How to Build Antique Pediment Door Arches

I’m not going to lie, it’s been pretty crazy over here lately. Life has been a little rough this past month or so, but I am trying to get back into the swing of things. So to brighten my mood, I am finally sharing a super fun project I did recently: DIY Chippy Antique Pediments.

Our house was really builder basic when we moved in two years ago. Like gross orange oak cabinets, no backsplash, and no architectural charm. It isn’t our “forever home,” but I want to love every space we live in. So while we are here, I will keep on adding character to it’s bare bones.

It’s come so far with the simple fixes we’ve made over the years. Here’s a reminder of where it started. See more of the ugly before HERE.

Today I wanted to share a quick tutorial on adding some architectural character to your home by building some simple DIY door arches.

I was provided paint & supplies for this post in exchange for using them in a project. This post included affiliate links, but I only share things that I LOVE & think you will too.

Here’s the visual difference of the original builder basic door modeling, before adding character with door pediments.

If we were going to stay longer, there are some things I would change in a heart beat, like the countertops, sink, flooring, door knobs, etc. But they are all in good condition, so for now we will just hold out on those type of updates until our next place (where ever that may be- military family problems, haha!)

The first thing I did for this project was tracing a simple molding template onto some 1×2’s.

Next, I literally just jig sawed off the edges of the wood.

See, super easy. Once your edges are cut, buff the rough parts with some sandpaper. And now you have DIY molding.

Here’s a visual of how I assembled them. First, I cut my reclaimed plywood sheets into pointed peaks. Then I added some of my DIY molding & screwed it to the plywood from the back.

Next, I added some more 1×2’s, turned to lay flat on top of the molding 1×2’s.

I attatched the top molding with my finishing nail gun.

Once I had the front of the mantle assembled, I brought it outside and used Amy Howard’s Better With Age to bring out the natural oxidization of the wood.

The more tannins in the wood (oak) the more it changes color. So each piece of wood will turn out a little differently depending on the type of wood it is.

After letting the stain do it’s job and dry fully, it’s time for chalk paint. I used Amy Howard’s One Step Paint in Ballet White.

Tip: Make sure your Better With Age cures & dries completely, or it can sometimes bleed through the paint. I didn’t have this issue with this project, but it has happened on other pieces for me because I was impatient & painted my pieces too soon.

I did several coats of chalk paint. When it comes to creating an authentic looking piece, the quality of the paint you use is huge. There is no comparison between the texture & finish chalk paint gives to pieces. I used to just use latex because it’s what I had on hand, but from the first time I used chalk paint, I was hooked! It feels like you are creating authentic history with every stroke.

Once the paint has dried, it will start to crack & peel a little all by itself. I tend to work with newer, more porous wood, so the paint tends to binds more to the wood. If that’s the case you have to take some extra steps to speed up the chipping process by scrapping the finish with wood or metal tools to reveal the pretty wood beneath the paint.

You can see a bit more on my preferred distressing method HERE.

I am so in love with how these arches add charm to my kitchen. They are super easy to hang. You can use command strips, or add a wire to the back to hang on the wall by nail.

I love antiquing & junking, but in the area we live, antiques are hard to find, or just plain expensive. I wanted to make arches for every door in our house (haha!) so if I had shopped for some old ones, it would have been very hard to find that many similar ones that match our door widths.

By DIY’ing them with reclaimed wood, I was able to up-cycle old materials, and create vintage charm for the cost of paint and some boards. Now to make some more for every door & window in my house!

That’s it for now. I’ll be back with some more fun home updates soon.

thank you for stopping by!

  1. Anonymous

    March 31st, 2017 at 1:58 am

    Love these. Adds such character.

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