Monday, April 5, 2010

Vintage Clock Face


We have lived in our house for about a year and a half at this point, and up until now I have been angry with my long blank kitchen wall for it’s inability to be decorated. Until now. Thank you Pottery Barn, as always. Look past the couch, to the table, and there it is! Cool, old, worn out looking clock face.

pottery barn clock_thumb[2]

Alchemy Junk made a beautiful copy of this a few months ago, and I was inspired to take matters into my own hands to get a beautiful worn out clock face for my long empty wall. I made my way to Lowes for some wood as soon as I could after seeing this PB picture. I couldn’t find flat piece of wood for under $30 and I really wanted to spend a lot less than that, so I headed out with a 2x2 piece of oak plywood, (ugh, plywood), and some poly wood planks to cover up the plywood evidence. (In the picture below the planks are already stained, and the plywood is not.)


I knew that I wanted the wood color to show through underneath the white of the clock, so I first stained the board a dark walnut color. I let that dry for a few days so that it was completely dry and non-oily. I then whitewashed it, using some watered-down white paint, to give it a grayish sort of look, and after that was dry, I dry brushed white paint on top being careful to let some of the walnut and grayish colors peek through. I wanted a worn look and layering the colors seemed the best way to go.


I printed off some different sized fonts from my computer, and ended up with Bodini MT Condensed, size 250, because I wanted the numbers to be big, but slender. I then used my tried and true transfer method: traced the backs of the numbers in pencil, placed them where I wanted them on my board, rubbed over the front of the letters so that the outline would transfer, and then filled them in with paint. I didn’t actually get any pictures of this stage of the process, but I used a similar method with my Welcome sign, which you can see here. I painted on the 12, 3 and 6, and then lost my patience and decided to get on with the distressing.


I took my scraper and started kind of beating up the wood. I wanted it to have lots of dings and scratches in the finish. I also carved out a big hole in the center of the wood where the clock hands would have been.


I scraped roughly across the edge of the wood, and since I had never sanded it, the wood chipped off nicely.


I then held my scraper so that it was parallel with the grain of the wood, and scraped across the face of the clock letting it pull out little splinters here and there. The wood was relatively soft, so I randomly stabbed the scraper into the wood and pulled out a few more splinters.


I got my wire bristled brush and used that to rough up the wood a bit more. I rubbed it on the wood in the direction of the grain, and I was pleased to see that it was even more helpful than I had expected.


The wires not only put scratches in the white paint, but they also rubbed a dark grey finish on the paint. So I could either leave the dark grey patches,


or wipe it off a little bit with a damp cloth to get back down to the white and wood.


(All of the really grey spots in the picture below are from using the wire brush.)


And now it was time for the glazing. I dipped a wet rag into the glaze, and started rubbing it all over the clock. I made sure to get a concentrated amount into each of the cracks in the wood and along the edges. I took a thin paintbrush and painted undiluted glaze into the big cracks because I wanted a dark black look in the bigger holes. I then rewet my cloth and randomly wiped the glaze off, letting the whitewash effect and the brown wood peek through.


I tied one end of a string around a pushpin and put it in the middle of the board, and the other end around a pencil, and used this to trace a circle all around the wood. This was a lot more difficult than it sounds, the pencil kept wanting to follow along the grooves in the wood instead of making a nice curve, but after several tries I finally got it. I filled in the pencil line with undiluted glaze, and used the glaze to paint on all of my numbers as well. Then I simply wiped across the numbers and circle to fade them. {Edited to add: Once finished, I thought the glazed and faded numbers were a bit too light, so I painted back over them with black acrylic paint, and gave them a light sanding.}


I stained the poly wood planks the same dark walnut shade that I had used originally on the board, and when they were dry, I took each plank and banged it against the concrete stoop in the garage so that the edges would be roughed up as well. I was a little nervous that the boards would bounce back and hit me in the face, but it didn’t take too much force to bang them up and luckily I remained unharmed.


I then used Gorilla Glue and glued each of the boards around the clock face. Since this glue foams up as it dries, I made sure to put the line of glue towards the back of the board so that any foam would seep out onto the back of the clock face. And this is what I ended up with…

2010_04_05_7736 2010_04_04_7719


Now I just need to decide where to put my clock face, because it turns out that it doesn’t look as good in the kitchen as it does in every other room! Back to the drawing board…

Also, I’m linking to these fun parties this week, so check them out to join in the fun!





