How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock | The Interior Frugalista: How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock
How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock | The Interior Frugalista

February 11, 2016

How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock

We have a bi-level style home with a 12-foot ceiling in the front entry. The tall wall has a sight line from both our living and dining rooms. A few years ago we painted the wall red in the color Sundried Tomato to give it some punch but it was still lacking the Wow factor when you entered our home.

Along with the challenge of what to hang on that wall, we also didn't have a clock anywhere other than the kitchen, which could not be seen from the living room. Then I stumbled upon a few plank wood clocks on Pinterest and I finally had an answer for both challenges. So today I'm sharing a tutorial on How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock with huge impact. I say huge because, at a diameter of 38-inches, this clock is large.

DIY Plank Wood Clock

Those of you who have been following me might remember this clock back in December when I shared a guest post at Practically Functional. In case you missed it, I thought I would share it today here on my blog.

How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock


Large DIY Plank Wood Clock

The planks used for this clock are actually brand new 6-foot fence boards that I aged with a few techniques that I'll explain below.


Materials List

  • 6-foot pine fence boards x 8
  • The Clock Shoppe High Torque 18"- 22" Clock Hands with Mechanism (Hobby Lobby)
  • Aging solution (recipe below)
  • Chalk paint in the colors Luscious Lime, Rocky Mountain Grey, and Simplicity White by Country Chic Paint
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish in the color New Life green 
  • Clear Wax by Country Chic Paint
  • Dark Wax by Country Chic Paint
  • Clean white lint-free rag
  • 1-inch wood screws
  • Large D-Ring Picture Hangers
  • Graphite Paper

Tools Used

  • Mitre Saw
  • Jigsaw
  • Power drill
  • Large woodworking clamps
  • Trammel Circle Marker
  • Router with Plunge Router Bit
  • Awl

Aging the Wood

To get that aged wood appearance, I used a homemade wood aging solution a.k.a. Giggle Juice. I call it that because I giggle with delight every time I see the results.

Recipe for Wood Aging Solution

Giggle Juice Recipe:

  • Fine Steel Wool (the finer the wool, the easier it breaks down).
  • White Distilled Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar (my personal preference).
  • Soak the steel wool in vinegar in a sealed container (the longer the solution percolates, the rustier the juice)
  • Wear vinyl gloves because the smell of the solution will stay on your hands for days (trust me on this one).
  • Apply the aging solution using a chip brush, clean rag or a piece of the steel wool like I did (see picture below).  
  • Apply it in coats, like you would stain, allowing it to dry between coats until you achieve the desired patina.
Apply Wood Aging Solution With Steel Wool

From what I've read, the acidic solution reacts with the tannin's in the wood and essentially provides an acid wash stain. I always have a plastic container of Giggle Juice brewing in my shop so mine was super rusty. You can see the difference between the treated and non-treated wood in the picture below. I applied three coats to each board.

Before and After Wood Aging Solution

Assembling the Clock

Step 1 - Painting the Wood

Dry Brushing Layers of Paint

After the boards have completely dried, apply dry brushed layers of paint for that time-worn look. The first layer on my clock is the color New Life green.  Let each color dry in between coats (mere minutes). The next color I used was Rocky Mountain Gray, followed by Simplicity White and Luscious Lime.

NOTE: you only have to paint seven of the boards, the eighth will be used for the uprights on the back.


Dry Brush Technique: dip the brush so that just the tips have paint. Swipe the brush onto a paper towel to remove excess paint. Apply light pressure on the brush and paint long random brush strokes. The goal is to achieve a timeworn look.

Once the last coat dries, apply a thin coat of clear wax using a lint-free rag to bring out the colors. Next rub dark wax using a lint-free rag into the knot holes and where the wood has character and deep grains and then wipe away the excess. The final step is to buff the waxes to a matte sheen.

Step 2 - Attaching the Boards

Cutting Plank Wood Clock Uprights

Cut the extra fence board (the one you didn't paint) in half using a miter saw to 3-foot lengths.

