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If you didn't leave this page after that cheesy title, I truly appreciate your loyalty, and congratulations- you're about to get a tutorial for an incredibly simple DIY that makes a HUGE impact! That's kind of the name of the game around here. Achievable DIYs that make a big difference in the design of the space are my favorite! With our back porch, I really wanted to elevate the design of the space, but I didn't want to spend a ton of money or time on this one.
It all started with me getting some new planters for our back porch, because once I got the new planters, I wanted to replace the light, and once I got the new light, I realized how dingy our ceiling was looking. On a total side note, the plants that I have in the planters are totally faux as well. They're cute though, and they were a steal for the both of them. You can find them here! Ok, I digress, back to the ceiling at hand.
I LOVE a wood ceiling, but again- didn’t want to spend the time or money. I realized that I could try to create the look of a wood ceiling with gel stain, but it was risky. On one hand, if it turned out, that would save me a ton of money and time, but on the other hand… if it looked cheap, I knew I’d hate it and end up redoing the whole thing. Even more time, even more money. You be the judge, but I think I successfully saved myself a few Benjamins.
I have used gel stain before, and I really love the product because it doesn’t require a ton of prep, it doesn’t need a top coat, and, if done correctly, gives a beautiful finish. For this particular project, I used two different colors of stain- the lighter stain was called Cherry Wood by Minwax, and the darker of the two was a Varathane gel stain in Mahogany. I liked both brands equally, and the colors together worked out beautifully.
To prep my surface, I made sure that the ceiling was clean, and then I scuffed it up with an 80 grit sanding block in order to give the stain a little something extra to adhere to. I applied the lighter stain first, and ended up using two coats. Once that was fully try, I went over again with the darker stain. This time around, I applied using a foam roller first, and then went over that with a coarse chip paint brush, using light strokes in order to form lines that mimicked wood grain. The nice part about this “technique” is that there isn’t really a right or wrong way to do it. Think about the grain on pieces of wood. It is perfectly imperfect, so don’t stress if your lines aren’t perfectly straight. On the contrary, I’d recommend you embrace the imperfections.
Once the darker stain was applied, I removed my painters tape while the stain was still wet, and let it dry. The result is a warm, beautiful ceiling that really elevates our porch and takes it from “old” to updated! This project could truly be done on any surface, and I look forward to the spring time because the front porch is most definitely getting the same treatment... who knows, maybe a garage door makeover is on our future! Stay tuned to find out!