July 8, 2015

DIY Paneled Wall

I haven't shared a DIY project on the blog in quite some time, so I'm so excited to finally be sharing one with you! We have had this DIY board and batten panel wall finished for over month now, so it's about time to finally share details on how we did it! 

Below is the before image of the room in case you have forgotten what the wall color looked like when we moved in,. In my opinion this room was not so pretty in pink, especially for a guest bedroom. The darkness of the pink made the smallest room in our house feel even smaller.  

 When we decided to paint the room, I knew that I wanted to do the board and batten feature wall (because I was in love with Sarah's from Life on Virginia Street) , so right off the bat we painted the 3 walls On the Rocks by Sherwin William and the feature wall bright white (un-tinted base paint). After it was painted, it sat empty for several months. Once we decided to begin the project, the first thing that we did was find where the studs where on the wall and labeled them with the green tape on the wall. We were hoping that we would be able to secure all of the panels on the wall to the studs, but after locating the studs, it was obvious that wouldn't be possible since the studs weren't equally distanced apart. Silly us for thinking that the builders would want to make it easy on us. That said, we decided we would screw the horizontal panels into the studs and for the vertical panels we would secure with adhesive. 

Next, we decided on how many squares we wanted for the feature wall. I originally wanted a total of 20 squares, but we ultimately decided that 20 squares might be too busy, so we opted for a total of 12 squares (4 wide by 3 tall).  After we determined how many squares we wanted,  it was time to do a little math and figure out all of the measurements for the paneled wall.  Here is the design plan and the calculations for our space: 

Since we wanted the same planks used for the whole paneled wall, we had to remove the bottom trim because it wasn't going to match. In addition, the trim doesn't have a flat top so it wouldn't of allowed the panels to sit flush with it.  That said, the trim had to be torn out.

The way that Paul removed the trim off the wall was by using a crowbar and spackle knife to protect the wall and help create space between the wall and trim. 

After the trim was removed, it was time to start cutting the panel boards and attaching them to the wall. We used 1 x 4 MDF primed panel boards from Lowe's. Often times we get our wood pre cut at Lowe's, but this time we did it ourselves using a miter saw. The method that works best for us when cutting the boards is to measure out the length you need with a measuring tape and mark it on the board. Then use an extra piece of wood that has a flat side and use that to draw a straight line across in order to create a cutting line. 

Since the miter saw we used is a rather small one and doesn't hold the board in place well, while Paul cuts, I hold the other end of the board to keep it still.  

The first boards that we cut and attached to the wall were the vertical boards on perimeter of the wall. Since there were studs behind these panels we were able to secure it to the wall with a hammer and brad nails.  Im guessing it's a lot easier to use a braid nailer or finishing nailer, but the hammer and braid nails worked just as well in terms of securing it to the wall. It did, however, take quite awhile but it was well worth it, in my opinion. Next, we secured the horizontal boards near the ceiling and floor. Since these boards went almost the whole width of the wall, we were also able to secure these boards using brad nails. Having the tape on the wall where the studs where, served as guidance as to where to hammer in the brad nails. 

After we had the perimeter panels completed, we next secured the two horizontal panels to the wall. We did the horizontal panels first because the horizontal panels would allow us to secure them to studs. While we secured the panels to the wall, one person was hammering in the brad nails while the other person held a level on top of the board to make sure it was level. Making sure everything is level is crucial if you want the paneled wall to end up looking like squares instead of other geometric shapes. 

After the horizontals were attached, we began cutting and securing the vertical boards into place. At this point we were working on very little sunlight and no food in our stomach so I didn't manage capturing any photos of this steps (Oops! It was 10:30pm at night when we finished so apparently I was more concerned about getting Chinese food then taking photos:). 

Since the vertical boards couldn't be secured to the studs, we used adhesive to glue them onto the wall. Additionally, we made the cuts as snug as possible so that the boards could essentially be held into place by the horizontal boards. The cuts were so snug that most of them actually had to be slightly hammered into place. After they were hammered into place, we checked to make sure that the boards were level.  Since the verticals are secured by adhesive, if they aren't level you a have about a minute to slightly shift them to make them level before the glue starts drying. (The way we would slightly shift them to make the panel level is by very slightly tapping on one of the sides of the panel boards with a hammer- Just make sure to not hit the wall!). 

After all the boards were attached, we then had to go back with a nail set and drive the brad nails further into the boards so that we could fill in the holes. You could do this step while securing the panels to the wall but we chose to do it afterwards. (Note: when securing the boards to the wall, we used two nails per every stud (one near the top, and one near the bottom). This helps to keep the  top and bottom of the panel board secured close to the wall and minimize any gaps). Next we filled all of the holes with some wall patch compound that we already owned. Once everything had dried, I went in with sandpaper and smoothed the spots out. 

Next, comes the caulking portion of the project. This is when the wall really starts to transform into a beautiful statement feature because it starts looking more unified.  The easiest way we found to caulk the wall is by using your finger and running it along the seams. 

After everything is caulked, you are ready to paint. Painting the wall before adding the panelling really helped because we only ended up having to paint the panels. We used the same bright white paint that we used on the wall and used a foam roller brush that was about the exact same width of the boards themselves. We did a total of two coats and called it good. 

So what do you think of the wall? I think I love it! I love the added detail it gives to this room! I'm forewarning you though, once you do a panelling project like this you want to do panelling throughout you're whole house!

As for this guest bedroom, there will be a lot more changes going on in this room over the next few weeks so stay tuned! Also, I just sewed these pillows for this room and documented it, so next week I will be sharing a tutorial on them! 

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  1. Okay, sooooo this is an awesome tutorial! Your walls are gorgeous!

    1. Thank you so much!! I always worry that I write to much in the tutorial but i'm glad you found it helpful:)

  2. Looks awesome! So beautiful!

  3. Love this! Hoping to try it soon. :)

  4. I love the amount of details you put in your DIY project's!😀

  5. Great job! I have question - did you pull the old trim on the other walls? I'm getting ready to tackle a similar project and I'm terrified to pull the half wall trim nonetheless the bottom. But I'm wondering how folks are addressing the other walls. - Best, Kenya

  6. Your wall looks great and your tutorial is perfect! I do have a question about the plan page with the measurements. Did you use a particular software to calculate the measurements and generate the plans? I would love to find a simple software for this. Thank you so much!!

  7. love the look. Though I'm trying to do the math and I keep getting 27.25 instead of 27.75
    5x3.5=17.5 126.5-17.5=109 109/4=27.25
    Please help.

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