DIY Wood Wall Tutorial

I’m not someone who has an idea and waits around for someone else to do it. So, last fall when I wanted to add a little something to my kitchen/dining room area, I came up with an idea and figured out how to do it on my own.

Pallet walls are a big thing these days, and I wanted something similar, but I didn’t want to go out and round up all the pallets needed to cover my wall, even though they may have been free. I also didn’t want to go through the trouble of finding and paying for old barn wood, sanding it down, staining it, cutting it or anything else you have to do to barn wood. ¬†What I did want is a large piece of “art” that was the focal point of the space.

On the other hand, I am not the best planner or finisher, so I knew I needed to commit a couple days time to see this project all the way through. I’m also not a carpenter, so the prospects of this project working out was slim to none.

Nonetheless, I started building a wood wall. And because people have been impressed with it and asked how I did it, I thought I’d share my process (and tips) with you here so that you can make a wood wall yourself too. (If you want.)

The first thing you need to do is figure out the length and height of the wall. When it comes to math, I am not exceptionally good, but I figured the square footage of the wall by taking the length x the height. This wall does not have windows or doors, and at the time it did not have baseboards, so if you are doing this project, then you will need to exclude those square footage measurements in your final arithmetic.

I then went to Home Depot where I picked out 1/8th inch birch plywood board. Simply, I liked the grain on the wood and the price¬†fell within my $200 budget, so that’s what I went with. I’m not sure if the employees at Home Depot are supposed to do this or not, but a very nice man cut the 8′ x 10′ boards into 8′ x 3″ strips for me.

Once I came home, I found several old stains that I could use to make varying shades on the boards. As you can see, there are also boards that are yellow and a light blue, too. I added water to some old paint to create a tinted wash to put over the boards.

This process took a whole day to stain and dry. But once the boards were stained, I took the 8′ boards and cut them into varying sizes of 3″, 4″, 6″ and 8″.

Then with a hammer and thin nails, I started attaching the boards to the wall. I admit that my method of cutting probably should have added up to the length of the wall, so I had to do some more cutting, but I like the fact that I have 1″ or 2″ pieces placed throughout the wall. It makes the focal wall more interesting to me.

The tricky part was the top where there is an angle. I thought I’d pull some high school math out and make my measurements 100% correct, but well, I’m just not that smart, so I went old school. I placed a mark where the angle board would meet the upper part of the ceiling and the lower part of the ceiling, then used the saw to make a diagonal cut connecting each point. That works. And that method won’t make you cry.

I finished up with some pieces around the electrical outlet, and nails for my metal letters. I have to say I’m still really proud of myself for this piece, and I like watching people get excited when they see it.

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I may do it all, but I have not done it all.

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