Updated: Jan 20
Reclaimed wood (barn wood) feature walls or commonly referenced accent walls are a very popular way to dramatically transform any space, that being primarily home or office. Adding a touch of rural charm can be completed much faster than one may think. This article is intended to provide a step-by-step guide for DIY’ers that is our proven method for a brilliant outcome with suggested tools to get the job done.
MODERN RUSTIC FEATURE WALLS
Our reclaimed wood has been sourced, salvaged, and reclaimed by The Den for our customers with a unique sizing of wall panels that can rarely be found anywhere else on the market. We have installed many feature walls with a combination of wall panel widths and have found that 2.5″ and 3.75″ widths allow for a perfect mix of naturally weathered colours for years and years of enjoyment. Once completed your space will inherently take on a warm feeling cutting room echo substantially.
All the material has been plain smooth on the back, straight-lined cut edges, and end cut for ease of application. We take extra care to enhance the modern rustic appeal by cleaning with a high-speed nylon brush ensuring the weathered look stays intact.
As far as installation we are here to answer any questions during and/or after application. We include a tool/supply list to get you going along with an instructional video and 7 valuable tips for a better accent wall. Here are a few important highlights to get you thinking.
It is recommended to open all Project Packs and disperse the planks in the room for a period of 24 hours. Acclimatizing your planks promotes a quality-finished product for years to come.
AMAZON LINKS – TOOLS AND SUPPLIES
STEP 1: ACCENT WALL BASE COAT
Remove existing trim and electrical plates then apply one coat of dark paint to ensure lighter colors are not visible and amplified through the nail holes and irregularities of the planks. The purpose is to blend the imperfections as not to be visible and draw the eye.
This is an important 1st step to complete, we often recommend going to the paint store and picking up a can of paint that was returned and often back on the shelf for 1/2 price or less.
STEP 2: SORTING FEATURE WALL PANELS
Layout the wall planks on the floor in a manner as you would desire the finished product to reflect. By doing this flow can be established enhancing the overall appeal once finished. Generally, the installation space is a little tight on space so we recommend completing this step in a garage or somewhere with enough space. It is a good idea to ensure that the joints are staggered when fastening to the wall however for this step it is not crucial.
This is your opportunity to get creative by adding trim or flipping some boards over to use the backside leaving it natural or stained f
or the perfect custom look! Once satisfied with the pattern created take some pictures and share them with whoever may be involved in the installation so that they can be used at a later stage for reference.
At this point stack the wall planks in neat stacks according to length and width in their respective colour groups. This will keep your workspace tidy while installing reducing unnecessary tripping hazards.
STEP 3: BOXING IN THE FEATURE WALL
Boxing in the feature wall provides a starting and stopping point when installing wall panels. The trim is used to box in the wall providing a well-polished look and feel. In addition to boxing in the wall do the same for any windows, outlets, or other obstacles that may exist.
It is recommended to install outlet extensions to all plug-ins and light switch receptacles. Outlet extensions are rel
atively cheap and are readily available from most hardware stores and are the safest method of extending the receptacles out from the wall to that of the wall panel thickness. Most if not all box extensions are adjustable so be sure to read the package details before purchase.
STEP 4: LOCATING ACCENT WALL STUDS
Locate and mark all studs with a pencil line from the ceiling to the floor. A stud finder will make this step achievable with precision. Once all the studs have been located and marked this will provide an accurate reference point when fastening during installation.
Although it is not completely necessary to always hit studs it is preferred to ensure a well-fastened accent wall. Brad nails are used to hold the wall planks in place until the construction adhesive has had a chance to set. We will explain more in the next step.
STEP 5: ACCENT WALL STARTER ROW
It is recommended to start at the ceiling and work your way to the floor so that the last row installed can be ripped to the desired width and covered by trim. To keep the starter strip level use the longest planks
available, especially lengthy walls. Starting out level is extremely important and should be checked periodically during the installation as you work your way down to the floor.
As mentioned in step 4 the nails hold the wood in place while the adhesive cures. Hitting studs with each Brad nail is ideal however if not possible then the adhesive will do the trick holding everything in place. We use PL 200 construction adhesive with 2″ nails however a slightly shorter nail can be used.
OPTIONAL – APPLICATION OF SEALANT / CLEANING
To lock in the wall a coat of varathane can be applied but please note that this will darken the colour slightly as a result by two shades. This step is best completed before installation if the wood will be used in a high humidity area like a bathroom or hot tub surround or when locking in chippy paint.
Once the wall has been completed we recommend using a vacuum with the brush attachment to do a final clean of your beautiful feature wall. This can be done on a semi-regular basis to keep your wall looking its best.
In conclusion, working with reclaimed wood is very enjoyable, and completing your own feature wall makes it that much sweeter. As always, we encourage you to engage with us and comment below sharing your experience with reclaimed wood. we will reply to each message and appreciate your contribution.