Part two of last week’s blog.
Between those two beautiful faux built-in bookshelves, we wanted to have a pallet or barnwood wall. There are pros and cons to both, so we had to decide which would be easier but not cost us a ton of money. I may like expensive things, but I like making cheap things look expensive – that might make me cheap, but I’ve been called worse!
Pros to pallet wood; cheap/free and easy to find – especially in Duluth. Cons; hard to disassemble and a longer prep time – disassemble, remove remaining nails, stain. Pros to faux barnwood; the look I want – already discolored and beaten up and its already stained, cons; expensive. I kept going back and forth on what I wanted to do. We have a factory building by our house that always has pallets set out for people to pick up so I knew I could get them for free, but I continued to be told how much work it was to disassemble them while keeping the boards intact. All the faux barnwood at Home Depot or Menards is weird colored or super expensive. Like I have mentioned before, when I have a picture in my mind I will not settle for anything less than what I want. So, I wasn’t going to just buy the faux stuff just because it was the easy way out.
My dad has tons of scrap wood laying around, so I thought maybe I could use that, but most of it is deck wood with rounded edges, so it would need to be ripped. In comes my uncle! My uncle builds furniture for a living. I contacted him to see if he had any scrap wood laying around at work and much to my surprise he had exactly what I was looking for – texture, different sizes and different stains. [Bob, I can not thank you enough for the wood. We are so grateful!]
Since all the work on the barnwood was done for us, it was a much easier task then we expected. The barnwood pieces did have knots and holes in them, so the gold/yellow color of our old wall would have shown through. Not the look I was going for, so our first step was painting the wall a dark color. This doesn’t need to cost money, if you have any dark colored paint hanging around, just use it. My dad had a dark grey/blue at his house, so we just went with that.
We also had to build a mantle so we could have our TV on the wall – I’m not much for hanging my televisions. We have one mounted in our basement and it literally looks like it is going to fall. Not a fan! My dad came in and cut holes in our sheetrock so that he could anchor three 2x4s to the studs for extra support. We have a large television and with a toddler, I always want to make sure that everything is anchored well – whether to the studs or the wall. The last thing I need is for our furniture or television falling on our sweet girl. We measured the center of the wall to know where the center of the television would be and then found three studs within that area. We anchored the 2x4s on either side and one towards the middle. After they were well supported, we secured a piece of plywood board on the top and on all 3 faceplates. We decided to leave the bottom open – this is definitely a personal preference. I was a little iffy at first, but it looks just fine now. My dad knows what he is doing!
Once the mantle was done, we got to do the fun part; securing the barnwood pieces to the wall. Between my dad and I, we just started grabbing and securing – we used liquid nails as well as a nail gun in some spots where the boards were warped and didn’t sit flat. We didn’t want to try to pick and choose the pieces. I was worried it would look too organized and I wanted the look of different sizes, colors, and thicknesses placed everywhere and not methodically. This is where I almost cut my finger off – dad, you get to keep helping, lucky you! Obviously not every piece fit perfectly so we had to use the skill saw to make them fit. Well, I wasn’t holding on tight enough when I was cutting a thin piece and it wasn’t a pretty sight! Good thing my daughter was sleeping, so she didn’t hear the foul words that came out of my mouth. That was the end of the skill saw for me – for that day at least!
We left the mantle for last – I don’t think it matters one way or the other – and placed the wood pieces on the top. This is where the television will be sitting, so we were more methodical in placing these pieces so that the television was balanced. Then we completed the 3 sides of the mantle, where we let some of the boards hang over the bottom edge. Back to earlier where we left the bottom part of the mantle open, letting the boards hang over allowed for less of the opening to be visible – unless you are sitting on the floor below it.
The next step is a personal preference. Due to our wood floors being a dark tone, we decided to place a white trim and crown molding to separate the wall with the ceiling and floor. I think this adds a nice contrast and makes the wall its own piece.
And wa-lah my dream wall is finished!
Don’t ever let your visions disappear! It may take a bit longer, but you can always get them done! The wall and built-in bookshelves have been a work in process for a long time, but I knew what I wanted and eventually they became realistic!
Decor for the bookshelves can be found in last weeks blog here. Metal storage basket is from Target – find it here. Blanket and pillow are from TJ Maxx. Glass vase is from Hobby Lobby – find it here. Cotton Stems are from Magnolia Market – find them here.
As always, thanks for reading!