Inexpensive Wood Plank Wall Ideas
Wood is a beautiful medium to create texture and warmth in your home. Let me show some inexpensive wood plank wall ideas we've used. They are easy to make and create and add intrigue to your space.
Where to add the Texture
I love having a focal wall, furniture or decor. Because I'm the mom or four boys we keep things a little rustic here. I love the modern, rustic but elegant (ish) look. If you live in the woods or a ranch rustic is really beautiful but it isn't for me in the city we live in. But adding elements of rustic are really fun.
Before we moved into our home I knew I wanted to add texture behind our tv which is above the fireplace. It is a beautiful unit that was a perfect space to add texture and warm with wood.
We also have an area in our back entry coming in from the garage. The plans call it a butlers pantry but for us it's an area for storage and dumping spot when hauling thing in from the car.
The final spot that we added wood planks was our sons bedroom. I wanted to create a full accent wall. My sons love all things boys, hunting, fishing working with their hands. So adding a rustic but pretty wood plank wall was the obvious plan.
Do you love the black shiplap we added to the base of the fireplace? You can check out how we did that Here.
Finding the Inexpensive Wood Planks
The most frustrating thing when working on a project is finding the materials you want for the price you're willing to pay. It can be a little harder than you plan. When I have an idea in my head it's hard to let it go and when I can't find the materials I'm hoping for it can be very frustrating.
Keeping an open mind and being willing to think outside the box is very helpful. I was struggling to find wood that had the look I was after.
Thankfully we came up with a plan B for the inexpensive wood plank walls. We settled on cedar fencing. Yes, the top is dog-eared so that part wouldn't work on the walls but its not hard to cut them off. You do loose a little length but I didn't feel like it was too much waste. Honestly I kept the pieces we cut off and used them for other small projects.
It was the width I wanted, not too deep and was a really great price. The cedar fencing has a much rougher finish than other wood but I love to sand and was willing to put in the work to get the finish I was after. Available at Home Depot.
Sanding the Cedar Planks
I love my mouse sander. Check out the affiliate link here. It is the perfect size for my hand and works really well. Sanding the cedar fencing went really quick. I sanded all sides because I didn't want to deal with a rough side when it came to refinishing the boards. Another bonus for the cedar planks was the smell. It was a real treat sanding the boards.
What worked for me was sanding one side, the edge the other side and the final edge.
I did all the sanding before I started refinishing. Because I was going for a modern rustic look leaving them a little rough wasn't a problem. You wouldn't get a sliver from them but I wasn't needing perfection. When I say rough they feel smooth but wouldn't be link a prime board you find at Home Depot.
Refinishing the Planks
The options are endless when it comes to refinishing the cedar plank boards. I wanted a grey wash on the accent boards behind the tv. After I finished sanding I gave them a quick wipe then created a whitewash. This is super easy, mix paint and water about 40% water and 60% paint. It is will be much thinner than paint but still workable. I never measured the paint and water, just a rough estimate of what I used. There was definitely more paint than water used in the formulation.
After the paint is mixed I started applying. Once again I worked in stages, whitewashing all the boards before going to the next step. You only need to do the front and two edges. Whitewashing the entire surface.
After the whitewash was dry I did the same thing with a grey paint. Creating a subtle rustic finish to the boards. Because the paint is so thin you wont use a lot and you wont be able to wipe much excess off. I did have a blue shop towel handy if I got too heavy.
Because the paint is so thin it doesn't take much time to dry.
Changing up the Look a Little
I did this same process in the other areas of my home but recently decided I wanted to change it a little.
My ideas was to soften the rustic look just a little. The trend right now is monochromatic. I am really liking it and wanted to incorporate it into my home.
So I decided to cover two areas with paint that is the same color as my door, baseboards and trim. The first was the back hallway. Since I was covering paint with paint there wasn't much prep work needed. Wash the wall with tsp if it's very dirty.
I taped off the wall and got painting. I wanted it to be less rustic with paint but still rustic with cedar planks. An inexpensive way to change the space just a little.
The other room I wanted to change was the full wall in my sons room.
It was really pretty but was beginning to feel a little busy. So I gave the wall a good painting like I did in the back entry. Quick and easy except I didn't love it. It was a little too polished for what I was after so I decided to bring in my mouse sander and sand it just a little. Creating a beautiful modern classy rustic look.
This update to the barn wood wall was actually inspired by Anthropology. I was walking in a mall in Utah and love the look of their store. It gave me the idea to create this look. Check it out Here.
Warning, Warning, Warning
If you've ever hunted for straight usable lumber at Home Depot it can be a challenge. We looked through a lot of planks finding straight dry boards.
When we installed the cedar planks in the back entry and behind the tv we had zero issues.
When we installed the full wall in our sons room we had some shrinkage actually a lot of shrinkage. During the installation the boards were tight. A few weeks later we noticed there were sizable gaps between the boards. Thankfully it added to the charm of the room. Giving it a farmhouse feel.
There were boards that were wetter than others, we thought we let them dry but we really didn't climatize them in the house so that might have been the issue.
It's a simple process. Begin by finding and marking the studs so you know where you need to nail. After you mark the studs start installing. Here is a great stud finder (affiliate link)
We always started at the top and worked our way to the bottom. We do this because it is less noticeable to have a partial board at the floor than on the ceiling. Because we used cedar planking you are dealing with shorter lengths so you will be have seams. Be sure to stagger the vertical seams. It looks much better to have off setting seams than a straight line of seams down the wall.
I love the inexpensive wood plank walls we created in our home. They add character and warmth to our home and reflect our personalities and style. Because they are inexpensive you could change it down the road if you get tired of it. I still love all of my inexpensive wood plank walls.