Reclaimed wood is all the rage these days. It’s environmentally friendly. It’s versatile and suited to a variety of design aesthetics. Even before I saw the reclaimed wood wall in the storefront at Textures, I knew that I wanted one in LM’s (Little man) nautical themed room. Texture’s reclaimed wood planks or “skins” are actually a bi-product leftover from milling reclaimed wood to make it ready for flooring. The individual boards are thin and can be installed using just finish nails. Here’s how you can recreate this look in your home.
1) Gather supplies. You will need: hammer, miter saw, power saw, jigsaw, nail gun, air compressor, satin finish clear polyurethane spray, wire brush, power sander or sand paper, vacuum, 18 gauge 1 ¾” nails, stud finder, flat head screwdriver, tape measure, a level, 2 nickels, a handy friend, and reclaimed wood wall skins.
2) Prep your wood. Clean the wood. Using a wire brush, distress the wood. You may wish to have a chippy painted look if you are going for a vintage or shabby chic finish. If you want a more uniform finish, simply flip the boards over to the bare side and work with that. Sand down any rough edges. Once you are happy with the finish, use a vacuum fitted with the hose attachment to clean up all the sawdust and grit. It is important to have a clean board before you spray the poly coat. If you desire a stained finish. you would apply the stain prior to the poly coat. We liked the finish as it was so on went the poly. Be sure to apply the poly in a dust free area and wear a mask. Those fumes can be caustic!
3) Find the wall studs. Mark off the studs vertically from the top of the wall to the bottom using a stud finder. This is where you will nail your reclaimed wood planks into place.
once, cut twice. Measure twice, cut once. (ok, so even with measuring twice, sometimes you have to make some minor adjustments) no biggie. Starting at the top of the wall, install your first board, making sure to get it level. If you do not get your first board level. the whole wall will be off. Even if it looks level, be assured, walls are rarely level. It is better to have a little gap at the top than the bottom as with the angle it will be very difficult to see. That’s what caulk is for anyway 🙂
5) Cut notches in boards to go around the windows. There are several ways to install reclaimed wood planks around windows. We elected to keep the board width uniform so we cut out a notch to allow for the windows. If you are going for more eclectic look with varying board widths then you can cut your board lengthwise and adjust the width to fit above the windows.
6) Stagger your boards on the wall. Stagger the length of your boards much like you would with hardwood flooring. Pay attention to your board placement and be sure to vary shades of wood and boards with more or less distressing. You don’t want any large painted areas to stand out. Gradually work your way down the wall. You can simply butt the ends of the boards against each other or you may want some space between them. For my wall, I used nickels as spacers between the boards.
7) Cut out a hole for your electrical outlets. Using a jig saw cut out an appropriately sized hole for your electrical outlets. The outlet will be too deep with the wood attached to the wall. To correct this, unscrew the electrical outlet and remount it on top of the wood. You will need longer screws than the ones originally used. Be sure to do this with the breaker switched off and avoid a “shocking” experience. DH (Dear Husband) is home from the office and jumped at the chance to help.
8) Vacuum up all dust & debris. Once you have completed installation of your reclaimed wood wall, vacuum each board (painstaking but worth it) to remove fine grit and sawdust. Hang whatever wall artifacts you want. Personally I think the wall looked great but LM (Little Man) wouldn’t hear of it. So back went his ship’s wheel and leather initial. What do you think? We couldn’t be happier with how our reclaimed wood wall turned out. We couldn’t have done it without “Handy Friend”, “DH”, our “Pinsperation”, and the good folks at Textures Flooring. Their reclaimed wood skins are a great product for DIY’ers. Leave us a comment and let us know what you think. And if you’re interested in purchasing some reclaimed wood for your own DIY project, stop by our store and tell them Stephanie sent you 🙂