Mar 10, 20194 min

Basement Stairwell Wood Beams

Updated: Apr 26, 2019

Adding character in your home does not have to be hard! We made these rustic vertical beams in our basement over top of the existing drywall posts. The staircase lacked any character before and I felt like didn't represent our style at all. I knew we would have to update down here eventually, but didn't really know what was going to be the plan for the stair case. Well, once again Curtis made all things possible with his mad skills! Read on to see how we made these easy rustic beams to bring a major focal point and unique look to our basement!

So let's take a look at what we started with. Below you can see the original staircase and all its dated eye soars. Those glass inserts are just a nightmare when you have small kids. Kids are attracted to glass like a moth to a flame. The moment they see it they feel it's begging for art work to be drawn out with their very own special yes indeed. So the glass inserts were actually one of the first things to go because I just couldn't keep up with buying case lots of Windex.

Bye bye oak trim!!

Once all the oak trim was off I decided to paint the entire basement in Benjamin Moore Grey Wisp, and that even included the entire staircase. At this point I had no idea what our plans are for here, but I just had to see that old paint go..... so I just kept on rollin!

Of course after I painted evvvverything, we then decide to start planning our beams, (insert eye role and sighs). So we got to thinking about those vertical posts. I suggested to Curtis to wrap the right hand side in wood to match up to some of the other wood elements in the basement that we had just added. I thought with it just standing there like that it was begging for some wood to be wrap around it. Then he suggested we could do the same on the left hand side as well!! Heck....I didn't even think it could work on the other side!! The other side wasn't even a post, it was a half wall, but Curtis being Curtis, he started working his magic right away, and gave it the illusion of a free standing beam...genius I tell ya! I've realized now that drywall posts don't really stand a chance in our house, haha!! If I see a dry wall post or bulk head looking sad an alone we are gonna wrap it in wood faster than you can say Mary Poppins!!

Here you can see Curtis started wrapping the wall posts in 1x6" pine boards. He cut the board edges at 45 degrees angles so that all 4 corners could line up and look seamless and more like actual wood beams. To attach the boards, he used some wood glue first on the backs, and then used his Brad nail gun.

After he wrapped them all in the wood, he found this amazing tool he had in a bag of old tools he got from his great grand father....and one of them was this really neat draw shaver that is over 100 years old! This tool is everything!! He shaved down the 90 degree corners of the posts to give them a very rustic aged look. I was in love instantly! Usually we just use our power sander to try to smooth out the edges of our wood work, but this was so much easier and not to mention way nicer looking in the end.

Just look at those wood much fun to watch this process!

After all the shimmy shimmy work being completed with the draw shaver, we then sanded down the entire beams to smooth out any rough edges. Now it was time to stain! Decision, decisions....what colour to go with?? I had already picked a few wood tones in our basement for some other wood projects, and tried to not be too matchy matchy, but in this case I decided to go with a medium toned stain and picked out Minwax Special Walnut. I find this colour just went beautifully with all of the other wood tones in our basement.

Applying Minwax Special Walnut

After the stain had dried over night I applied 2 coats of Minwax Polycrylic in Clear Satin. I didn't want it super shiny, just protected and I find the clear satin looks perfect, just enough shine to enhance the colours and character of the wood.

And here are the beams now after we shiplapped the inner and outer stairwell....

Aren't those beams SO pretty!?

I love how the beams add warmth to the white shiplap.

Well guys, what do you think of our easy DIY rustic basement beams? I think they make the space feel so cozy and much less like your typical builder grade basement. I think sometimes we tend to forget about our basements and adding character down here, when in fact a lot of times families spend more time down there then on the main floor due to the large open spaces. So why not make this a place you truly love and feel inspired in? I sure hope this gives some of you new fun ideas with your basement projects. Let me know what you think below!

Have a great day friends:)