DIY Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece

Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of rustic wooden trough centerpieces in the home decorating world. And they look gorgeous! Neutrals and rustic are my favorite lately! I mean, I DO love color, but how easy is it to change your accent colors now and then when you’ve decorated in neutrals?! This means that I can re-decorate for holidays and different seasons without it costing me much at all: swap out couch pillows, decorate the mantel, get seasonal plants, and more!

Rustic Wood | DIY Trough | DIY centerpiece | wooden trough | Easy instructions for this Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece can be found on the Six Clever Sisters blog!

When I first saw the rustic trough centerpiece in a magazine, I immediately thought how fun it would be to put different things in it for different times of the year: ornaments and lights for Christmas, colorful sea glass and tea lights for summer, decorative fall leaves with pine cones and a candle for fall, and plants and candles, or even fruit, year-round! So many possibilities!

DIY Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece

1. Sanding

The key to getting a rustic look on a wood piece is to start with rougher wood and to leave the edges rough instead of sanding it down smoothly. You want that texture and roughness because that’s where the beauty will shine when we get to step 3. For my rustic wooden trough centerpiece, I used some scrap wood I had. I simply cut the sides to the size that worked for my dining room table, since that’s where it will be displayed. I stayed with the “rough” theme and just grabbed a hammer and some nails, and put it together. Nothing fancy or complicated. After my sides were put together, I had to measure for the bottom piece, cut it, and nail that in as well. I then took a sanding block and just smoothed the roughest edges down so no one would get splinters. ;-)

If you prefer to start with a pre-made trough, check your local craft store for unfinished wooden planters or troughs.  Amazon.com has wooden serving trays that could be used for wider tables.  Also, ebay.com had a couple options when I searched “unfinished wooden planter.”

2. Painting

The taupe-colored paint that I used on my trough was an oil-based paint that I had leftover from another project, but water-based is fine, too! It took me only five minutes to get it painted, but I made sure it was completely dry before I moved on to step 3.

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece
Wooden trough after painting

3. Staining

Yes, you read that right — dark wood STAIN going on top of paint. What?! The dark stain over the light paint adds texture and contrast! The key is to dry-brush it on, rather than to fully brush the trough in stain! Here’s how: I completely dip my brush into my stain because I like to be able to swipe the brush over the wood piece over and over and over without having to re-dip. After I dip it, I wipe the brush off as much as possible on the edge of my can of stain. I then wipe my brush off on a thick paper towel or rag until almost no more paint wipes off. Once my brush has reached that point, I am ready to dry-brush!

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece
Dip brush in the stain, wipe it off on the sides, then brush the extra paint off onto a paper towel.

This is the fun part! Start lightly until you can see and feel the effect that your brush will have when you work it over the paint. Your goal is to hit those higher rough edges with the stain so they end up darker. This gives the rustic weathered look. Your edges will look best when you keep your brush moving over and off them. Those dark lines really add depth! Now, just let it dry!

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece
Brush the dark stain lightly over your painted trough for a rustic look.
Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece
Now there is depth and contrast, especially on the edges!

 

4. Adding hardware

At this point, it looks A-MA-ZING! You can either leave it as it is, OR add some decorative hardware to each end. I chose wooden handles for my rustic wooden trough centerpiece. I stained them with the same dark stain that I used in step 3, except these handles got three coats so they would be darker than the trough and add even more contrast. When the handles are dry, screw them on to each end of your trough, and ta-da! You’ve created something gorgeous!

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece
Using dark wood stain on wooden handles and attaching them to your trough will add even more contrast.

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece
Drill holes and attached your stained handles.

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece

Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece

USE YOUR RUSTIC TROUGH AS A BASE FOR HOLIDAY DECOR!

I took another one of the troughs I had made and filled it with some glittery Christmas ornaments, and it really added a nice touch of sparkle to my kitchen table this past Christmas season! So easy and inexpensive!

DIY Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece

DIY Rustic Wooden Trough Centerpiece

Try this rustic wooden trough centerpiece and comment below telling me about it when you do! The great thing about this piece of decor is that is so easy to customize to fit any spot in your space that needs something special….and of course we talked about all the different things we could fill it with! Get building! 😉

Check out more of our DIY Rustic Home Decor projects!

 

DIY Pallet Sign "It Is Well"

 

DIY Wooden Photo Block

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