11 May 2011

Knock-Off Pottery Barn Clock

Wow!  I got so many e-mails asking about my clock that I just decided to do a quick post on how I made it.  I actually followed a tutorial over at Alchemy Junk.  She had some great inspiration photos and directions on how to make a piece of brand new plywood look like weathered Pottery Barn wood!
A few times, I had to "figure things out" like you always do when following a tutorial.  I snapped some pictures of those steps to add to Alchemy Junk's tutorial.  Here is what I did:

I got Home Depot to cut me a piece of plywood to create a 35" x 35" square.  They give you two cuts for free, so that was perfect.  It also left me with a scrap piece large enough for me to make another clock for a friend if she was DYING to have one!

I bought a $1.00 brush to do some white washing (which I have never done before) as Alchemy Junk suggested.
I used my left over kitchen paint in creamy white to prime the wood and my leftover trim paint to white wash it.  As you can see, I just watered down the paint until it dripped off the brush.  This gave it a two toned look!
I literally used one of Rusty's knives to bore out some holes and cracks.  I even made sure to scrape up the edges and corners some.  If I had to do it over again, I would have picked a crappier piece of wood and distressed it even more!!
Alchemy Junk said she used paint chips to cut out her stencils.  I bought a $1 utility knife and tried that, but the chips weren't big enough for my numbers.  Then I tried card stock, and within one number, the edges were all soggy and the paint leaked under.  I finally dug up some of this plastic scrapbook paper and cut some stencils out of it.  It worked perfectly!!!  I literally just played around with the fonts and sizes and printed out some samples.  I decided on a size and font and cut out the X, V and I.  I would say GO BIG!!
I then traced the XII, III, VI and IX to make sure everything lined up.  I used a pretty dried out black Sharpie to do this.  I did try using a stencil sponge brush and the Valspar Antiquing Glaze from Lowe's, but the edges still bled under.  I resorted to filling them in with a small craft brush and loved the look MUCH better!
The spacing is another thing I had to figure out.  I could eyeball every other numeral I put in except for the VII and VIII.  I think it was because they took up the most space.  I mean, there is a ton of space between the I and II but hardly any space between the VII and VIII.  I got a little nervous here.  What I came up with is uber technical...As you see above, I ripped a sheet of paper in half.  I traced the tops of the numerals for VII and VIII and placed them on the clock for me to eyeball and move around.  Once I positioned them with the right amount of spacing, I just put the stencil on top of the V, held it in place and pulled the paper pattern out.  Make sure to connect the tops and bottoms of your numerals when stenciling and paint them together when painting.
After I filled in every numeral with the Valspar Antiquing Glaze (if you mess up, you can totally wipe the whole numeral away and start over!), the clock looked bold and sharp as in the top image.  I took a palm sander and started to sand away.  In the second picture, the VI and VII have been sanded some.  See the difference?  I think I sanded the whole clock once, swept it off, stepped back and sanded it again.  I hit up corners and edges again.  I even think it would look nice if you went back over it with some more antiquing glaze all over or in the corners.
Right now, I am loving it on my mantle.  I also measured in the exact size of an empty spot on my dining room wall.  I can't wait to try it there.  Rusty keeps staring at it and criticizing the fact that the numerals are upside down towards the bottom.  I showed him the PB picture, but he still doesn't buy it.  Now, I text him a picture of every clock I see with Roman numerals to show him that I haven't found one with upright numerals yet, so I am NOT the only crazy one!!

Question:  Do you think I need to buy a clock kit and add hands?

Check out my Projects Page to see my other knock-offs like the Pottery Barn Hundi Lantern, Pottery Barn Jewelry Holder, West Elm Curtains.


  1. It looks marvelous! I love the size of it! :)

  2. I looks great! I like the clock kit idea...but if you decide to leave it that works too. It's lovely!!

    Kara @ www.mineforthemaking.com

  3. I love it and I would have to say yes to the clock mechanism but then I LOVE clocks! And the Grandfather clock from my childhood had the Roman numerals in the upright position all the way around but we had it made in West Germany. Yep WEST Germany... that gives you an idea of how many years ago it was. However our current clock is set up JUST like yours.
    Thank you for the tutorial!! :)

  4. It turned out perfectly! Gorgeous!!

  5. Just discovered this blog through remodelaholic and I must say that I LOVE it! We have really similar style :)

  6. Wow!! That's amazing. It turned out so fantastic! I don't think I'd trust myself to color in the numbers. I'd end up with totally wonky looking lines. Ha!

  7. I love how this came out! I want to give it a try. Pinning it now...

    ~ Meredith From A Mother Seeking Come find me on my blog, A Mother Seeking...

  8. I saw a decorator on television turn the top of a round pedestal Victorian kitchen table into a clock similar to yours except she used numbers instead of Roman numerals and it was beautiful. Of course, no hands.

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