DIY Cedar Wood Plank Wall

When we first got pregnant with baby #2, the wheels started spinning with what we could do with Lincoln’s Big Boy room. I always knew when the time came that we would move Lincoln’s room completely; from the smaller guest bedroom to the larger guest bedroom so that he could have more space and the baby could have the “nursery”.

My taste has changed over the years and I’m not really into painted rooms and having different rooms in the house be different colors. Instead, I’m really into textures and changing rooms look and feel with material versus paint right now. I’m also very much into the rustic and masculine look.

With that said, I’m REALLY good at coming up with DIY projects. Unfortunately, I’m also REALLY good at coming up with DIY projects for my husband to complete 🙂 The below picture is my inspiration from Pinterest and Lincoln’s blank canvas wall that I wanted to DIY.

Months ago I looked into doing a pallet wall and even had my husband start picking up pallets all across town. The more I researched the pallet wall, the more nervous I was about the execution and final product of the wall. My husband’s family has a ranch with a cabin and the cabin walls are planked with “tongue and groove” cedar planks. The hubs felt confident this would look a bit more polished as well as be easier to work with and ultimately, more put together. It’s not the norm, but this time, he was right! Our hope is that even when we sell this house, the next owner will love the wall either as is or painted the original wall color… who doesn’t LOVE some texture?

Here’s what we started with:

  • Raw Cedar “tongue and groove” Planks From Home Depot- We looked around and Home Depot had the best wood option. You can definitely get thinner and less expensive wood, but we loved all the knots in the wood as well the sturdiness of the boards. The boards were 12′ long, 6″ wide, and about 1/2″ thick. They ran us $8.55 per board and we purchased 25 boards for the size of our wall. Total Cost: $213.75 plus tax
  • MinWax Wood Stain- Stain is probably THE most important part of this project so excuse the lengthiness of this paragraph. We went with Provincial, Special Walnut, and Natural stain colors. We wanted the wall to have dimension and character so going with multiple stain colors seemed to be the best way to achieve the perfectly imperfect look. Provincial and Special Walnut proved to be a bit darker than we had anticipated (but it ended up drying lighter) and Natural was much lighter than what we were hoping for…… so, in order to achieve the perfect blend of colors, we stained 10 boards in Provincial, 10 in Special Walnut, and the remaining 5 in Natural mixed with a bit of Provincial to make it darker. As a result, we had 2 colors (10 boards each of the 2 stain colors) that were all even and somewhat in the same color family; however the remaining 5 mixed stain wood pieces varied because we mixed as we went. End result=perfection! We started staining on a Friday night and had a nice little system going. We completed staining in just an hour or two. We purchased gallon buckets of stain and have WAAAAAAAY TOO MUCH leftover. We should have purchased the little cans. Seriously, a little goes a LONG way! I don’t remember what we spent on stain, but we purchased 2 gallons and 1 pint size. Probably $50, which again, was entirely too much.

  • Screws/Nails- The hubs nailed the boards up, but to ensure that the boards didn’t fall off in the middle of the night onto our child, he also screwed in the boards on each plank into the studs. End result=It’s not going anywhere!
  • Miter or Table Saw- Thank you to our amazing neighbor, Evan for allowing us to borrow his saw for the weekend. You cannot complete this project without a saw that makes a clean precise cut.

Starting the Process:

The most difficult part of the project (in my opinion, because remember, I was the project manager not the actual DIY”er”) was cutting around the electrical outlets. Hubs decided to start from the bottom to ensure a nice tight fit with the boards. Since the outlets are closest to the baseboards, we hit the tedious part of the project immediately. He literally had to cut tiny little pieces of wood to fit under and above the outlets so that everything lined up. I’m a perfectionist and I wanted the outlets put back on top of the wood rather than just cutting the wood to fit around the outlets and having them inset. It may have been tedious, but the hubs did an amazing job and it looks like a pro did it!

Measuring, cutting, nailing, measuring, cutting, nailing was all my husband did for hours while I sat back and played with Lincoln watching. Wesley had to make sure that he was mixing up the colors appropriately as well as get the measurements right so that everything fit perfectly wall to wall.

When we hit the top we had about 1/2″ of wall left so we headed back to Home Depot to get a piece of pre-stained cedar trim wood. It was around $10, fit like a glove, and finished the look off perfectly. Every wall varies (depending on baseboards and crown molding) though so you may be left with more or less space. Get creative, you can make it work. I read about removing the baseboards, but WHOA… my husband put the breaks on that and said “hell no, it will be fine.” And again, surprisingly, he was right!

I was a little nervous 4 board rows up, but 1/2 way to the top and I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel!

And here’s the finished product!

I’m beyond thrilled with the outcome and give HUGE props to my husband for executing my vision to perfection! Honestly, no pictures I could take give this room and wall justice. It is just so stinkin’ adorable, rustic, masculine, and perfect for my little boy to grow up in. I honestly wish I could do this wall in every room of the house, but that might be overkill. The plan was always to do both boy’s rooms with the planked wall so we will be moving onto baby boy #2’s room in the next few weeks.

We transitioned Lincoln to his big boy room, but we are a ways away from the next transition… a big boy bed! My theory? Why fix something when it isn’t broke? No complaints from this little tot!

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4 Responses to DIY Cedar Wood Plank Wall

  1. K8 May 30, 2015 at 9:19 am #

    Thanks for this! I am going to make a table top out of cedar to replace the terrible glass one what my outdoor furniture came with. Your post was very helpful!

  2. Inga morgan May 29, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    HI Allison, I am also an austinite! I plan on putting planks on accent walls in bathroom and pony wall in kitchen/living area. Concerned about what to do around outlets and couldn’t see yours in pictures. Also, my hubs is concerned this will look bad due to planks sticking out further than baseboards/trim. Any suggestions?
    Thank you, inga

    • Allison Mack
      Allison Mack May 29, 2017 at 11:35 am #

      Hi Inga! Thank you for your question 🙂 My husband removed the outlets from the wall so he could put the wood down and then lay the outlet cover over the wood. Otherwise the outlet would have been sunken behind the wood, which would have looked bad. He did have to get creative and cut small pieces to get it just right, but most of the outlets were behind furniture. Even without furniture though it still looked good. As for the baseboards, for our particular home at that time, the wood was only barely thicker than the baseboards and didn’t look bad or majorly hang over. The wood planks are not very thick. You could always buy one small plank to put against the wall at the base so you can see for yourself before committing to planking the entire wall.

      This project was a 2 day affair with staining the planks the 1st day and then assembling the 2nd day, but it was so so so pretty! We’ve been quoted quadruple since then to have planked walls put in our new house so it was definitely a money-saver! Good luck!!!

  3. Kim July 25, 2017 at 8:51 pm #

    Can you give any info on the lengths of your boards after they were cut? We are doing the same type of project and I live the look of your wall vs. shorter boards.

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