Jessica Marie April 5, 2010 at 6:34 AM  

I love it, but I agree with you...go back and darken up the numbers and the circle too! You should also add a big dot in the middle of the clock. This is sooooo cute though! :) Nice job!

Anonymous April 5, 2010 at 7:59 AM  

New to your sweet blog via Twice Remembered. I love your PB Knock Off. You did a wonderful job. If you do as you suggest and make the numbers darker it will pop.


The Activity Mom April 5, 2010 at 8:25 AM  

Wow! That turned out great!

Kaysi April 5, 2010 at 10:41 AM  

WOW that is amazing!! You are very talented!

S. L. April 5, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

I LOVE how you framed it in!! This is waaay better than the one I did! good job!

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here April 5, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

Wow, this clock turned out great!!!
I have had the wood for this project in my garage for a couple of weeks and just haven't had the time to get started. You have motivated me! Love the trim you added.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here April 5, 2010 at 12:11 PM  

Wow, this clock turned out great!!!
I have had the wood for this project in my garage for a couple of weeks and just haven't had the time to get started. You have motivated me! Love the trim you added.

Sandi~A Cottage Muse April 5, 2010 at 3:16 PM  

So glad I stopped by...your blog looks so great ~ just like your clock!

Mary Beth @ Live. Laugh. Make Something April 5, 2010 at 3:36 PM  

absolutely delightful! I love it! I like your idea of making the numbers and circle darker. What a great job you did! I hopped over from Making the World Cuter and am so happy that I did. Please accept my invitation to drop in at my place one day this week when you get a moment. I have become a follower and hope that you will do the same. until later...

Brandy April 5, 2010 at 3:42 PM  

Awesome! I just love it!

Morgan//Nuts and Bows April 5, 2010 at 3:50 PM  

This turned out great!


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Tiffany April 5, 2010 at 4:41 PM  

You have amazed me once again, my friend! LOVE this clock face! As with all your projects, I want one!
You did an amazing job. Love doing PB stuff cheaper! So much fun.

Patrice April 5, 2010 at 5:58 PM  

Perfect! Wouldn't change a thing!

Lorie April 5, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

It is beautiful! I will be featuring this on my blog on Wednesday!

Anne April 5, 2010 at 11:01 PM  

That looks great!

Katie April 6, 2010 at 12:05 AM  

This is so cool! I love those weathered looking clocks at PB, they are so great for filling a lot of empty space but the price has always held me back from purchasing one. Nice to know I could give making one a try.

Kelsee April 6, 2010 at 2:19 AM  

This is so cool! Definitely going in my "Must Do" folder! Thanks!! -Kelsee

Jessica April 6, 2010 at 7:06 AM  

It turned out great! What a nice way to have the PB feel in your house.

Amy April 6, 2010 at 7:11 AM  

I love this! I've been looking for an idea for my empty kitchen wall, too! Now...just need to find the time... :)

Amy @ The Mom Hood April 6, 2010 at 9:10 AM  

Amazing! You did a fantastic job, and I just love the clock. Wish I was as talented as you :)

Sixty-Fifth Avenue April 6, 2010 at 10:20 AM  

I am loving this! It really looks fabulous! I might give this a try.

Allison Shops April 6, 2010 at 11:31 AM  

Wow, you did a great job! I would go back over the numbers and circles just a tad - so they stand out a bit more, but not too much. Fantastic job!

Be sure to visit AtticMag this week for our Giveaway!


KimMalk April 6, 2010 at 6:50 PM  

It turned out really nicely. Thanks for all of the detailed instructions.

Love the Decor! April 7, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

Love this!!
Can't wait to copy lol
Stop over and enter my giveaway!!

beth kruse custom creations April 7, 2010 at 1:56 PM  

wow! really beautiful!

Jeannette April 7, 2010 at 3:32 PM  

Your painting technique is awesome!

Brynn April 8, 2010 at 1:53 AM  

totally gorgeous! lovely tutorial-- on others i usually skip over some parts that i don't understand like... yea... i'll just figure it out later, but with yours-- i was right there with ya the whole time. i'll definetly have to try it!

Helena April 8, 2010 at 8:38 AM  

I love this so much. And your tutorial had me captivated- I read every word!

