oar art


in the sunset room here at the b&b i have a big blank wall that i felt needed something… something unique. a couple years ago i took some photographs of a sunset at a creek near a friend’s house and this became the inspiration for the room. see…

Inspired By Charm


pretty. right? with the overturned boats in the photograph i got to thinking that oars would make a near decoration on the wall. i wanted something vintage, but all the painted/vintage oars i found were rather expensive or not the right color and i wanted something a bit more personal, so i decided to make my own.


Inspired By Charm


i found these on ebay and the seller dropped the price for me as i wanted to buy four. i think i only paid about $5 a piece. maybe a bit more with shipping. anyway. when they arrived they were a little too ‘new’ looking. so, i beat them with a hammer, sanded them, left them out in the rain and sun, drowned them in the creek behind my dads house for a couple days. i didn’t destroy them, but when i was done then looked a little weathered, one even split towards the bottom. excellent! success!

although everyone may not notice, the goal with the coloring was to look like a sunset. starting with a darker pink at the bottom and working up to a light blue. like in the picture above. (the will eventually be hung horizontally with the dark pink at the bottom and blue at the top.)

Inspired By Charm


so how’d i do it? well, i started by taping off some lines with painters tape so that some of the natural wood would show through. then i painted the entire oar the color i wanted.


Inspired By Charm


after that dried i went back and taped of some more areas and then painted specific parts with my contrasting/darker color. when that was dry i removed all the tape. then added a bit more tape to add in a couple white areas.


Inspired By Charm


when everything was dry, i removed the rest of the tape. some of the tape i removed pulled off pieces of the paint, but i was okay with that … it just added character and signs of wear.


Inspired By Charm


then i sanded everything down … harder in some areas and on the edges. i went back in with a rag and lightly added some brown and white paint for more interest and depth. and then sanded everything down again.


Inspired By Charm


tada! finished.


it took some time, but i love painting so in enjoyed every minute of it! i also love that they are completely customized for my space. you could do any variation to match your decor. all white with the natural wood.. primary colors… earth tones … etc.


a really fun project and it only cost me about $30-$40. i’m hoping to hang them after this weekend as there are guests in the room. i will post another picture when they are hung.

Disclosure: This blog post may contain affiliate links as part of the Amazon Services LLC Associate Programs and other affiliate services. This means that inspiredbycharm.com receives a small commission by linking to Amazon.com and other sites at no cost to the readers.

Posted By at 3:10 PM
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  • Amanda Joy at

    Oh my they look so good! I love how natural the “weathering” looks! What kind of paint did you use to make the texture show through?

  • Michael - Innkeeper at

    @ Amanda – i just used those cheap craft paints that cost a dollar at walmart. i just did one coat and the sanding removed some of the paint too.

  • Julie Smith at

    I. Love. These. So. Much.

    Such a great idea (those vintage oars ARE expensive, aren’t they?!) and you did an amazing job painting and weathering them. Really nice work.

  • D&D at

    SO fabulous! what a great idea. i might steal it…! ;0)

  • Lisa Rusczyk at

    Great ideas! I know where your small town in the middle of PA is!

  • Kim @ NewlyWoodwards at

    I LOVE THESE! (So much that I”m yelling.) I totally want to try this. The painting looks so great, and I would totally wanna stay in that room. Love that photograph, too.

  • Paula at

    Great project! Your guests are sure to give you many compliments on these.

  • Jen@Notes From the Heartland at

    Beautiful oars! I bet oars don’t get called beautiful very often! I think summer has gone to my brain, as I want to redecorate my entire house in a beachy/cottagey/seashore look….I think I need some oars. 😉

  • Mary Ann in Vermont at

    Good Morning Michael,
    I love-love-love your oar tutorial. They are amazing beautiful. Hope your long weekend down there is full of all nice things. Can’t wait to see what you are up to next.

  • jek-a-go-go at

    these are fantastic! love how they look weathered and the colors are so fresh…pretty!

  • Diane@InMyOwnStyle at

    Hi Michael-

    I want these Oars!! You did a fabulous job on them. They would look great in my dream house on the water. I love the weathered look, they almost looked stained. Very inspiring project.
    I found your blog thru BetterAfter. I am north of Philadelphia, where is St. Mary’s?
    My best- Diane

  • Sunshine and Shadows at

    They look wonderful. You really did a nice job on them.

  • Kindra at

    I came over from Better After and just had to comment on these awesome oars! Super job! I heart them!

  • linwood avenue at

    hi michael,

    thanks for introducing yourself on my blog today. i LOVE this oar project and i will definitely be back to see what else you come up with!

  • ann @ my life as prose. at

    oh. my. goodness. you are brilliant!! my husband rowed crew in high school and i can sooo see something in our (eventual) home… probably in one of our more masculine-ly (did i just make up a word? whatever… you know what i mean!) decorated rooms… like a study/library.

    michael. seriously. so incredibly brilliant! 🙂

  • House Revivals at

    These are terrific! I love that you used bright cheery colors. Great idea 🙂

  • Rene at

    These are gorgeous! I’m always drawn to buoys painted in bright colors and these are even better.


  • Lori at

    Great detail and color choice. Donna would be proud.

  • Ocean Offerings at

    Fantastic! Did you post a photo of them on the wall – would love to see it.

    We have shared your Oar Art and linked to you in our blog, http://blog.oceanofferings.com/

    Thanks you!

  • Anonymous at

    WOW!! These are without a doubt my favorite piece(s) of art that I have seen in quite a great while! You are seriously talented! Any chance you would want to make a set for me (or just sell me these 😉 Not joking actually.
    Anyways, great job.

  • sara at

    These are so gorgeous! I discovered them on Pinterest. I have some oars that I bought cheaply from Pottery Barn, but never liked the boring colors. I am going to reappoint them similarly, then hang them horizonally as picture hangers with thick rope to attach to the oars for my favorite beach photos here in Tampa. thank you for sharing your beautiful ideas!!

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  • Megan at

    Do you still have the website or name of the seller on ebay for the oars? I would like to do something similar, but do not want to spend the $$ that most places want. Love your $5 price point, and what you did with these oars. They are just beautiful!!!!!!

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Megan, I don’t. I’m so sorry. I made this a few years ago.

      xo Michael

  • Julie at

    You did a great job. What size are these?

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      To be honest I’m not sure. Probably about 4 ft?

      xo Michael

  • Beth at

    I keep coming back to these gorgeous oars! They are so inspiring.

    You mentioned posting a picture after they were hung, but I’ve tried several searches and can’t seem to locate.

    I have a broken vintage oar that I’m excited about painting…so fun. Thanks for the diy!

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