Giving our room some character…one plank at a time!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I've been working on a little project over here.  Actually, I have been dreaming of this project for at least a year, and it took pretty much that long to convince my husband to let me do it.  It's not that he didn't trust my ability to do so, but he doesn't like projects, and was probably scared I'd rope him into this one!  I'm going to just skip to the chase and show you the "after" right off the bat, because let's be real…isn't that what you want to see anyways?  

The before is not THAT bad.  In fact, everyone that would come into this room would always comment as to how much they LOVED the paint color, but I knew I could add some more character to it with just a little effort.  Besides, the color was really dark, and with a dark sectional filling the space in here, the room seemed really heavy to me.

I'm not going to give you step by step instructions because I basically took all of The House of Smith's advice and followed their tutorial to a T, but I will give you a few pointers and some things I did a little differently along the way.  I mean why re-invent the wheel, right?  

First off, let me just start by telling you why I chose the material I did. I considered every option for the planked wall look, and ultimately decided that using a thin material such as a quarter inch plywood would be my best option.  I didn't want to have to change out all my trim, and using a traditional tongue and groove product would have required me to do so.  So, I settled on painting all the existing trim and baseboards in the room.  If your baseboards butt up to carpet like ours do, I found this trick that worked like a charm for not getting paint on the carpet!  

After looking at plywood options, I landed on using Luan plywood mainly because it was half the price of traditional plywood sheets.  I found someone in the cutting department and in my sweetest voice, asked if he would kindly cut down 11 sheets of plywood into 6" strips.  I must have not asked nice enough.  The man looked at me like I was insane, and then proceeded to tell me he would charge me for all the cuts.  Fine, whatever… it was still way less work for me, and it was only twenty - one extra dollars.  With material in hand, I was off to start this room!

Thanks to the tip of many other bloggers that have pioneered this look before me,  I painted all the walls white first.  This is so the dark color doesn't peak through the cracks after you put all the planking up.  I can't imagine the work it would have been had they not forewarned me….so thank you fellow plankers.  

Lucky for me we have a fourteen year old that is easily convinced to help me with my crazy ideas, and an awesome friend Anna who happens to know her way around a table saw (among other tools)!  This project would have taken me at WEEKS longer if I wouldn't have had their help.  

Upon recommendation from my genius friend Andy, we put a blue tape line up around the room so we could mark the studs in the wall and know exactly where we were nailing the boards to.  We just moved the tape down as we worked down the wall.  As soon as the boards were cut, it went up pretty smoothly. We nailed the boards to the wall, and my boy ran some paint on the edge so we didn't have to worry about painting the edges once it was up…not sure if that was necessary since we sprayed the boards in the end, but I wasn't taking any chances of not being able to get to them!   


Projects are always more eventful when the four year old decides to help… 

At this point, the men in the house decided the "wood" look was great and didn't see any reason to paint it.  Ha.  Not the look I was going for.  

We puttied all the nail holes, gave the room one last sand, taped it off like we were on the set of E.T and used my Wagner Spray Gun to paint the planks.  This is a finishing spray gun, and I LOVE this thing.  In reality, it was probably not meant to do this size of a project because the projection of the spray isn't super wide.  In the end though, it was to my advantage because it didn't have a wide overspray area.

And that's it folks.  I will let the following "after" pictures speak for themselves.  
I could not be more thrilled with the results!

And here is my dream team who helped make this project happen!