to create · to live beautifully

DIY Reclaimed Wood Windowsill 

This windowsill is my absolute favourite part of the kitchen mini-reno. I love so many things we did in the kitchen, but as far as impact vs effort, this one is the best. Not to mention the fact that it could be used in so many places other than a bay windowsill. Shelving, coffee table, countertop. 

It is just so easy and so gorgeous! Not to mention the added bonus of letting off a little steam during the distressing process.

The look is that of reclaimed wood. If you can get your hands on reclaimed wood, that would be gorgeous. We didn’t have any, so we distressed the wood to get that look.

So, here was the windowsill before the wood went in: 

Window area before renovationObviously it was super cluttered, but also pretty bland. My Mom isn’t in love with the paint colour and the windowsill was just a wide expanse of paint.
Close up of chipped paint on windowsill
Chipped, dented paint. It needed help. 

I think anytime you have a feature like this in a room, amp it up. Make it amazing! With the awning and the windowsill, we made this window area a huge feature in the kitchen.

Window area after renovationThe first step is to find the wood. We used pre-cut shelving board for this. It is made of thin planks bonded together, usually pine. Pine is perfect for distressing because it is soft and marks up easily.

We measured the width of our windowsill, and cut the wood to fit, leaving the wood about 1/8″ narrower than the windowsill. We didn’t want to have to hammer it into place! All cuts were made with a table saw, for the cleanest cut possible. If you don’t have one, a handsaw is ok – just more work! Sometimes the hardware store will make a few cuts for free. Just make sure you have your measurements!

Then we measured our depth, allowing an extra inch for the thickness of the board being used vertically. Make sure at this point to decide which section of the depth you are ok with “losing.” We wanted to keep as many knots and marks as we could!

vertical edge added to wood in windowsill

We cut the vertical section to the same length as the windowsill. Then we layed it all in place before distressing, just in case any additional cuts or sanding had to be done. 
Now the fun part. Wear some eye protection and put the wood on a solid surface (like the garage floor) and beat it up. We used a large chain, a hammer, a gardening trowel and a dog groomer. Really random metal stuff that made awesome marks in the wood. Channel any feelings that you pay your therapist to listen to and beat up that wood plank!


My feet look huge in that video because I have my slippers shoved in my Dad’s Crocs. #stylefordays

You can see how easily the pine marks up.

Close up of unstained distressed woodOnce the wood had been distressed, we stained it with 2 coats of Minwax stain in Dark Walnut. This brought out all of the distressing in the wood and gave it a lived in look. What a difference!

close up of stained and distressed woodBecause this will sit in the windowsill and not get much wear and tear, we opted not to seal it. If you will be using this technique on a surface getting regular use, I recommend sealing it.

Once the stain had dried, we set the wood plank in the windowsill and lined up the vertical edge. We then applied a strong glue to both edges and glued the horizontal and vertical surfaces together. We used shims under the edge to ensure ample contact for the glue to adhere.

The wood edges being lined up and gluedFor a fun touch I carved my parent’s monogram in the corner of the wood. Hidden skills. 
Carved The end result of it all is gorgeous, if I do say so myself. 

Where will you put in a windowsill like these? What about shelving? Any excuse to wield a chain and a trowel haha!

Ceramic pots on distressed wood windowsill
XOXO Aubrey

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