Thank you for linking this to A Little Craft Therapy with Life in the Pitts.

Page April 8, 2010 at 9:04 AM  

This is great Erin! You all have so much talent and have been making the most beautiful things! I'm loving this new collaborative effort. :) And congrats on getting featured on U Create yesterday!!! That's awesome!

The No Money Mama April 8, 2010 at 10:20 AM  

This came out great! What a wonderful job. You sure gave PB a run for their money.

Lisa B. April 8, 2010 at 11:08 AM  

You did a wonderful job!

You have more patience than me. I want one of these clocks also. Thinking maybe I can coerce my hubby into painting the numbers for me.

Ann @ makethebestofthings April 8, 2010 at 1:26 PM  

Love this! I will be making this as soon as I can figure out where to make room. Just lovely.

Stephanie Suzanne Designs April 8, 2010 at 2:50 PM  

Hello Erin,

Oh, how I love this shabby clock face. I want one!! Well, maybe three or four to place around the house since I've got three levels. ♥ You did a fabulous job.

I'm visiting today from your link at Somewhat Simple for Strut Your Stuff Thursday.

I hope you will drop by my place to see my fabric flower designs. ♥

Have a wonderful Spring day...

Stephanie ♥

Fawnda@Fireflies and Jellybeans April 8, 2010 at 3:09 PM  

This is beautiful! I love it! Great job! :)

Jen @ April 9, 2010 at 12:50 AM  

So pretty Erin! I love how weathered it looks!


marie April 9, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

Wow ~ that's a really great look!

marie April 9, 2010 at 9:42 AM  

Wow ~ that's a really great look!

Helena April 9, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

Hey, guess what? I featured you again! I just can't help it- you guys come up with such great projects.

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ April 9, 2010 at 6:30 PM  

This looks really great thanks for sharing your how to's.

Let us know where you decide to hang it.

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking April 10, 2010 at 12:19 AM  

SO, SO CUTE! I might need to make one of these too. Thanks for sharing at the POPP.

Funky Junk Interiors April 10, 2010 at 1:16 AM  

Nice going! And yeah, loving that framework! That really finishes your piece off nicely!

Thanks for linking up to SNS!
FJ Donna

The Charm of Home April 10, 2010 at 9:36 AM  

Yes, this is an awesome look. I saw it in Pottery Barn too. Yours is perfect framed out and I like the smaller size much better. Great job.

Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic April 10, 2010 at 1:36 PM  

Oh I love this! Great piece to fill that space. Nice touch on the framing.

Carolyn @ My Backyard Eden April 10, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

Erin that turned out great. I love how you finished it off with the frame!

Thanks for linking up to Make it Yours day!

Cherie Nelson April 10, 2010 at 11:35 PM  

Love this! Thanks for sharing!!!

Its So Very Cheri April 11, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

I love this--it is going on my favs list tonight. I also signed up to follow you and would lvoe to have you do the same.


gail@My Repurposed Life April 11, 2010 at 8:57 PM  

I just saw that Cindy featured your clock. I've been working on one too, similar to yours. I wish I had seen your post before I started mine. I may have done things differently. I too made my numerals too light. But I was able to fix it without painting over them again, thankfully.
great job!

Taylor April 12, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

This is going on my to do list!

Tricia April 13, 2010 at 8:56 AM  

If I didn't already have way too many large clocks in my house this would go onto my project list. Great job and nice tutorial!!

Stacey April 14, 2010 at 3:15 PM  

I love this. SO cute. I loved how it is framed too. Thanks for sharing at 'Look at me, I'm SO Crafty!' at Fun to Craft!!

Laura V April 26, 2010 at 2:48 PM  

YOurs is the best!! of all the knockoffs. did you ever think of actually turning it into a clock??

Term Papers April 28, 2010 at 8:40 AM  

really sweet ... nice blog .

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal August 26, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

I love this clock. You did a fantastic job aging the wood. It looks amazing. I would love to do a mirror like this. What do you mean when you said poly wood planks?

Mindy September 21, 2010 at 7:52 AM  

Love it! Thanks for helping to inspire me.

ctrlqueen May 24, 2011 at 9:48 PM  

I think your clock came out wonderfully soft and worn...
What I love even more is your patience to reach this end process-- Kudos to you!!

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