Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tutorial: Pottery Barn Blue Gate Knock Off

Do you love my blue gate art as much as I do? Would you like to make one for yourself? Honestly, it was one of my more simple projects to make yet makes a big statement. It just took a few steps spread out over a few days. Before we get started, let’s take a look at the inspiration piece one more time:


I think everyone else loves it as much as I do because it’s sold out.

And, incase you’re a global thinker (like me) and need to see the final product before going over all the steps, here’s what our’s will look like:


Let’s get started!

All of your materials can be found at Home Depot or Lowes. I went to Home Depot because that’s what I have in my town.

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-1 1x4 white wood board (I got a 10 foot section and we had some leftover. The length of board you need will depend on the size of fence piece you get. We cut ours in half at Home Depot to fit it in our car.). The board only cost $3.50. We took our board to the trim aisle and used the hand saw there to cut it ourselves.
-1 Fence Boarder piece (mine was about $6.50 and they don’t have it online. But a close contender is this one, and I just fell in LOVE with this one at Lowes. A little more expensive but it looks a lot more like Pottery Barn’s version.) While there were white pieces available, I chose a black one for distressing purposes later on.
-Hack saw
-Paint for the fence (I used Rustoleum’s Textured spray paint so it would give a little more depth to the fence, but you really could use any white paint you already have)
-Wood stain (I used Minwax wood finish in Red Chestnut)
-Paint for the frame (again, you could use any paint you already have, but I bought a Behr sample in Bleached Denim)
-Spray varnish
-Measuring Tape
-Small Screws
-Glue of your choice
-Hand saw and miter box (or any wonderful power tools you may have)
-Glaze (I used a glaze I mixed a while back that was tinted with a dark brown)
-2 metal brackets for hanging frames

Step 1: Build your frame

-Measure the width and height of your fence piece (height is measured from the top to the bottom of the decorative part, don’t take the little legs that stick in the ground into account). You may want to leave 1/8” or so extra space in these measurements. We did, and I have a solution for making up for that gap later on.

-Use those measurements as the length of the inside of the boards for your frame. Cut a 45 degree angle in your miter box (or use your miter saw if you have one). Do this for all your pieces.

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-Piece your frame together and put some wood glue between each piece at the corners to help hold it together. Let the glue dry.

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Step 2: Paint Your Fence

-Once you’ve left the glue to dry, give your fence piece a few good coats of spray paint. I loved the effect of the textured spray paint!

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Step 3: Stand and Paint Your Frame

-Once your glue is dry, nail the boards together. My husband used an 18 gauge finish nailer to nail the corners together.

-Admire your frame.

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-Distress your frame by hitting/whacking it with whatever you feel like slinging. I found a large wrench worked well. You don’t want to beat it up too much—just give it the look of being worn/used.

-Sand the corners and edges of your frame so they don’t have the crisp, new look to them anymore and instead have a soft, worn edge.

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-Give your frame a nice coat of stain.

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-I let mine dry mostly and then gave it a coat of paint with a sponge roller. I love this blue!

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Step 4: Finish the Fence

-While the paint is drying, use your hack saw to cut off the legs of the fence piece about 1/16- 1/8 of an inch below the bottom rail.

-Use your sand paper to scuff up your paint. I sanded at the points that would get more contact—around the curves and near the ends of each piece, as well as at the welds.

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-Slop thick amounts of glaze on the fence piece and then wipe it off. Add as much as you want until you get the dirtied/aged look that suits your taste.

Step Five: Finish Your Frame

-Sand down your frame and scuff it up so the stain shows through at spots and it has an aged look to it. Then give it a light coat of a varnish of your choice. I love the way the contrast between the paint and the stain shows up when you do this!

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-Hammer your brackets into the back so you’ll be able to hang it up. (We didn’t think to do it at this point and waited until after the fence was in the frame. It would have been much easier to have done the hammering at a point when you didn’t have to worry about the fence falling out.)

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Step 6: Finish the Project!

-Wedge your fence into the frame. If your fence fits perfectly, just put some glue in at the points where it touches the frame and let it sit.

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-If yours is like mine and there was a tiny gap between the fence and the frame (so small you can hardly see it, but enough that your fence would fall out)…

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-Sink screws under the points where the spot that you cut the feet off the fence will come into contact with the frame. The beauty of using screws is that you can sink them further in the frame or screw them back out to adjust depending on the size of your gap.

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-Put your fence in and glue the top points so it will stay in place.

Step 7: Enjoy!

-Hang it in your home, decorate around it, and stand back and admire your work!!!

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If you make one, I would LOVE to see it! Send me an email at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} com, or comment here with a link to your blog!


  1. OH MY! I see these fence pieces all the time at our discount store -- I'd have to have the hardware store cut the frame for me though. But great, detailed tutorial -- love it!

  2. Thank you so much for the info! I can't wait to try making my own. I'll let you know how it turns out! {{fingers crossed}}

  3. LOVE that idea! I already have a frame that would be perfect & easy to cut to size!

  4. Well, just how cute is this?!!! I'm going to see if DH can come up with something like this for me. Thanks for the tut!

  5. Congratulations on coming in second, way to go. Tone

  6. What a great accent piece! You did a beautiful job.

    Thanks for entering the Knock It Off Contest and Good Luck!

  7. Your tutorial is great! Very detailed. :)

  8. Thank you thank you thank you!! I just saw almost the EXACT SAME fence for $1 in the Target $1 section, so I'm making this ASAP!

  9. I just love this! I just found your blog and you are super talented. I would love for you to share this at my Fantastic Friday link party.


  10. Love this, am now think possible head board

  11. I am highlighting this at somedaycrafts, in addition to the knock-off contest. I hope you don't mind. You rock!

  12. hi! i found you through knock off decor and i am uh-mazed at this project!! i want to run out to home depot right now and get started!!! i love it and thanks so much for the inspiration!

    Your newest follower :)

  13. Aw, this little craft is such a fun addition to any room. There are so many places you could use it. I am impressed by how well it turned out! Great job!

    I would love to have you link this up to my first link party--

  14. Just saw this on Pinterest. Love it! Thank you for thinking of this! My husband and I are making this soon!

  15. thanks super topic


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