diy plank wall

Planks...one of my least favorite exercises but most favorite things on a wall! ;-)

Adding a plank wall to our master bedroom was the first thing to happen on this room overhaul and I loooooooooove it. The best part was it was really simple to do- any DIY beginner can totally handle this. We had the whole wall up in 4 hours (maybe even less) and probably could have moved faster if we wanted to! This was really refreshing considering some of my more recent DIY projects have been ultra time consuming. 

Supply list:
  • 4' x 8' sheets of plywood underlayment (5mm thick), ripped into planks - measure your wall to estimate the amount you need to cover
  • Lattice trim (enough for the perimeter of the wall)
  • Medium grit sanding sponge 
  • Stud finder (or knock on your wall if you don't have one)
  • Nail gun with brad nails (I used 1 1/4" nails)
  • Paintable spackle/wood filler
  • Level
  • Hack saw or Saws-all (if you need to cut around outlets) 
  • Miter saw (or hack saw) to cut your boards to length 
  • Paint & paint supplies 
  • Paintable caulk 
We borrowed the power tools (nail gun/compressor and miter saw), and I had the paint and some other things on hand, so it made this even cheaper. The cost of the wood was only $13.49 per panel, and lattice trim was like $3/8 ft piece. So we spent about $83 for the wood and probably another $10-$15 for caulk, nails, and a sanding sponge.

We decided to go with 7" wide planks. Most tutorials I read used 6" or 8" but one looked too small to me and one looked to big, so 7" felt just right! Lowe's or Home Depot can rip (cut with the wood grain) them into planks for you. You may or may not get charged- it depends who does it that day. We got ours cut for free, but if they do charge it's usually 25 cents a cut, which is nothing- so do it!

We needed five 4'x8' sheets to cover our wall, which is about 8'x14'. We only needed a little bit from the 5th sheet. 

Before you start hanging anything- paint your wall whatever color your boards will be! I originally planned on painting them that blue/green color, but once they were up decided to do white, which meant I spent an annoying amount of time using a tiny paint brush to get in the cracks. Don't do that. It sucks.

Before we started hanging them, we used a stud finder to mark where the studs were on the wall. We used a yard stick and made a vertical line all the way down the wall so we could nail into studs as we went for extra stability. Because you're using plywood, it's pretty light, but it's better to be safe than having boards falling off your wall! I didn't put any glue on the back because if we (or anyone else) ever wants these to come off, it's just a lot easier without glue. Plus you really don't need it. 

We also gave the edges a quick sand with a sanding sponge to get rid of the rough edges. It's super convenient that the hardware store will cut the boards for you, but they don't always give you the prettiest of edges. 

Next we checked the levelness (is that a word?) of our ceiling. Most ceilings AREN'T level, so don't just assume it is! Ours was mostly except the right hand side. Don't worry about any gaps at the top if it isn't level- the caulk and trim will cover that up!

 (James was super happy I wanted to take a picture of him in action..) :-p

We wanted to use as many whole boards as we could, just to minimize the number of cuts we'd have to make. If you want a more staggered look, you would make the placement a lot more random. 

A lot of tutorials I read suggested using a nickel or something as a spacer, but we found it to be easier to eyeball the gap size and use the level under each board. If the gaps between the boards are different it won't be as noticeable as if an entire board is crooked! So that was more important to us. One of us would hold the level under the board and the other person nailed it in.  

Once we got our whole board pieces up, we measured the length of the remaining spaces and used a miter saw to cut those pieces to length. We did place some nails into the drywall where the end of a board wasn't lined up with a stud, no big deal.

(Also, yep, we totally planked over that light switch. It didn't actually do anything the other light switch didn't so it was pointless to me). 

James used a hacksaw and some Macgyver-ing skills to cut notches out for the outlets.  

Next, put on some Netflix and bust out your spackle to fill in all of those tiny brad nail holes. I just used my finger, no need to buy fancy tools.
Once it's dry, give the whole wall a quick sanding. 

The edges of the boards may not look the cleanest against the other walls. No worries! Once you add the lattice trim around the perimeter, it cleans everything right up. You'll also caulk around the edges between the trim and wall to fill in any gaps and spaces. I didn't caulk between any of the boards because, well, that would defeat the whole point of a plank wall.

 Next, paint the wall! The color we used (Benjamin Moore "Dove White") was the same as the surrounding walls so I didn't worry about taping anything off, which was nice! I just used a flat sheen (whereas the walls are in satin).

Yay! I'm in love. It's already made a huge difference in our room. 

Here's where we are on the to-do list:

-Paint walls 
-Plank accent wall
-New curtains/bamboo shade
-New lamps on night stands
-Add captain's mirrors above each night stand
-DIY tufted headboard 
-Add bench to end of bed
-Extra baskets/storage containers
-New throw pillows/shams/throw 

So we're at the beginning. :-) But I'm super excited about all of it! Here are a few of my inspiration pictures:

Stay tuned! Es gonna be goooood.


whole house paint palette

When we moved into our townhouse three years ago, everything was TAN. Like, everything. It didn't really lend itself well to my current style, so we've  I've repainted every single room in the house minus two bathrooms and the office (1 out of the 3 isn't tan, and the 2 that are tan aren't an offensive orangey shade of tan, so it'll likely stay). 

Years ago I saw something on HGTV once that said when you walk from room to room in your house, it shouldn't feel like you're walking into an entirely new house with each room. It changed my life. In other words, the colors should flow and your paint colors should compliment one another. This will keep a relaxing feeling in your home, no matter what your color palette is. If you walk into a room and instantly feel jarred, it may be a sign that color doesn't jive well with the rest of your house. I've really been keeping that in the back of my mind as I've gone through and updated my very tan house from top to bottom. 

Not to mention, updating with paint is relatively easy and cheap! So here is my current paint palette:

I hate the way paint colors show up online- turns out they aren't very close to what they look like on the wall! (this is especially true for the White Dove color, which looks creamy here but it isn't- it's like, whitey white in real life). Quietude is also a lot more blue than green. Ah well. At least you get an idea. 

I like to use the neutrals in larger areas and then bring in other colors with the decor. The color colors are in smaller areas or accent walls, but that's really just personal preference. Here's a breakdown:

A good way to get started with creating a whole house palette is to check out the paint manufacturers website- like Valspar, Benjamin Moore, etc. Once you choose a color,  they suggest other colors to go along with your color you picked. It's nice to see the color compared to others so you can see if the color has undertones (a color in the paint that you may not see initially- like how sometimes blue can have bits of green in it, or gray can have bits of brown). 

Undertones are super important! They can really make or break the overall cohesiveness of your home. For example, I have brown carpet and brown wood flooring, but I LOVE gray walls (which is super trendy right now with gray toned wood floors or carpet). So how did I get both? I chose a gray paint with brown undertones to tie it all together. Wah-lah. It's like magic. (There's a good article about undertones here).

A few examples from mi casa-

HGTV Home paint at Lowe's also has a display set up of all of their coordinating colors grouped into cute little house shapes! That way you can instantly determine what group of colors best suits you. The one I fell in love with was "coastal cool", which mimics a lot of the colors above.

You can also use palettes like this to incorporate the entire decor of a room- not just paint! You may hate a shade of yellow on the wall, but love it on a throw pillow. Am I a total nerd for thinking stuff like this is FUN? Probably. But it totally is. I get giddy over it.

Happy cohesive palette deciding! :-p