Two of the blog posts that really inspired me were from:
Sarah at The Thrifty Décor Chick
and Tasha at Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body(http://www.designertrapped.com/2015/05/diy-wood-plank-wall.html)
I took ideas and tips from both of these fine ladies and tweaked them to fit our needs.
I knew I wanted two plank walls in our basement but I didn't want to jump into the large focal wall first (which would be the very first thing people would see when they came downstairs) because I had never done anything like this before and I'm a nervous Nelly, what can I say. (The larger plank wall will be in a future blog post). Instead we opted to do a smaller plank wall behind our TV which is above our fireplace and surrounded by 6 feet of bookshelves on either side - it's an 18 foot entertainment/fireplace/TV/bookshelf extravaganza along one wall. I adore it.
Here's a drawing so you have a visual (thanks to Brad, my resident Autocad guru)
Anyway, this wee plank wall behind the TV would add some interest, colour and
texture to the small space and tie in with the larger plank wall across the room which will also be painted the same Grizzle Gray. Plus, if we made any mistakes the large TV that will be on the wall would hide any imperfections. I have thought this thing through, y'all! This is not my first rodeo.
Step One: Measure
Measure out your space/wall to determine how many sheets of underlayment you'll need. Each sheet of underlayment is 4' x 8' and you may want some extra for trim (or you could buy separate battens if you opt to do the trim).
Step Two: Buying Planks
One of the first things I learned from my Pinterest peeps is NOT to use thick wooden planks. Not only are they fairly expensive but they've been known to pop off due to their weight. Ain't nobody got time for falling planks when you have a small bank account!
So off Brad and I went to the local Home Depot in search of underlayment. What is underlayment you ask? I believe it's used under certain kinds of flooring, kind of like a subfloor. I don't really know or care what it's normal use is, all I know is that it's great for this project and that a 4x8' sheet of the stuff is around $21 here in Canada (and about $13 in the US). It's not much to look at - it has a light wood colour on one side and the other has a reddish hue. It's a little more than 1/8-inch in thickness and quite light which is great for this project. For our wall behind the TV we used one sheet of underlayment.
Once you have your sheet(s) on your Home Depot cart you'll need to get your Home Depot Dude to cut each sheet into planks (whatever thickness you've decided to use) and you're good to go! For this smaller plank wall we went with 4-inch planks because it suited the small space and you'd see more of the planking effect at the sides of the TV.
|Here's Brad grabbing our planks from Depot Dude as he cuts |
the boards for our larger plank wall
- underlayment planks
- brad nails
- pneumatic brad nailer
- long level and/or laser level
- sliding compound miter saw
- table saw
- sanding block with fine sandpaper
- stud finder
- 6-8 coins for spacers (we used two pennies glued or taped together)
- a good primer (we used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Water-Based Primer)
- paint (we used Sherwin Williams 'Grizzle Gray' - SW7068)
- good paint brushes (a good paint brush and Dollar Store artist brush)
- painting tarps to protect your floor
- painters tape (if needed)
- safety goggles
Our Extra Step: Prepping the Wall
Before we got into planking Brad built out the wall behind the TV for a few reasons: A) to allow a space for the TV/AV wires to be organized but not seen, B) to bring the TV out a bit so it was more in line with the bookshelves so everyone, no matter where they were sitting, could see the TV and C) to give the wall more support to handle the very large, very heavy TV that would be hanging off of it. There's actually two layers to this additional wall but you get the general idea.
|Layer one of the wall build-out.|
Brad is a Type A person like his beautiful wife so he wanted all that messy wiring from the TV, receiver, DVD player, Wii etc to be organized. It's a lot of wires so Brad, in his wonderfully brilliant wisdom (truly!), used conduit tubing to run the wires from under the TV, which then turn 90 degrees and run into holes he cut into the back of our lower cabinets where the receiver and video game consoles are housed. Doing this keeps the extensive wire collection organized and makes my man happy. Once the framing was done, a piece of 1/2-inch plywood was added to the front followed by the TV mount. The hole you see in the next picture will be hidden by the TV.
Note: By putting a sheet of plywood as the base of this new wall, it also gave our wall enough strength to hold the underlayment planks. If you're securing it to a normal wall you'll need to make sure you're nailing into wall studs (hence the stud finder in the list above).
|A look at where the wires will enter the conduit piping. |
Our inner Type A's are in heaven.
We are very happy with the outcome of our first plank wall. It was a fun and easy DIY project that gives the media room some added oomph and interest. I like the fact that we were able to work out the kinks with this wall before trying it out on the much larger focal wall.
Step Seven: Moulding
There's only one step left and that's moulding but I'll add that final picture later. We plan to add moulding (1-1/4-inch strips of underlayment) along the sides to give it a cleaner look but won't be tackling this until we do the moulding for the large wall which has to wait until the trim and baseboards are done. Everything is linked in the big circle of home improvement.
So that's our small plank wall in a nutshell. I hope the directions are clear. If not, I encourage you to look at the other two blog posts by Sarah and Tasha to see if their descriptions (which helped inspire me) make more sense to you.
Upcoming Home Renovation Posts:
Custom Cabinetry - is that the cost of the cabinetry or am I buying a small country?
Fireplace - To Gas or to Plug in? That is the question.