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DIY sink valance

While historic features can often add charm and character, they can also make a home feel dated.

My home was built in 1941, and it still had the original wood valance with a scalloped edge above the kitchen sink when I moved in. While I appreciate its appeal in a quaint, slightly cottagecore kind of way, I was craving a bit more of a modern feel in the space. Instead of removing it, I realized an easier way to update it would be to simply cover it with a faux wood beam

Creating the “beam” out of lightweight balsa wood couldn’t have been easier, and I used wood stain to make it look more like oak. By attaching it with mounting tape, it offered a removable solution that hides the valance completely while still preserving the historical detail. This hack is renter friendly too!

Here’s a peek at how the valance looked originally:




Start by cleaning the surface of the valance thoroughly, and let it dry. If it’s especially grimey, you may want to use a degreaser. A clean surface will ensure the beam adheres properly and has good staying power.



Measure the length and width of the wood valance to determine what size “beam” you’ll need to cover it. Add an extra inch to the width measurement, so that the beam can hang a little below the scalloped edge.



Use a utility knife to cut a piece of balsa wood according to the dimensions of your sink valance, making sure to add an extra inch to the width.



Brush a coat of pre-stain wood conditioner on the balsa wood, and let it sink in for about 15 minutes. This will help the wood absorb the wood stain more evenly.



Brush a coat of wood stain on the balsa wood, and then wipe it off immediately with a cloth. For inquiring minds, I used the color Golden Oak. If a darker color is desired, brush on a second coat after 30 minutes. Let it dry for a few hours.



Attach three adhesive hanging strips on the back of the wood beam—one in the center, and one on each end. You could also use mounting tape.



Position the wood beam on top of the sink valance, and press it firmly in place.


We are no strangers to DIY home renovations at Semihandmade. After all, that’s where the idea for making doors for IKEA kitchen systems came from. So naturally, we had to dedicate an entire section of SemiStories to celebrating our design community’s ingenuity, from DIY kitchen ideas to thinking of smaller details like rattan glassware and easy-to-make wall hangings. Don’t just take it from us: we’ve tapped the best in the business. Anita Yokota shared her best trick for a $20 bathroom renovation, Jessica D’Itri Marés shared her favorite spray painter, and Jenna LeBlanc showed us how to give wall-to-wall storage a custom touch. Maybe you’re just dipping your toes in the world of do-it-yourself, in which case we recommend starting small: try your hand at making your own speckled candle holders, for example, or give your greenery an updated home with pretty stacked planters. If you have a handy side (maybe you’ve put together DIY kitchen cabinets or are not afraid to use a power tool), we have projects for you too: painting a hand-painted mural is a fun way to give your favorite room some life or maybe you’re game to try putting together your own TV cabinet like Sarah Sherman Samuel did (PS: she saved thousands in the process). Experts, we’ve got you covered too: from learning to tile and grout your own backsplash to painting your cabinets without a hitch, we have plenty of DIY kitchen renovation ideas to keep you busy. We don’t stop at the kitchen either: from wall-to-wall media centers to fluted doors made for playroom storage, you’ll find ideas to improve every room in the house