Recessing Clock Mechanism

Lay the painted fence boards on a worktable upside down (mine are placed horizontally).  Butt the boards up to one another and clamp in place using large woodworking clamps.

On the fourth board (middle board) mark where the center of the clock will be (19-inches from the edge). Using a 3/8"drill bit, drill a hole for the clock hand stem to fit through.

Lay the clock mechanism over the center mark and trace the outline with a pencil. On either side of the mechanism lay the 3-foot boards (these become your uprights).

NOTE: Make sure the top of each upright sits level with one another from the top of the clock because your picture hangers will be mounted on them. Attach the fence boards to the uprights using 1-inch wood screws  (see picture above).


Depending on the thickness of the boards and the maximum depth of the clock mechanism (ours was 7/8-inches) you may need to notch out some of the wood to recess the clock mechanism.  Note: The mechanism should rest below the depth of the uprights.  I would urge you to do this with a Router and Plunge Router Bit.  Our son borrowed our router so we had to notch ours the old fashioned way using a chisel and hammer - hence the crude opening.

Step 3 - Cutting the Clock Round

Using A Trammel Circle Marker

Using a Trammel Circle Marker, draw out a 38-inch diameter circle on the back side of the clock with the pointed end of the Trammel in the center hole you drilled earlier for the clock mechanism.

Cut Plank Wood Clock Circle

Clamp the wood onto a worktable and use a jigsaw to cut along the circle, turning and reclamping as you go.  With a mouse sander, smooth out the raw edge around the clock.  Note:  You will need to paint the raw edge using one or all of the colors on the pallet boards.  I used the dry brush technique again along my edge.

Step 4 - Clock Face Numbers

roman numeral clock face template

I found a clock face graphic that I liked at the Graphics Fairy website.  I uploaded the graphic to Block Poster and enlarged the image using the Portrait orientation setting to fit the 38-inch diameter clock. Then I printed the clock face and pieced the template together with tape and cut it out.

Graphite paper transfer technique

Next I laid the template onto the clock, ensuring the twelve and six numbers were at the top and bottom and taped the template in place at the top.  Using a sheet of graphite paper, I traced the template onto the wood.

traced Clock face template

Using art brushes and the chalk paint color, Rocky Mountain grey, I painted over the trace marks.

Painting clock face

hand painted clock face

You could skip the steps above by gluing on vinyl self-adhesive, plastic, or wooden letters.   You will need 20 I's, 4 V's and 4 X's.  Unfortunately, we couldn't find 20 I's in stock locally so we resorted to painting the numerals.

Step 5 - Attaching the Clock Mechanism

High torque clock mechanism

We attached the clock mechanism onto the back of the clock using E6000 glue.  Attach the clock hands to the front following the instructions on the package.

Step 6 - Attaching Picture Hangers

Large D-Ring Hooks for Plank Clock

Attach Large D-Ring Hooks onto the top of each upright measuring 1-inch down from the top and screw in place. Insert one AA battery into the clock mechanism.

Step 7 - Hanging the Clock

No Measuring method for hanging art

Tip:  Easy Way To Hang Clock With No Measuring Required

  • Line up a piece of masking tape across the hanger of each D-Ring
  • Mark at the top of each D-Ring where the nails/screws should go (see photo above)
  • Remove the masking tape from the clock and attach to the wall (see photo below)
  • Use a level to ensure the tape is perfectly straight
  • Mark each dot using an Awl and remove the tape
Tape marks the nail holes

  • Place a drywall screw on each mark.  Hopefully you hit a stud otherwise you will need to install drywall anchors like we did (see photos below).

Installing drywall anchors

Ta da, that's it. I'm thrilled with the impact the clock makes when entering our home and while sitting in both our living and dining rooms.

If you enjoyed my Plank Wood Clock tutorial, please share it with a friend and/or save it on Pinterest.

Plank Wood Clock Tutorial

It may seem like there are a lot of steps to make this Plank Wood Clock, it really is quite easy and can be a weekend project.

Where in your home would you hang a large Plank Wood Clock?

I'm sharing this project at these fabulous LINKY PARTIES.

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