How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock

Go big or go home was the case with our large DIY Rustic Plank Wood Clock that solved two challenges in our home. There wasn't a clock to be had in our living room, where we spend most of our time. Plus for years we've struggled with ideas for what to hang on the 12-foot wall in our front entry. With a direct sightline to our living room, our large 38-inch diameter rustic clock not only solves the problem of not knowing what time it is but also is a huge statement piece in our entry.

DIY Plank Wood Clock

How To Make A Large Rustic Plank Wood Clock

I'm going to show you how to build the large plank wood clock with a rustic time-worn patina made from brand new fence boards!

Large DIY Plank Wood Clock

When you scroll to the detailed tutorial further below it may seem at first glance like there are a lot of steps to making this wood clock. I promise it is simple to make if you are comfortable working with power tools. I've broken each step into bite-size pieces for you.

What you'll need to make it

This post contains affiliate links so you can see what products I used or recommend for this project. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

Supply 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

Tool List

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

Aging the Wood

First, we're going to make those brand new fence boards look like the clock was made with lumber that has weathered over time. Instead of including step-by-step instructions here, see my detailed How To Age New Wood With Stuff In Your Pantry tutorial.

Painting with layers for a time-worn look

In this step you only have to paint seven of the boards, the eighth will be used for the uprights on the back.

Dry Brushing Layers of Paint

Now that the new fence boards are aged and have completely dried, dry brush layers of paint for that time-worn look.

Dry Brush Technique:

Dip just the tips of the paintbrush into the paint and swipe it over a paper towel to remove excess paint. Hence the term "dry brush". With light pressure paint long random brush strokes across the grain of the wood. No need to completely cover the wood.

Start with the darkest paint color first and work your way to the lightest. My paint colors are New Life green, Rocky Mountain Gray, Luscious Lime, and Simplicity White. Make sure each color is dry before moving onto the next color or the paint colors will blend into one another. With this dry brush technique, it dries in mere minutes.

Protecting the layers of paint

Once the last coat of paint dries, apply a thin coat of clear wax using a lint-free rag or round wax brush. You'll notice it darkens the paint colors and gives the wood a lovely patina.

Now we want that paint to look old and it's so easy to do with dark wax. Applied much the same way as the clear wax except this time you need to wipe away the excess with a lint-free rag. You want the dark wax to nestle in the knot holes and the deep grain of the wood and lightly stain the paint brown. The final step is to buff the wax to a soft matte sheen.

Attaching the painted boards

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

Cutting Plank Wood Clock Uprights

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).

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 below).

Recessing Clock Mechanism

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 (as pictured above).

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.

Cutting the boards in a circle

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

Using A Trammel Circle Marker

Clamp the wood onto a worktable and use a jigsaw to cut along the circle, turning and reclamping as you go.

Cut Plank Wood Clock Circle

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 dry brushed on the boards. I used the same dry brush layered paint technique.

Adding the clock face numbers

I find this step the most relaxing part of building the clock.

roman numeral clock face template

I found this clock face graphic at the Graphics Fairy website and uploaded the graphic to Block Poster. Enlarge the graphic using the portrait orientation setting to fit the 38-inch diameter clock. The clock face will print on multiple sheets of bond paper. Piece the template together with tape and cut the clock face out.

Instead of including step-by-step instructions for transferring the clock face onto the wood, see my detailed Image Transfer Technique tutorial.

hand painted clock face

If hand painting the clock face isn't your jam, you could use self-adhesive vinyl numbers, glue on wood numbers, or use a clock face stencil.

Attaching the Clock Mechanism

High torque clock mechanism

The clock mechanism was attached to the back of the clock using E6000 glue. Attach the clock hands to the front following the instructions on the package. Insert batteries and you're ready to hang the clock on the wall.

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 and you're ready to hang the clock on the wall.

Hanging the clock on the wall

Last but not least is hanging the heavy clock on the wall. If you've hung artwork with double picture hanger hooks before then you know how frustrating it can be to get both nails lined up perfectly while standing vicariously from a ladder, much less getting it level.

Here is a link to my very handy No-Measure Tips For Hanging Wall Art tutorial that gets is perfect EVERY SINGLE TIME. Plus there's a tip on how to stop those D-hooks you just installed from flopping up and down.

We couldn't be happier with the impact our large pallet wood clock makes when entering our home with sightlines from both our living and dining rooms.

I'd be so thankful if you pinned this idea or shared it with a friend. With gratitude! -Marie

Plank Wood Clock Tutorial

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