How To Make Decorative Oars (And How To Not Almost Ruin Them Like I Did)

How To Make Decorative Oars (And How To Not Almost Ruin Them Like I Did)

Once we shared the duplex yard makeovers final month, I promised extra particulars about how we made the ornamental oars that cling on every shed. So immediately I’ve received an in depth tutorial for you (together with how NOT to screw up your makes an attempt to make them outside pleasant) together with a couple of different “hacks” you guys requested about.

The oars truly weren’t a part of our unique plans. However after the sheds have been constructed we nixed our plans to run electrical energy to them (for value causes – and since they actually don’t want it). However the empty house the place we’d deliberate to hold a lightweight above the door wanted… one thing.

That one thing turned oars after a visit to HomeGoods the place we stumbled upon an ornamental surfboard. Cape Charles isn’t actually a browsing city, however there may be loads of kayaking and paddle boarding, so oars felt a bit extra relevant for our little seaside city. I went on the hunt for some on Etsy and located some actually good choices (like this, this, and the ones pictured below) however all of them have been a bit pricier than we had in thoughts. Simply couldn’t justify spending $350+ on this venture to finish up with 4 cool trying oars to hold on the sheds.

We truly ditched the concept solely for a few weeks, however then we stumbled upon two ornamental oars at HomeGoods for $25 every. They weren’t the colours or design we needed, however that may all the time be mounted with paint! So we purchased them and took them to Cape Charles and held them up to verify we have been barking up the fitting tree. We needed to verify we favored the scale & form earlier than altering them with paint (thereby making it unattainable to return them).

With renewed pleasure for this concept, we tracked down two MORE ornamental oars (due to having two HomeGoods in Richmond). All 4 of them value a bit of over $100, which was nice… however they didn’t look the way in which we needed. They really appeared fairly terrible collectively at this level:

However I used to be emboldened by our luck at sanding down and refinishing the duplex eating tables, so I took to sanding every right down to their uncooked wooden. Right here’s the orbital sander I used, which does the job very well.

It took some elbow grease, however the outcomes have been extraordinarily encouraging. Right here’s a side-by-side of the 2 most related oars – one sanded, one not.

As soon as I had all of them sanded down, I stained all of them to get their various wooden tones trying extra related. It was principally trial and error of assorted leftover stain cans in our storage, however I’m 95% certain it concerned Rustoleum Summer time Oak and Minwax Weathered Oak being layered over one another.

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Earlier than I stained them I additionally took an image of them grouped on the bottom and began Photoshopping numerous stripes and shapes on them. YES, THIS IS THE MOST ANYONE HAS EVER DONE IN THE PURSUIT OF PERFECTLY COORDINATING DECORATIVE OARS. I really feel like I deserve a Bachelors of Science in Oarology at this level.

Anyway, we knew we needed to make use of colours impressed by these discovered elsewhere within the duplex, just like the mint inexperienced shutters, the white siding, and the muted pink and inexperienced discovered on the inside doorways. So doing all of this in Photoshop helped us positive tune our course earlier than cracking open any paint cans. Additionally it earned me that extremely esteemed Oarology diploma. (*steps as much as podium and clears throat*) “I’d wish to thank my mother and pop, who instilled a love of oars at an early age…”

Proper, again to the tutorial. Subsequent we used the digital mock-up to tape off every oar utilizing painters tape. We deliberately left a variety of wooden “stripes” in our design (you already know, the areas UNDER the tape) as a result of at any time when two colours contact, it’s a must to paint one and let it dry earlier than you possibly can paint the opposite. So for effectivity we minimized these cases, however we didn’t fully eradicate them. The explanation you don’t see any tape on the highest part of that third oar is as a result of I needed to do a base of the mint shade earlier than I might tape and paint my subsequent colours.

As soon as every thing was taped, I primed every space first (that is our favorite primer) after which as soon as that had dried, I painted every part – being cautious to reference my rendering alongside the way in which (though we did deviate a bit of as we went). Aside from the mint shade (SW Pale Patina) we didn’t use the actual paint colours we used elsewhere within the duplex. The white was simply an exterior white we had readily available (SW Snowbound) and the pink and navy have been extra saturated variations of the inside doorways colours (SW Downing Pink and SW Riverway, respectively). You positively ought to use exterior paint in the event you’re going to hold your oars exterior, FYI. Additionally colours have a tendency to scrub out in exterior lighting (there’s extra solar exterior than inside) so that you generally have to go darker or extra intense with a shade than you’d inside your home.

