DIY Whitewash Plank Wall

Awkward wall (1)


I have this awkward wall in my house. Its the first thing you see when you walk in and its been a struggle to know exactly how to decorate the space. A close friend has a similar floorplan and they added built-ins with a  plank wall in the middle. I LOVED it. We often joke that we share a brain when it comes to decorating and DIY projects. The more I thought about what to do with the wall I didn’t think adding a built in would be the best use of space for our house, but loved the idea of a plank wall.

Awkward wall

Once I get an idea in my head I’m ready to just go for it. I start researching and pinning ideas and figuring out how I can do this cheap – but to not look cheap. I have all my pictures and inspiration ready to show Eric and ask him what he thinks.. I always get nervous about that part! Ha! He truly is so great and usually goes along with my crazy ideas and brings them to life for me! So the verdict…. he liked the idea and said we could do it for about $60 and it really wouldn’t be that much work. YAY! As I bring this idea up to him we are in the middle of installing crown molding to our insanely high ceilings with lots of tricky corners and angles ( meaning a slightly complex ordeal) and we get to this awkward wall and in order to put the trim up he needs to know if I really want to do this because he would rather do it BEFORE putting trim up to make it look the best. So we go for it!


Supplies needed

3 sheets of common 7/32″ underlayment at $11.97 each.

6 tubes of liquid nails paneling adhesive at $3.57 each.

2in nails

Classic grey stain

White paint ( we used antique white )

old rag

paint brush


( we used a table saw and nail gun as well )


Eric cut the wood into 8in panels using his table saw. After that was done the next decision for me was if I wanted to paint them or stain them? Well that was a hard decision for me. I love the look of the stained wood plank walls, but I have been feeling weighed down by the dark walls/dark floors( which I LOVE but with everything dark it was driving me crazy )  in our house and wanted to lighten the room up. I ultimately wanted to paint the whole room, but like I mentioned earlier, we have insanely high ceilings and its not really and easy ordeal . That left me with paint. Ultimately I decided to do a mix of both.. that’s usually how I roll with things you’ll notice as I post more of out DIY projects 😉

Penny-width apart

I stained all the pieces with a “classic grey” stain from Home Depot. Let them dry and then we starting at the bottom left corner and worked our way up staggering them like you would a woof floor. We would cut pieces to length we wanted and put the wood glue on the back and press it on the wall and Eric would follow up with his nail gun and 2in nails in the studs of the wall. We made them penny-width apart, meaning we literally put pennies between each row to use as a spacer.

Once the wood was up I went back and white washed the entire wall. White washing is actually super easy and there are many techniques and formulations of paint to water, dry brush to rag, etc…. I had a small paint tray that I poured some white paint in and added water ( I didn’t measure ) but usually its about 50/50 paint and water or maybe a little more paint . Mix it up, then brush large strokes, going in the same direction every time. Depending if you want it to look more blended or not, go over the strokes with a rag and rub out some of the brush strokes. I tend to like it more blended, but still like to see the variation. Its just personal taste how you do it. No right or wrong way. Hard to mess it up!

Before whitewashing (this image is darker than it actually was because it was dark outside but you can see how the dark grey was heavy in the room)


After Whitewashing


It was amazing how much that one wall lightened up the whole room! I was so happy with how it turned out. We were able to finish the crown molding along the top of this wall and what a difference it made! Now the dilemma is do I leave the wall empty and let the planks be the décor or do I add a piece of artwork to the wall? I’m already scoping out which sign I’m going to make if I put one there. Which I think I am leaning that wall, just another project on the never ending list;)

Awkward wall (2)


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