Pretty back entry

pretty back entry

Do you have an entry from the garage into your home? A small space that separates the house from the garage. We call our space the back entry. I have also called it a mudroom. These spaces come in many different sizes.

When we built our home on the ranch in Southern Alberta I wanted a back entry that was spacious and had storage. I also wanted it a combination back entry and laundry room. When husband and kids come in from the barn or working outside it was nice to have the washing machine right there to drop the dirty clothes in. Also living in Southern Alberta you need a place to hang and store all the winter clothing.

Current Back Entry

Our current back entry could also be called a butlers pantry since it is right off the kitchen. It has upper and lower cabinets instead of a coat and shoe closet. When we were purchasing our home I asked if they’d take out the cabinets and install closets instead. That wasn’t a possibility so I had to wrap my head around how to make it work for me. I’m really glad I couldn’t install closets.

I did have them not install one set of upper cabinets. My reason was purely design. I wanted to make it unique and pretty and not just a bunch of cabinets.

They were happy to make that small change. Before we moved in I had design ideas. I love wood elements and wanted to implement wood into the space. I also love touches of industrial.

Creating the Barn Wood

For the back wall I decided to create a barn wood effect. I wasn’t willing to spend the necessary money for authentic barn wood so I decided to make and create my own that would fit my style.

creating barn wood

We used cedar fence boards to create the barn wood effect. After they were purchased and brought home I started by giving them each a quick sanding. I did want them a little rough but not so much that you’d get slivers. I also knew there would be a couple more sanding between painting steps to help smooth them out a little.

making barn wood

They were all going to look the same so I did the same step on each board. What worked best for me was doing everything is stages, all the sanding then all the white washing and so forth. After sanding I gave each board a white washing which is paint thinned with water so it goes on very lightly.

making barn wood
making barn wood

I don’t measure the paint to water ratio but I’d say about 60% paint to 40% water. After adding the water just stir the paint water mixture and apply it to the boards. I used a paint brush, a roller would be really messy because the paint is so thin. It dries really quick because it is so thin.

After the White Washing

making barn wood

After the white washing I gave the boards another light sanding just to give it the antique look. I then lightly applied grey stain across the boards. I covered most of the board especially where there was raw wood exposed. The look I was wanting was grayish boards that looked weathered and worn. I would apply the stain then quickly wipe it off so it didn’t settle too much onto the wood. It then got its final sanding.

making barn wood
making barn wood
making barn wood

The final sanding is just to finish each board the way you want. If the paint is too heavy in some places or the stain too dark it helps you control the finished product. I followed up with my Annie Sloan soft clear wax on each board to seal it and give it a smooth soft finish.


Because we had one upper cabinet already installed we had to decide if we wanted to take it down and install the barn wood behind it or leave it up and work around the cabinet. After a lot of discussion we decided it wouldn’t be too hard to take the cabinet down and install the wood.

making barn wood

Taking it down was quite simple. It ended up being heavier then expected but we managed. It also made the barn wood installation a lot easier. We started at the bottom and worked our way to the top. I figured it was less noticeable to have a partial board at the top then bottom where it meets with the cabinet. The entry length is 7’3″ so we were going to have seams in the wood. To make it look authentic don’t line up your seams. Staggering the board lengths is the easiest way to make this work.

Finishing the look

After the wood was installed we needed to rehang our upper cabinet. This got a little tricky because it was almost to heavy for me to hold. Monte was helping hold it while he screwed it back into place. We were able to mange thankfully.

Adding wood into a space is my favorite design element. I love the depth and warmth it creates. I also wanted to add an industrial shelf to display china and other pretty items. The shelf was the driving force behind not having them install a second upper cabinet. I wanted to create something unique and pretty. I knew I wouldn’t need the additional storage.

Building the Shelf

beautiful back entry

The shelf didn’t take a lot of time to build. We spent some time at Home Depot in the pipe fitting aisle trying to figure out what we needed and how to make it work. Thankfully there was an extremely helpful employee working that day. The shelf heights were dictated by the precut lengths of pipe. You can get it cut and threaded for an additional cost but I was happy to work with what was available.

Once we purchased our supplies we headed home to build and install the shelf. It really didn’t take a lot of time to build. Because we had installed the barn wood hanging was very easy as well. We didn’t have to worry about finding the studs or installing hollow wall fasteners to secure the shelf. We were working with a beautiful wood wall.

beautiful back entry

The main reason for the shelf was to display the stunning china I inherited from my grandma. I absolutely love how elegant and pretty it is. China wasn’t something I every owned nor had I thought about purchasing it but this china is stunning.

Finished product

pretty back entry
pretty back entry

I am so happy with the finished space. It works perfectly for us. There is a beautiful counter top to drop your arm load of items on before entering the house. It’s also a great place to stack items out of the way when you have guests over. I love the wood wall and industrial shelf. It’s a space I enjoy every time I come into my home.

This was a fun simple project that didn’t cost a lot or take a lot of time. The faux barn wood was under $75 to purchase. The shelf supplies were a little more expensive costing about $125.

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I am passionate about cultivating home. Whether you like DIY, design, decor or organization I want to help you cultivate the best home for you. One space and step at a time. Small simple to maintain changes with big results.