Isn't it great when a project you've been planning to do forever finally gets done? That was this planked wall for me!
It all started when I saw what Chris at Just a Girl did for her son's room. Go see it, it's a.ma.zing! From that point on I knew I wanted to do something similar for my son's room. Fast forward about a year from the time I saw that post, when we needed a new fence. When the guys came to replace it, I told my husband to have them stash 4-5 of the panels beside the house. I knew I didn't want to throw that wood out!
Fast forward another year, and we finally reached a point where we were ready to attempt this project. Here's how we started:
1) Enlist boy-who-will-be-living-with-this-awesome-project to help pull each board apart and remove the nails. 2) With a high-pressure nozzle, my husband cleaned all of the boards off very well. Then we left them in the sun for days to dry out thoroughly. 3) Not pictured- I used the palm sander to quickly knock off the hard edges on the side that would show, and made a pass over the flat side of the board to remove any wayward splinters. They are by no means smooth, but should keep any more splinters at bay. 4) We marked the studs with painter's tape so we would know where to nail the boards in. (That fence in the background is the next one to go...more project supplies!)
We started at the top with a long board centered, and worked out from there. We completed one entire row at a time, varying the placement of the longer boards and then cutting smaller boards to fit as needed. I made 1 million trips back and forth outside to the saw.
What? You don't use power tools in the snow while bundled up and wearing golden slippers?
Now, these fence boards are not perfect, straight, or particularly level, and are often bowed. We just worked with them as we went, and it all turned out alright. If a piece wasn't quite right, we'd flip it around the other way and it would usually work better. You just have to play with each piece and choose the best one for the spot you're in. I painted the wall tan before we started, so that any gaps in the wood would be less obvious.
Most of the plank walls I've seen had the crown and baseboard removed, but we didn't want to do that. I was a little concerned with how that would look, but I think it turned out just fine.
We only had one outlet to deal with on this wall. We ended up running two rows of boards right up to the edge of the cover and working out from there. The piece across the bottom side barely covers the plate and I'm ok with that. For the top I measured and cut a scrap to plug the hole that was left. I knew the bed would be covering the plug so I wasn't too concerned about it.
Once we got to the bottom, we were left with a space that was about 1/2 of a width of a board. It would have been a snap if we would have had a table saw to rip the boards in half, but we didn't. So, we used our jigsaw and it worked good enough to get the pieces we needed for that bottom row.
I think from start to finish it took both of us working together for about 6 hours. A good deal of that time was going back and forth to the saw.
We love all of the nail holes and knots and texture and color variation and imperfections in the wood. It makes it so interesting! We're also suprised at how much bigger it makes the room feel. It's quite a small room, so every little trick to make it seem bigger helps.
There's still plenty to do in this room. I have a few things to add to the planked wall, a headboard to make, a gallery wall to put together, and a few accessories to tweak. I'm hoping to get it finished up in the next few weeks, after all, it's only been in the works for over 2 years!
*Disclaimer: There could be health concerns when using pallet wood or boards that have been treated with chemicals. We are confident that these boards were safe to use in our home, but if you're not sure you might want to research a bit online. Sealing the wood with a few coats of polyurethane may also be effective if you're concerned about the safety of the wood. Use old fence boards at your own risk...