Fellow DIYers, do you ever complete a project that quite simply transforms you into singer/songwriter Pharrell?
Come on, you know what I mean.
You are literally so excited that you spend the next three days dancing and singing the song “Happy.”
This is that project.
“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof.”
That’s me. Singing and dancing like Pharrell the moment I spied these walls. Try to get that image out of your head.
“Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.” Friends – happiness is a feature wall made from 100-year-old barn wood.
There’s nothing revolutionary about plank walls. (And let’s be honest, nothing is revolutionary on this blog. If you are looking for revolutionary, you took a wrong turn at Google. Retrace your steps.)
But I think the first time I remember falling in love with a rustic plank wall was when Katie and Jeremy at Bower Power planked out their son’s nursery. That was 2010. And for anyone counting – it’s now 2014. My inspiration takes time to marinate. And since then, planked walls have hit the mainstream on my Pinterest home feed. They’re everywhere.
And when we decided to convert the loft of a 100-year-old barn into an apartment, I immediately knew that we needed some barn wood accents up in there. Luckily for us, we had a BARN full of old barn wood. Score.
So after I finished painting the other walls, Ryan got to work on the barn board. Because we were finishing the walls in this way, Ryan simply insulated the exterior walls and nailed the boards right to the studs (no drywall). This made the process pretty simple (says the person who didn’t do it).
We chose to finish the two end walls in barn wood because I was afraid doing an entire long wall would have been too dark. I love it so much now that I sort of regret not doing the longer walls. Ryan regrets it because it would have been far faster with fewer cuts.
So, there are tutorials all over the interwebs to put up a plank wall. But here’s the thing, it’s totally going to depend on your wood. So focus on the wood. Our wood is a tongue and groove barn siding. Which means it looks sort of like this. The boards essentially go together like a puzzle, which makes it relatively easy to put together.
Here it is going up the wall by the windows. Ryan started the boards at a level line as near as possible to the floor. He cut the individual pieces and then used an air nailer to attach to the studs.
When he reached obstructions (like the switches), he traced the shape onto the board.
And then went downstairs for a few quick measurements and cuts. (I know this is not a true tutorial, but I took some pictures of the process in case you were curious.) I’m sure there are a number of safety issues in this picture. Call OSHA. Seriously. We need OSHA up in here.
Ryan went up and down the stairs a lot that day.
But oh, was it worth it. I consider it a service to provide him with a cardio workout. I’m going to start selling memberships and putting people to work. I’ll just slap a Crossfit sign on the front of the barn and people will come running. Literally. They will literally be running.
Mostly, this project meant Ryan was cutting the lengths of the boards. At the top, he cut it to fit really tight along the roof line.
Moving on … back to the wood. The barn wood. It was hard to get a really good photo of the wood with all the light coming in those windows. But trust me. Gorgeous.
(Don’t mind that wire, it will eventually be hooked to an exterior light. All in good time. Focus on the wood.)
I’m still deciding how I want to trim out the doors and windows. I’m leaning toward a simple white trim to offset the barn wood, but could be persuaded to go a different direction.
The boards are literally 100+ years old. I really love their tones and all the nail holes and pencil markings and …. what do we call that? Character. Ryan and I talked about oiling it because the color took on a gorgeous shade when Ryan wiped them down with water.
So, do these barn wood walls make you sing “Happy,” too? Or is it just me?