honestly, if I hadn’t found those holders for a good price, I might have done just that! 😉

  3. Thank you so much for this tutorial ! I am renting and needed 8 poles for the front room and dining room, the brackets were left behind, and I could bare to spend so much on a rental for the poles. Where did you find those finials ? I can’t seem to find them at lowes. Thank you !!

    1. Hi Pamela,
      I’m so glad you found this helpful! Unfortunately, I did purchase mine at Lowes, so if you’re not finding them, they may have stopped carrying them. They were on the decorative molding (like baseboards and such) aisle near the lumber. You could try Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, or online sources? Good luck!

    1. Annie Sloan is a brand, and the color names I used are “Paris Gray” and “Cream.” You can google Annie Sloan to find a stockist near you, or you can always experiment with any gray and white paint you have on hand. Hope this helps!

      1. You say in your tutorial Paris Grey and Cream glaze???
        All I can find is Annie Sloan paint. Did you use paint?
        Confused. They turned out beautiful. I bought the all
        the stuff to make these but need to find out for sure
        what you used.
        Thank u

        1. Hi Debbie, I’m so glad you like them! I probably should have just said “wash.” I simply meant the Paris Grey and Cream mixed with some water. I hope this helps! 🙂

  4. When you say “glaze” did you actually add a paint glaze to your mixture or is the glaze just the two paint mixtures with water?

    1. Hi Connie! I probably should have just said “wash.” My apologies. I simply meant the two paints mixed with water. I hope this helps!

    1. The rod is probably closer to 3″ from the wall… but some folds of the curtain are against the wall. Does that make sense? I hope this helps!

  5. I love your rods and tutorial. I also love your curtains, where did you get them. I am doing my bedroom over and my bedroom set is dark, so I thought the wooden rods and these curtains would be perfect. Thank you.

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