DIY Corbels

I love the look of those old, chippy antique corbels, but I don’t love the price. I’ve been considering ways to add some architectural interests to this builder grade home and came across this DIY from Shanty2chic which I thought was pretty cool.  With a recent investment in a compound mitre saw and brad nailer I felt this would be a pretty easy beginner project to test my new tools.

I purchased this two pack of corbels from Home Depot for $16.


As you can see from the packaging the dimensions are only 8 1/2 X 6. I knew I wanted something larger. I had some scrap 1 1/2 inch by 3/4 inch boards and 1 1/2 inch by 1/2 boards left over from another project.

I basically held those up against the corbel to decide on length for the look I wanted and drew a pencil mark where I wanted to make the straight cut.


Then I cut the ends that would go out from the base of the corbel at a 30 degree angle with the mitre saw (you can see this piece was already painted from another project).  The measurement for the first two pieces was 7 1/2 inches for the piece across the top and 10 1/2 inches for the piece running down the side.

I made cuts to two more pieces of the scrap wood- this time 10 inches in length for the shorter piece to run across the top of the corbel and 12 3/4 inches for the side piece. I also angled those pieces on one end with a 30 degree cut.


I used wood glue to first attach the scrap wood to the corbel and then secured each length with 1 inch brad nails. Love my new brad nailer!!!!


Once the entire thing was glued and nailed together, I gave it a light sanding.


I didn’t worry about filling in the holes from the brad nailer because I knew I wanted them to look aged anyway.

I wanted to get a sense of size so I held one of the corbels up to a corner


I’m sure if you wanted to make them larger you could continue to add more pieces to the side. You may even add a wider board as your final piece.

Next I gave them each a coat of Minwax stain in dark walnut.


Yes, that is a well used can of stain.


The next step is a little more difficult. At least it was for me. You need to wait for the stain to dry completely. So I placed a fan on them to speed up the process but ended up waiting until the next day to paint. I wanted them to be COMPLETELY dry.


The next day I painted each corbel with chalk paint,as always with my faithful companion Tucker by my side.

I used three coats allowing each coat to dry thoroughly.


Again, I didn’t care about perfectly even coats because I knew I would be distressing.  I allowed those to dry overnight. I am usually not this patient, trust me.

The next day, I applied the clear wax in this same Folk Art brand you can purchase at any craft store like Michael’s or Joann’s. I took Tucker for a walk to allow the wax to dry.

Next, the fun part!!! I used the same hand sander pictured above and distressed all of the edges. The wax allows the paint to just roll away to get that nice aged look.


Of course, I’ll hang them eventually but for now I’m having fun moving them around adding them to vignettes!!