Freckles in April: Nursery Progress | Plank Installation

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nursery Progress | Plank Installation

This was the scary part for me but it ended up not being a huge deal. I got it done in 3ish days (it was spread out due to illness, an outlet I couldn't conquer, etc.) with no injury to my person and no huge mistakes. Not too bad! The boys desperately wanted to help but I kept looking around at all the sharp pointy things going on in that room and decided to be a not-fun mom and tell them to go play downstairs.

Safety PSA: eye and ear protection is a must! Ginorm belly is optional.

When working with wood it's always a good idea to let it sit in your house for 48-72 hours to adjust to the humidity of your home. This minimizes swelling and shrinking post-installation.

Tools! Caulk (I went through 4 tubes), caulk gun, patch, putty knife, and a nail setter

Thanks to my bone-headed cutting mistake I had to look at each board and decide which side had the least splintering. This meant that some boards had to be knot-side-out (which meant more finishing work later). I made my peace and pressed on.

To install I did a line of latex acrylic caulk along the back of each board then smooshed it into the wall. 

I used my knee to hold the board against the wall and then used 2 nickels (one up high and one down low) to make sure the board was the proper distance from its neighbor.

Then I used the nail gun. I usually ended up with 2 in the top, 1 in the middle and 2 in the bottom. Some required more if they were a little wonky. I got really good at using the nail gun.

Since the walls, baseboards, planks, and installer aren't perfect, I used a level every few boards to make sure everything was straight. I occasionally had to space a board a little wider along the bottom to make sure things didn't go wonky.

See the nickels?

I used a jig saw to cut out around outlets, the window, and the light switch plate as well as a few thinner pieces for the corners where the spacing didn't work out perfectly (you can see one to my left in the above picture going into the corner).

Aaron showed me how to use the jig saw but I did the rest. I had a blister on my thumb by the end of day 2 but somehow managed to NOT cut off a finger. I am absurdly proud of myself.

I actually got halfway decent at using the jig saw but let me tell you where I royally screwed myself over time and again- MEASURING and MATH. I hate to be one of those girls like, "Hehe I'm so bad with numbers!" but, holy crap, I'm bad with numbers.

That room is the smallest in the house but it still has a light switch plate, four electrical outlets, a phone jack and a cable jack. Defying all odds, I had FOUR plates land smack in the middle of a plank (and one that probably should have but it was so close to the edge that I adjusted the plank over a smidge, cut from the edge, and called it good). This required careful measurement on my part. I measured multiple times and very carefully cut out the holes and then they were always off. ALWAYS. One outlet totally defeated me and I walked away from the project for an entire week. Eventually I made it work but it doesn't look as nice as I had hoped.

Also, I very carefully measured the room and did the math for the number of boards I would need. I ended up 4 planks short (about 24 inches). HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN. Let's be honest, if the engineer in the house had been doing the measuring rather than the blogger, everything would have been spot-on.

4 planks short. SHOOT ME.


After I got all the planks installed I started prepping for paint. I caulked in the corners, around the window, and around the door. Some of the nails didn't go in quite all the way. I used a nail setter to pound them in before patching each hole.

I let the patching compound sit for 24 hours (per the instructions on the back of the tub) before moving on to the next step.

Next up: sanding, priming, sanding, priming, sanding, painting....


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  1. I'm in awe of your usage of power tools! I would definitely lose a finger!

  2. can't wait to see it finished.


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