Friday, April 18, 2014

How To Install A Plank Wall

How to install a plank wall

It is still hard to believe that this is the same space! 



It is amazing the transformation that can happen with some plywood, various leftover paints and a partner in crime! I mentioned here the back story of how I finally decided which wall to plank. It ended up being a great choice because we don't have a large entryway and adding something like this wouldn't close in the space and still add a great accent wall that you can enjoy from the front door, living room, kitchen and even dining room. 

The main inspiration that I used online for completing this project was this wall & this wall. I pretty much followed Carrie's lovely instructions on how she did her wall. (Now looking back we could have saved a lot of time if we had gone with all 6" boards instead of varying the widths.) We had a LOT of cuts because of the doorways so trying to piece everything together was similar to the amount of time that it would take to tile a floor (yikes!) If you plank a wall that doesn't have doorways (like Carrie did) then your time would greatly decrease from what it took us to do these two walls.

At first Sam was on the fence with my design decision to do the accent wall but as soon as I told him that planking this wall would help cover the dirty walls from the highest traffic area in our house he was all in!

While I will say that this project was worth every penny, I did learn through the process that I totally underestimated the time that it would take to do this. My "hey honey, let's put up the plank wall one afternoon" turned into a two person, three day project. While I'm totally excited about the transformation I want to be sure that you know what you are getting into with eyes WIDE OPEN if you choose to take on this mission! 
Here is how we did it...

I measured the small wall that heads to the stairs and the main, long wall and determined that I needed (3) 1/4" sheets of 4'x8' plywood. I didn't realize that there would be various kinds of 1/4" plywood to choose from. I ended up going with a sanded version to keep all of my children's fingers intact as they pass by the wall. :-)

I must say that I was super impressed with Home Depot's service. A very kind worker cut down my 3 sheets in no time! We decided to cut 1/2 of the wood into 6" widths and then the other 1/2 of the wood was cut into 8" widths and 4" widths. 

In less than 40 minutes I was in and out of the store with all of the cut wood...that was the easy part of the whole project. (Oh and Home Depot cut the wood FREE of charge!)

Once home we sanded the edges of the wood (from where they had been cut) and covered our table to start painting the boards. We used stain and paint from previous projects in our home like our master bedroom wall color and the gray used in the bathroom along with some white that we had on hand. 

By using colors that we already had it really helped to keep the color scheme in the house consistent and it saved us money on buying new paint. I really like how the dark stain picks up on the wood floors and how the other colors are neutral but still offer a nice contrast together. We decided that we liked the mix look of solid pieces and dry brushed pieces. This is where you could get really creative and do whatever color scheme works for you.

With snow still on the ground we set up a temporary workshop in the kitchen with a saw that we borrowed from a friend...can you say messy!?!

We started with 6" width boards at the top and used a level to get them as straight as possible. After we cut a board to size we sanded the edges and touched up the paint as needed. It was a slow process and the hardest part was having the paint out for so long for touch ups. I just watched an episode of Shark Tank where the creators of these paint brush covers were on...those would have worked perfect for this project! (Has anyone tried those before?) Once a board was prepped we attached it to the wall using nails in the corners. 

From there we moved down butting the wood right up to the row above it. There were places that we had to leave small gaps to keep things somewhat straight. Long boards also got a set of nails in the middle to keep the wood from bowing. Whether there were slight gaps in the wood or a nail didn't go in quite right the popular phrase became, "it adds to the 'rustic' look."

Working around the doors, switches, doorbell cover and vents was also time consuming. 

We borrowed a small saw (multi-tool) from our friend that worked great for notching out some of the areas that we were working around.

We needed to cover up the sections where the wood came together or ended on a wall.

We used corner trim to cover the edges. I gave it two coats of white paint before nailing it up.

Once installed we hammered the nails in further, filled the holes with wood putty, let it dry, sanded it down and then put two more coats of white paint over the patched areas. 

We completed the wall and then began operation clean me! My kitchen got a good scrubbing from floor to ceiling.

The total cost breakdown of the project was...

3 Sheets of Plywood $50.46
1 Box of Nails $2.68
2 Pieces of Corner Trim $10.80

While I'm glad that this project is over, I will say that getting to sit on the couch and now see this lovely view is pretty amazing!

how to install a plank wall

I also really enjoyed working on a project with my hubby and living to talk about it. ;-) Quality time at its finest!

If you have any questions that I might not have answered about how to install a plank wall, feel free to email me!

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  1. Amazing transformation! Glad you sit on the couch and admire and enjoy your work! Well done. :D

  2. Absolutely stunning. I want to hire you to do that in my home!!:-)


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