Planking (a wall, not me)

How to plank a wall

First of all, can I just say that the groundhog is a liar? Not cool Punxsutawney, not cool.

Anyway, I’m sharing some more progress in the powder room today. As you know, it’s sat in a half way done state for years now. Half painted walls, half wood-planked walls and drywall with holes, bumps and chunks everywhere.

Not pretty. A couple weeks ago I shared a little bit of progress with the floors. That was the part someone else did – aka, the easy part. I started the wall treatment last summer (yes, nine months ago) and then stalled out.

Now that we’ve gone without a toilet on our main floor for a month, I figured it was time to get my butt in gear. Maybe?

I needed to get two walls planked and painted before the toilet could go back in:

covering drywall damage

The upside down trash can is where the toilet goes, in case you couldn’t tell. ;)

There’s no installing all of this with the toilet in, so the walls had to go up first.

So here’s the thing – this is a big job. Not hard, and the installation is pretty fast, it’s the painting that takes eons. And that’s precisely why I haven’t gotten moving on this past a one small wall in the past year.

My plan for years now has been to cover up most of the walls. Two reasons for that – my mistake early on in my DIY life of using glue to install molding to the wall:

covering drywall damage

I think I’ve mentioned this before – but never, ever EVER use glue (and I used Liquid Glue, yay!) unless you are SURE the trim is staying there forever. And ever. Did I mention forever?

If you ever think you’ll want to take it down, just use nails. Glue will either forever be on your wall or will take chunks out of your drywall when you remove the trim. (I had to have the drywall in the dining/library remudded because of this.)

I also had tried this fun texture technique on the wall years ago and when I went to take it off it never went away completely:

covering drywall damage

I didn’t sand hard core or anything -- it may have come off with a little more work. But I needed to hide it.

So anyhoo, I knew I needed to cover up the walls so I decided to use these planks:

wood planks

You can get them at Home Depot or Lowe’s – they are similar to the beadboard planks (like on my island) but without the bead. They are really thin, which I wanted, and cheap ($9 for six eight foot boards). They are really so easy to install – the tongue and groove makes it like a really simple puzzle – you just slide one into the other.

Because I wasn’t using glue I marked where the studs were in the wall with my FrogTape:

keeping track of studs with painters tape

This way I could get a good grip with each nail (I used my nail gun and you’ll really want to have one for this project, unless you use glue. But don’t.)

The only other tools you’ll need are a level – uhhh, to keep things level:

DIY wood planked wall

I check every piece for level as I move up the wall. Most of the time they’ll start to get wonky and you’ll have to make small adjustments.

I also like to use a rubber mallet:

rubber mallet

You’ll want this to get the tongue and groove together – sometimes they don’t want to go and need a little tap.

I just moved my FrogTape up the wall as I worked:

DIY wood planked wall studs

Most walls are pretty straight forward – just stack and stack and stack.

I had to deal with plumbing on one wall, and at first I was going to use a jigsaw to cut out spots for all of it, but then I realized I wasn’t putting the pedestal sink back so I could just go around it:

covering drywall damageDIY wood planked wall 

I didn’t even paint all the boards back there. NO ONE will see it when the vanity is in. Perfectionist I am not.

You can also see how the sink was stuck to the wall and did damage when they took it out. The more I work on our house the more impressed I am with our builder – I mean seriously, stuff isn’t going anywhere. I’d have every baseboard in the house replaced if they weren’t IMPOSSIBLE to remove. It’s insane.

Anyway -- the boards covered that spot right up!

I gave it all a coat of Kilz oil-based primer:

 kilz primer

It’s stinky but oil-based it supposed to hide the knots in the pine much better long term and won’t yellow over time.

After a coat (I was going to do two but seriously, it’s stinky and it covered great wih one coat) I did a quick sanding to knock down the brush strokes. I tried to get my assistant to take a pic but this is what you get:

DIY wood planked wall

This is why photos of me don’t happen here on the blog. :)

So here’s the thing – I don’t caulk or putty holes till I do at least one coat of paint (and a sanding if I’m doing that). First of all, paint will fill in a TON of sins. And the dust from the sanding will fill in a lot of nail holes for you.

The holes that were left were filled:

DIY wood planked wall

I also filled imperfections in the wood too.

There parts where I had to install pieces a little higher (so they didn’t fit all the way into the one below) so they would match up to the wall next to them. You’d think they'd all be the exact same height but they’re not. You have to make some adjustments.

The great part is, when you fill it in and paint you’ll never notice. I caulked the space between these two:

DIY wood planked wall

And with two coats of semi gloss over it you can never tell it’s not snug up against the one below it.

I used a roller and brush for the semi gloss white – fill in the grooves with a brush first, then roll over it:

DIY wood planked wall

I finished up the two walls at midnight last night, planning on the toilet being reinstalled first thing this morning. But now it’s pushed back to later this afternoon. Of course. :)

I’m just thrilled that we’ll have our toilet back in here after a month!

It still looks rough, I know. Every wall will be trimmed out with a board and batten technique. So I didn’t fill the holes, paint or worry about any imperfections on the edges/corners of the planked walls.

Two walls down, one to paint, and three to plank and paint! Then the vanity will get installed, boards/baseboards will go up, the top will get trimmed out with a ledge, the light changed out and new paint color on the walls (a long story).

Now I’m so excited to get this done – I just needed to get things moving and now I’m psyched to get it finished. Longest redo in the history of my house, for sure.

These planks are what I used on our stair landing and the wall down to the basement as well:

wood floor stair landing stained wood wall

I’ve seen a few ways of doing this wood wall treatment and I just like to use this stuff because it’s so easy to install and I don’t have to have anything cut down. I do have to say, the wood this time was just AWFUL as far as quality was concerned. Full of holes and knots and every other board was just a mess. I’ve never seen them so crappy. I am still using every bit I can because I have walls and sections that are smaller so I can cut down the good parts out of the wood. I didn’t have this problem at all with either one of the projects above.

So have you planked a wall? How did you do it? If you have damage on your walls it’s a great solution!

P.S. I have had to turn off anonymous comments again, I apologize! There are just too many spammy comments getting through all the sudden. You can still sign in under blogger, wordpress or typepad to comment. I’ve also enabled the reply function (it had a bug in it for a while but it looks to be fixed), so if you ask a question I can reply to you here!

P.P.S. If you haven’t checked out all the amazing projects over at Creating with the Stars you need to!:

My partner Sarah over at While They Snooze got second place last week, I’m so excited for her!! Go vote for her again, OK?? I just can’t tell you which one is hers yet. ;)

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