Everyone thought I was crazy when I told them confidently that the vinyl floor boards would work perfectly on the wall. My builder, my husband, maybe even myself if I’m totally honest. But, I was a woman on a mission. I mean, if they stick to the floor why wouldn’t they stick to the wall? (I should have paid more attention in physics because, well, gravity).
I Am A Pinterest Queen
As you may know, I am in love with all things farmhouse. I love rustic pallet walls that are all over Intagram and Pinterest. I love how they give new houses some old world charm and character. I JUST LOVE WOOD FEATURE WALLS. However, what I do not love is splinters and dust and I was worried t is what I would get if I put real barn boards up in the playroom. I have a very curious 3.5 year old who would for sure poke her fingers into the notches and run her little hands over the boards and that is a recipe for splinters and tears. My budget just can’t take buying endless boxes of hello kitty band aids! However I knew I needed to do something to make the room a little less box like and to infuse some farmhouse charm. As part of our main floor renovation we closed up the wall between the playroom and the dining room. Now my house had a bit fat wall with staring at me (a novelty for a home that is almost completely open concept) and I was itching for a project. I am an avid pinner. If you follow me on Pinterest you can see that I am obsessed with home decor boards. I am always looking for easy and budget friendly DIY ideas so I set to work finding an alternative to wallpaper and scratchy real wood for my soon to be feature wall. I saw a tutorial about how to use vinyl wood plank to create a rustic style feature wall. I was instantly hooked and rushed out to the local hardware store to buy some barn board style vinyl planks. My husband was the first to air his concerns as we were loading them into the truck. “Do you really think that vinyl planks will look like wood?”, “how is this adhesive supposed to hold?” But I wasn’t having any of it. I saw it on Pinterest and therefore it must work. As we got home and started unloading into our garage our builder curiously spied the boxes. When I told him my plans he laughed and shook his head. He said he wouldn’t want to put it up as it would not work and I was on my own in my crazy little project. I remained undeterred. Pinterest wouldn’t lie to me, I saw the results and it looked fantastic. My long suffering husband agreed that after the builders were done with the reno he would put the planks up for me. I smiled like a Cheshire cat as I knew it would look amazing and he would be eating his words like he had so many times in the past with my harebrained design ideas.
Prepare to eat your own words Joanna…
I finally managed to coerce my husband to put the feature wall up one Saturday in the early autumn. As he carefully measured and planned I was excited for what I knew would be a successful DIY project. However, as the planks began to go up my Cheshire cat grin began to fall. This was not what I ordered. My husband, no matter how carefully he measured, couldn’t get the planks to remain flush together and little gaps of Benjamin Moore Silver Satin peeked through. OK, no big deal, wood walls are meant to be rustic and a bit uneven. I didn’t want to say anything negative so on we pressed. He finished the wall quite late that evening and as we stood back to admire it we both didn’t know quite what to say. I would love to tell you that we were stunned into silence by its beauty but it was more a case of being stunned into silence by horror. It looked fake. The light bounced off it and it shone like a conker. Not the beautiful, rustic wood look I was going for. Tired and disappointed we went to bed, neither of us saying anything about the wall.
Things That Go Bump In The Night
Throughout the night we could hear “bang”, “bang”, “sliiiiiiiiip” “swooosh”, “BANG”. It was really weird but I just thought it was the dog banging around in his room or the wind rattling the windows. When we got up in the morning, I was met with the culprit of the noise. My wood feature wall lay all over the ground and peeling sadly off the wall. My daughter ran over to the sticky adhesive strips and promptly glued her socks to them. This was my first real Pinterest disaster (well, after the unicorn cake debacle of 2017 but the less we talk about that the better). My husband took one look at what remained of his Saturday project and I could feel him biting back the words “I told you so” but he’s far too nice for that. Being the
stubborn proud woman that I am, I was sure we could salvage the wall and then in a very professional manner started gluing the planks to the wall with no more nails. And that’s how the wall stayed for over a year. Periodically we could have to glue bits back on and it sort of became a part of life.
Fixing our Pinterest Fail
For some reason, after we returned from our trip to the UK I was inspired to tackle all of the little home projects that had fallen by the wayside. It might have had something to do with my mother’s flawlessly decorated house and the fact that I finally felt human again as the baby was sleeping through the night. So the first weekend back home, my husband and I took the truck to the hardware store and with a case of design deja vu picked up supplies to make our feature wall. This time we had thought carefully about the product we wanted to use. We still wanted to have an easy to clean, spliter free finish but also wanted the warm rustic farmhouse feel of wood. We a MURdesign panel in Jasper at the Home Depot that was perfect for the job. Easy to install and clean and no vinyl in sight. I can’t find the link to it on the Home Depot website but it is on Rona and MURdesigns have their own website with more designs and a link to find a retailer close to you . Now that it’s up we are over the moon with the result. It looks awesome and it was so easy. Here is how you can achieve the same effect.
Creating A Barn Wood Wall In An Afternoon for under $200
Step 1: Remove all old paneling and ensure that you are starting with a relatively smooth wall. Honestly we left some adhesive and it’s fine. If you will be gluing the panels up you need to scruff up the walls with a sander but we decided to use finishing nails to hang the wall.
Step 2: Use a stud finder to locate the studs in your wall and mark them out. If you are using nails then it is important to get them into the studs to ensure your wall is secure. The panels aren’t that heavy but you’re going to want a lot of nails. We ended up doing 6 nails across and 6 rows down for each board.
step 3: You will need a helper to hold the board for you while you nail the board to the wall. It is important that the first piece is flush and true or your wall will be all wonky. Remember that ceilings are not always a good measure of a straight line so be sure to use a level.
Step 4: You will need to measure the wall to determine the size of your next piece that you will need to cut. We used 2 full boards and 2 half boards.
Step 5: Once you are ready to put your next piece up you will want to check that the pattern aligns. There isn’t too much thinking work that needs to go into it but we found that some pieces match up better than others. Then all you do is butt the boards together until they are flush and nail to the wall. There is a small seam but you can’t really notice when it’s all together and it isn’t apparent enough to bother us.
Step 6: Repeat until wall is covered with boards.
Step 7: Admire your amazing new barn board wall.
Here is the finished product.
I love that I can wipe it clean when the kids inevitable draw on it or get some unidentified sticky mess onto it. We’re hoping to get a sofa in this room once we agree on one which is why the picture is so high. Oh did I mention that you can hang things on this baby as well?
So there you have it. We learned that not everything you see on Pinterest is a good idea and vinyl floor boards are probably best left on the floor. A beautiful farmhouse style barn board wall in an afternoon for under $200. We are so happy with the results and our playroom looks amazing! Can’t wait to get the rest of the furniture in and finish up the room. I’m looking into the white washed version for our bedroom but shhh don’t tell my husband.
Have you got a wood feature wall in your home? Any Pinterest fails that are particularly note worthy?
Happy decorating friends,