How To Paint Decorative Oars: The Complete Guide

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How To Paint Decorative Oars: The Complete Guide

Want to learn how to paint decorative oars? You’ve come to the right place. In this complete guide, we’re going to show you step by step how to paint your decorative paddles to perfection. Whether you’re built these oars yourself or you bought them in-store and simply want to change the color to match your space - you’re just a few moments away from gaining the knowledge necessary to make your vision a reality.

Decorative oars are one of the best ways to really tie together a coastal theme - whether it be in your home, office, or storefront. And once you know how to paint them, you won’t have to worry about ruining one of your favorite pieces of decor. Let’s not waste any more time!

How To Paint Decorative Oars: Step By Step Guide

While it sounds so simple, learning how to paint decorative oars is not something you should take lightly. The last thing you want is to get your hands on a stunning set of decorative paddles or oars - only to destroy them by improperly painting them. Some mistakes can be rectified - but others will be harder to come back from. If you use the wrong type of paint, you’ll have to sand the entire oar down and start fresh. Don’t worry, though - we’re going to help you get it right the first time. Painting decorative oars isn’t all that difficult - at least, as long as you know the necessary steps. We’ll outline the 9 essential steps below for you and then we’ll dive right into step one - determining what type of paint you should use for decorative oars.

  1. Start By Choosing Your Paint Type 
  2. What Color Paint Are You Going To Use?
  3. Gather Other Necessary Supplies
  4. Prepare Your Decorative Oars For Painting
  5. Actually Painting Your Decorative Oars
  6. Finalize The Details If Necessary
  7. Let The Decorative Oars Dry
  8. Hang Your Oars On The Wall
  9. Tie The Rest Of Your Coastal Decor Together!

Step 1) Start By Choosing Your Paint Type 

First things first - what type of paint are you going to use for this project? There are tons of different types of paint out there - but only two of these are best for your project. To ensure a stunning final product that you’re actually proud to display on your wall, stick with chalk paint. This type of paint is great because you can use fewer coats to achieve perfection - and the coverage is great. However, if you are struggling to find this paint in your local arts and crafts store or you already have acrylic paint or latex paint on hand, you can try one of those styles. You’ll just need to apply thinner strokes and more coats. Now - once you’ve got the type of paint figured out, let’s talk color scheme. 

Step 2) What Color Paint Are You Going To Use?

If you already have your heart set on a specific color of paint, you can go ahead and proceed to step 3. But hear us out if you are open to recommendations. When it comes to beach home decorating ideas, there are a few color schemes we recommend. In any coastal decor setting, stick with very light, airy colors. These colors truly symbolize the beach. You can’t go wrong with a light blue or white. Even a light green works great. Just remember to keep these colors light. The only situation in which you may want to use a dark color is if you are hanging these on a light wall. Using a darker blue is a great way to stay on theme while helping your oars pop off the wall.

Step 3) Gather Other Necessary Supplies

Now that you have your paint, what else should you grab to paint your paddles correctly? This will depend on whether or not you are incorporating other design elements into your paddles. For example, maybe you want to paint the oars a solid color and etch in your family name in a different shade - or perhaps you want to add some rope to your oars at the end of the project to really add some flair. Whatever you ultimately decide to do with your design, here are a few essentials you’ll want to keep on hand before beginning this project: 

  • The wooden oars themselves, of course
  • Paint (be sure you have extra)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sandpaper (if necessary)
  • Other design elements, like rope

We say sandpaper is only “if necessary” because you may have gotten your hands on pre-sanded oars that are ready to be painted as is. But, if you are changing the colors of your oars, it is best to sand the paint off to start fresh. More on that in the next step.

Step 4) Prepare Your Decorative Oars For Painting

Now we’re just about to get started painting your oars. First, though, you need to prepare them for the task at hand. This step will have different sub-steps depending on what you’re looking to do with your oars and their current state.

For example, you may want to add other details to your oars besides a base layer of paint. You can put your family name, the location of your favorite beach, or other little details. If so, you’ll want to think back to step 3 and make sure you have other colors of paint handy. Similarly, if you plant to weave rope around your paddles, make sure you have the rope cut to the perfect length already. And if your oars need to be sanded, now is the time to do it. This is also a good time to lay out a tarp for painting on and taping over the areas you don’t want to paint on your paddle.

Step 5) Actually Painting Your Decorative Oars

Now comes perhaps the easiest step of all - actually putting paint to canvas. Or in this case, paint to paddle.

Remember - you are going to hang these on the wall at some point. So, you really only need to paint one side. Apply the first coat and see how it looks. If it appears too thin and you can see the wood grain through the paint, add another layer. Apply as many layers as necessary until you’re content with the appearance of your paddle.

Step 7) Let The Decorative Oars Dry

Once you’re happy with the coats of paint you’ve applied and the color looks good, give the oars a chance to dry. Then, you’ll come back and add the finishing touches later on.

Step 6) Finalize The Details If Necessary

Let the paint dry, then remove the tape you’ve used to protect the other areas you’re going to paint. Whether you simply added stripes, your lucky number, a triangle, your name - whatever is, now is the time to finalize the details. Once you’ve etched in any other paint details, you can let those dry. Then, add your rope intertwined around the handle if you want to add that flair we talked about. This will really set your oars apart from anything else out there. 

Step 8) Hang Your Oars On The Wall

Now that you’re happy with the project, read our article on how to hang decorative oars on the wall. There are a few ways you can go about it. adding hanging brackets to the back side of the oar is our preferred approach. Another method you can consider is placing these on a mount that is already drilled into your wall. Whatever you do, just make sure they are secure on the wall and aren’t going to present a falling hazard.

Step 9) Tie The Rest Of Your Coastal Decor Together!

These paddles are likely just one piece of the puzzle for your decor. Add any other elements to the wall along with your paddles. We have some great beach house wall art ideas you may be interested in. For inspiration, you can also check out our article on how to decorate with driftwood.

Final Thoughts On How To Paint Decorative Oars

Well, there you have it - how to paint decorative oars. We’ve walked you through our step by step guide so you can take on this project with confidence. But if you want to save yourself this hassle and just buy the most stunning, ready-to-hang nautical decorative oars - head over to Uniquely Coastal. Our coastal home decor is among the best of the best - and with unbeatable prices, what more could you ask for? Pair your new paddles with some nautical signs or anchor wall decor!

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