Let me start by saying that some friends of ours just did planking on several entire walls in their front room and it looks AMAZING. They gave me the inspiration as well as a brief explanation of how they did it. I did a few things differently but I wasn't making this up on my own as I went along.
I started by calling my dad. He was a general contractor for 20+ years and owns more tools than the local Home Depot. I explained my vision and he set me up with some power tools (as well as a quick rundown on how to use them). I left my parents' house feeling half BRING IT ON and half I'M GOING TO LOSE A FINGER.
Funny story: pneumatic nail guns have a guard on them that must be pressed in (like against a wall) in order for the gun to fire. When I was little my dad had, for some reason, removed the guard from his gun. I'm sure he had a very good reason but toddler me picked up the gun and immediately fired a nail into my arm.
My major goal this whole project has been not to repeat that episode. So far so good!
This stunning example of home photography is supposed to be of the marks I made on the wall. The wood I used comes in 4'x8' sheets. To save myself extra cutting and wood waste I just planned on my planking being 4' tall. I marked the walls at 4' all the way around the room for painting purposes.
|I got low VOC paint but we're 2 for 2 on not giving our kids birth defects so we decided a paint fume mask might be a good idea for the person carrying the 3rd child. It was miserable to wear (SO HOT) but peace of mind and all that.|
Then, Aaron and I got painting (which was really nice of him. He's crazy busy right now and I wasn't expecting his help! It certainly made things go WAY faster).
The top half is Nocturnal Sea by Behr. The bottom half is paint in a color I thought I wanted. In retrospect, I should have just used cheap primer and saved myself a few bucks. Also, my final color choice matches the existing doors and trim because I have NO desire to paint all of that stuff. I'm not getting any skinnier, people.
At this point I was seriously questioning my vision. Aaron was like, "It looks so much better!" and I was like, "WHAT DID I DO?!?" I kept reminding myself that you can't judge a project by how it looks 10% of the way in.
|This looked awesome with a skirt the next day.|
And THEN! I went to Home Depot.
I got five sheets of 5mm underlayment. Basically, it's ridiculously cheap low-quality wood.
Much to the Home Depot guy's chagrin, I had him cut it into 6 inch planks. It took forever.
Here's where I screwed up- cutting it this way gives me 4' planks but it's across the grain. I should have had him cut it the other direction with the grain and then cut each 8' plank in half. My edges were crazy splintery whereas my friend (who obviously thought this through a lot more) didn't have the same issue. It ended up being fine but did create some extra sanding and finishing work for me.
|Guess who carried all that wood upstairs? Yup.|
|In the background we have the casualties of the Great Water Heater Flood of 2014.|
I unloaded the boards and gave each edge a quick rundown with a sanding block. Just enough to get the worst of the splinters off. Then I hauled them up to the nursery. And then I got a big drink of water and sat my butt on our couch because Braxton Hicks are a biotch.
Next up: installation!
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