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  • Writer's pictureJo-Anne Penn

Reclaimed Wood Wall on a Budget

We've all seen them on tv, in magazines, online and pretty much everywhere - the reclaimed shiplap or whitewashed wood panel feature wall. When I was pricing materials for this look for a client, I was astonished at the per sq. ft. cost. To do our modest wall, it would have been over $1,000.00 just in wood planks alone! I even looked at the peel and stick wallpaper versions or pre-"printed" panels as an alternative. No WAY! The material was cheap and the repeat is sooooo obvious. So I decided to get creative and turn to my local home away from home - Home Depot.

My Home Depot had a thin "tongue & groove" new product called vintage shiplap in butternut brown and gray - both ugly colors that looked more green-ish than anything. At approx. 26 bucks a pack (13 sq. ft.) it was a bargain I couldn't pass up. I bought both the brown and gray and set up shop in my living room (It was winter in Connecticut, after all).

A rag and a bucket of my secret sauce whitewash was all I needed to customize the boards. ​I ended up doing 2 light coats to achieve the effect I wanted, which was to allow some of the original wood color to show through.

Because I also intended to use this wall to establish a sense of symmetry in an otherwise asymmetrical, 1/2 sloped room, it needed some custom trim - also whitewashed. I opted for a simple piece topped by a shelf with another piece of trim added to the front so wall-washer puck lights could be added but the wires would be hidden. The shelf brackets were attached to studs and recessed behind the drywall. The puck lights operate via remote so no heavy wiring was needed - we simply sliced away the drywall to run the cord behind the wood planks, screwed the drywall back in place, and plugged the lights into the outlet below.

The previously brown and gray boards were chosen at random, and with a little liquid nails plus a nail gun, the install was a breeze. All our materials, including the lighting, cost significantly less than half of what the wood plank materials alone would have cost.

Love the texture and warmth this wall brings to the space! I hope you'll share YOUR reclaimed whitewashed wood panel wall project...

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