This post may include affiliate links to find a product mentioned. See my full Disclosure Policy.
Who doesn’t love the creativity of the designers at Pottery Barn? The nautical Vintage Distressed Wood Oar they have is one of my favorite items! Here’s how to make your own! You can find more projects like this one on my Home Decor page.
I found this kids coat rack boat oar thing at a thrift store a while ago. It was pretty sad and really dated but I knew it had enough potential to be a great version of the Pottery Barn one I fell in love with.
Since I first posted this post, I found that you can now buy blank 30-inch oars from craft stores, large unfinished wood oars and canoe oars online. How awesome is that? I may need to buy up a bunch and get busy making these for my decor.
I had a little trouble starting this project, the first setback was trying to paint over the original hand-painted image on the oar. The white of the ship sails bled through the first layer of red paint. To fix this I had to sand the oar down to the raw wood and then paint it with red acrylic paint again. Then sand it to distress it again to get to my starting point. I could have used one of those unfinished oars for this project, lol.
This is still a fun project making a distressed wood oar, if you can start with a clean slate. Here’s how it all came together.
DIY Distressed Painted Oar
- Wood Oar
- Wood Sander or Sandpaper
- Acrylic Paint: Red, White, Teal, and Black
- Sponge Applicators and/or Paint Brushes
- Miniwax Wood Stain: Special Walnut
- Martha Stewart Adhesive Stencil: Star, Arrow
First I painted over the blue paint and sailboat with red acrylic paint. The white boat color seeped through the red paint, so I sanded the oar down to the wood with an electric sander. I then repainted the red and let the paint dry again.
Paint a white stripe at the handle. I used an arrow adhesive stencil to put teal arrows over the white paint on the handle. Let the paint dry. Sand down the oar again to make it look weathered and distressed on the edges.
Take the star adhesive stencil and paint white stars randomly on the end of the oar. Let the stars dry. Take wood stain and rub it into the wood with a rag to stain the wood to look darker. Let the stain dry overnight and that’s it!
I just love how this came out! I’m thinking I may need some of the really large oars for my living room decor now!
LOVE IT? PIN IT!
More DIY Home Decor Posts:
- Driftwood Pineapple Wall Art
- Black Oyster Shell Mirror
- Starfish Garland
- Sea Shell Shadow Box Table from Our Crafty Mom
Must-Have Coastal Decor Resources:
- Decorative Wood Oar
- Acrylic Paint Craft Set
- Surf Shack: Living By the Water Book
- Nautical Sea Pillow Covers