When we moved to Raleigh last February, it was a fairly quick move. We came here for Tony’s work and only had about a month to find something. Luckily, we came across the house we are still currently in. We kept our house in Indiana to travel back and forth to and decided it was best to find a home to rent in Raleigh since we didn’t know how long we would be here for. When we first moved into the house, it was pretty bland. Builder grade paint, no trim on the windows, etc. but it was a cute house- I loved the layout! The windows had no character and since it was a rental, I didn’t want to invest in making and putting up trim… knowing we will one day move out… so cue back up plan: window valences. They are so simple to and best of all- super budget friendly! Even if you do have cute trim around your windows, this DIY will be sure to add even more character!
Materials You’ll Need:
- Plywood or 1″x10″ 8′ boards
- Brad Nailer
- Brad Nails
- Hammer & Nails (*Only if you don’t have a nail gun)
- Wood Glue
- White Chalk Paint
- Wood Stain (click here for the stain I used)
- Paint Brush
- Paper Towel
- Picture Hanging Hardware (click here)
- Miter Saw or you can have the wood cut at Home Depot.
First, I started by measuring my windows. I wanted them to hang about 6″ out from the window on each side to leave room for curtains in the future. To get the correct length I needed, I measured the width of the window itself and then just added 12″ to the front part of the valence. For example, one of my bigger windows measured 71″, I wanted a 6″ overhang on each side, so 12″ added to that is 83″, but I rounded up one more inch to do an even 7 feet. You can have the overhang as wide or narrow as you’d like, especially depending on your window size & trim. For the two sides connecting to the front part of the valence, I wanted it to come off about 4 – 4.5″ from the wall. Depending if you already have decorative trim you can come out a bit more to have more room for bulky curtains or whatnot.
I’m a Home Depot kind of gal when it comes to buying lumber. I I sometimes go there like I would to target. For no particular reason, just to give the girls and I something to do. I like to walk through the isles and see what I could use for inspiration for the next project. Just like with Target, I don’t always go to there because I need something. I go to target and let target tell me what I need, because it’s nearly impossible to leave that place empty handed. Same way at Home Depot/Lowe’s. I always check the clearance lumber section as well when I’m there! Sometimes they have great wood that’s totally salvagble for a fraction of the price. While looking through the clearance lumber, I stumbled across this massive, super nice, thick sheet of plywood for $10. It had nothing wrong with it whatsoever and ended up being perfect for this project!
I had the guy there rip the entire thing into 10″ thick long strips- so I ended up with a bunch of 1×10’s even though I was just planning on doing two windows. (I’ll take it!!!) I took the boards home to cut myself with my miter saw, but you can definitely ask to have them cut to your desired length at your hardware store as well! There are three parts to these valences- the front, and two sides. If you do have them cut there, be sure to give the correct measurements and remember to include the extra 12″ from the window measurement for the front part. For the two sides, with my extra scrap wood I had two 4″x10″ pieces cut. Don’t forget the side pieces!
Next, take the skinny side of the ‘side panel’ and put a strip of wood glue on it. Carefully place the glue side on the very edge of the front panel. This should make it flush. Use your brad nailer and nail all the way down the side from the front part of the valence (In the photo below, shows the back side of the valence). Repeat on the other side.
Once my valence is put together, I starting the “rustic” process. I stained the wood with Minwax in the shade “Jacobean” on the entire front panel, front bottom, front sides, entire side panel, bottom of the side panel, and the back side of the side panel. Basically anywhere that can be seen.
If you plan on painting this with a solid color instead of the stain/white wash, you can easily fill in the tiny holes and seams on the side with wood puty filler if you prefer. It will give it a more smooth finish.
For the rustic white washed look (after staining the whole valence), lightly dip your paint brush in the paint, and literally wipe/dab it all off on a paper towel. There will be very little left on the bristles and that’s what you’re aiming for! Do light strokes back and forth on the board. You don’t want to do the entire board in the white wash, but in different sections to give it a more realistic “rustic” look!
After it dries, Attach your hanging brackets on the back side panels and you’re ready to hang it!
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