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The venture was going nice at this level. Issues have been drying rapidly within the warmth exterior. We received that unmatched satisfaction of peeling off a crisp line of painters tape…

AND THEN THINGS TOOK A TURN. And that is the place I need you to be taught from my mistake.

After I had completed portray the entire stripes, my final step was to seal the entire thing so it’d be much more sturdy outdoor (this stuff will probably be uncovered to the weather 24/7/365 (and that’s not simply rain, it’s a lot of warmth and even snow). So we needed to layer on an exterior grade polyurethane sealer, that are usually oil primarily based – however VERY sturdy. Now, I ought to’ve examined the sealer I had readily available in an not noticeable place first – however I used to be operating up in opposition to a weekend that we have been going to Cape Charles and I needed to complete these and produce them with me. So I simply WENT FOR IT.

Sherry described what occurred subsequent as “not a giant deal” and “nothing to freak out over – John, you’re being loopy.” However I had gotten so pumped about how these have been turning out to date that I used to be extraordinarily annoyed at myself for messing them up on the final step. Right here’s what occurred:

Oil-based stains generally tend to yellow. That’s why we use water-based ones in most of our initiatives. However once more, exterior-grade = oil-based. And we didn’t need these oars to get ruined over time as a result of we used the fallacious sealant. However, I used to be bothered by HOW YELLOW it made the colours and since the oars are barely rounded, the stain pooled because it dried in numerous spots – leaving brownish-yellow streaks and dots alongside the oars.

Sherry’s proper that it’s a comparatively minor problem – one which most likely wouldn’t be tremendous detectible from the space at which they’d be seen anyhow. However I used to be irritated at how far more “rustic” the oars had turn out to be because of the yellowing and the streaking.

So I did the one smart/loopy factor {that a} Licensed Oarologist™ might do on this state of affairs. I sanded off all of the streaky spots, taped every thing off once more, and repainted all 4 oars. It wouldn’t de-yellow the wooden tone, however at the very least I might get again the crisp vibrancy of the unique paint colours we had chosen.

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As a result of right here’s the factor we didn’t actually take into consideration once we began this venture: we have been utilizing exterior paints on every thing, so that they didn’t truly should be sealed. Solely the wooden wanted sealing. Soooooo… if I have been doing this once more (or in the event you’re at house doing it proper now – to start with welcome to the sphere, it’s good to have a fellow Oarologist in my midst) I might’ve sealed the wooden (either side, btw) BEFORE I painted any of the stripes or detailing onto the oars. Would’ve dodged the whole bullet and the whole oar could be sturdy and outdoor-safe.

In the long run every thing was positive (though the additional paint job meant we minimize it a bit nearer to rental season than we’d hoped when it got here to really hanging these up) and we actually love how they turned out. Hanging them was easy too – we simply drove a 3″ exterior screw via the oar and siding, proper right into a stud behind it (I predrilled a small gap within the oar to make it sink proper via simply).

You’ll be able to see the screw heads within the photograph beneath (see the little dots). I attempted to keep away from placing them via painted sections after I might, since they appear to mix extra into the wooden tone than the lighter painted sections, however in the end your eyes don’t actually give attention to them until you’re actively searching for them.

This tutorial truly ought to maintain up for something that’s wooden that you just’re considering of sanding, staining, portray, and hanging exterior. So in the event you’re enthusiastic about a surf board as an alternative – or an indication with your loved ones title or one thing – this course of would work. Additionally, bear in mind to all the time add string lights (these are the ones we use everywhere) as a result of they make actually every thing higher.

To see the total reveal of our duplex yard (with sources and information on the sheds, patio, furnishings and so on) click on right here – and in the event you haven’t seen the pink home yard makeover, which we completed proper after the duplex yard, it’s a must to examine that out proper right here.

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