The Easiest Way to DIY Wood Plank / Ship Lap Accent Wall with Vinyl Flooring
I was scrolling through Google Images, from a "whitewashed home decor" search one day, when I stumbled upon some photos of rooms with Ship Lap accent walls. I knew, before even clicking on one of the images for a larger view, that I wanted, NEEDED a wood planked wall! That was it... Without a single plank of wood in sight, my next DIY project was already in motion.
On a personal note, people are always asking me where I find the energy and motivation to do such projects.
Anyone who knows me knows well the following:
1. I am a very decisive person.
2. Like many, I am motivated by instant gratification. But unlike many, I make my own.
and 3. I am extremely task focused. When I start something, I burn the candle at both ends perfecting and completing it.
So when I say, one minute I was leisurely checking out interior design images, and the next I was elbows deep in adhesive paste, I'm dead serious. Therefore, the energy and motivation sprung from a pretty simple conclusion:
- I wanted a wood wall.
- I knew darn well I wouldn't let it go until I got it.
- I also knew I'd get it done better and faster just doing it myself.
Now I'll tell you how I, single handedly, created this gorgeous wood plank wall, and hopefully motivate you complete your own.
A NOTE About Textured Walls and Ship Lapping / Wood Planking...
Textured walls CAN be covered with wood planks/panels with the process described in this tutorial. My walls were textured. However, if your walls have texture with a lot of bumps that are significantly more raised in some areas than others, you may have to consider some extra prep work before installing planks.
Below are a few common wall textures and a guide to help you know if they can be planked with the method described in this tutorial...
|Orange Peel - YES||Skip Trowel - YES||Knockdown - YES||Hand Trowel - NO||Popcorn - NO|
*Learn from my mistake.
|Before I list the materials I used, I want to explain a snafu I encountered early on. It seemed that, for me, vinyl, peel and stick flooring was going to be my easiest and best ally in this project. After watching YouTube tutorials and speaking to a couple guys at Lowe's, I thought I could just peel those backs off and stick the planks on the wall. I was even told that no prep work was needed since my walls had been painted only a couple years ago. So I bought a box of vinyl planks and dove in working from the top of the wall down. I didn't get very far before the planks started sliding down, so I washed the wall with soap and water, and then started over from the bottom. I got one row completed, stood up to stretch my back and give myself a pat on it, and heard a loud SMACK. Yep, there was my first plank, face down on the tile. Back to Lowes. This trip though, I found a helpful lady who showed me a product called Stick-N-Stay, and here's where the project really began.|
STAINMASTER Style Selections 1-Piece 4-in x 36-in Safari/Brown Peel-and-stick Vinyl Plank
(The planks are sold by piece or you can buy a bundle in a box. For my @ 9x9ft wall, I got 2 boxes at around $45 per box. I had about a third of one box left over. What I understand from the guys at Lowe's is you can return what you don't use, but I just kept the extra.)
Stick-N-Stay TEC 1-Gallon Pail Trowel Universal Flooring Adhesive
(@ $25 for the gallon size and you will need it. I bought the smaller, quart I think, size first and had to go back for more a day later and halfway into the wall at which time they were all out of the smaller size. So I ended up spending more than I needed had I bought the gallon to start with. But if you end up only having the smaller size in stock, I think two of them will complete the project.)
Paint Brush / Paint Stirrers
(Head over to the paint counter while you're getting your other supplies and grab a handful of free wooden paint stirrers. They were helpful with scrapping off extra glue after slathering it on with a paintbrush and before sticking the planks to the wall.)
- Box Cutter (with new blade)
- Measuring Tape
- Sharpie / Marker
- (Possibly) Sanding Block / Paper
- Paint Roller with Roller Sponge
- Several Old Rags
You'll need a place to lay the planks while you apply the adhesive as well as a place to cut the planks. I ended up using my ironing board covered with trash bags as a platform and work area for the glue application. A cutting board on my kitchen counter made my cutting station.
- Remove Artwork, Nails, Outlet Covers, ETC.
- Smooth Imperfections - The wall does not have to be perfectly smooth but any notable lumps and bumps from plaster build-up and what not should be quickly sanded down.
- Quick Wall Wash - Even though I was told I wouldn't need to prep my walls and the wash I did do was prior to getting introduced to the Stick-N-Stay, I would still recommend a quick wall wash if you're covering up paint. Use basic dish soap (like Dawn) and warm water mixed at a 1 to 6 ratio. With a rag or sponge perform a light scrub from ceiling to floor rinsing the rag and changing the water periodically. You don't realize how dirty walls get just from everyday traffic in the room until doing something like this so you'll definitely know when a water change is needed. For my 9x9ft wall I did two water changes. Be sure to pay attention to where the ceiling and floor meet the wall and particularly if you have molding and/or baseboards. Remove soap residue with a new rag and plain water. Let the wall air dry for an hour before you start installing the planks. (You don't want to deposit any lent particles by using a towel.)
PROCESS: Installation of Vinyl, Wood Look Plank Flooring on Wall
1. Start from the Bottom
I determined bottom to top was the best route for applying vinyl planks to a wall with adhesive for the sheer gravity factor. Working ground-up gives each row above the previous a "shelf" to sit on and also keeps your project level without you having to monitor your progress much.
To begin, grab a plank and peel off the wax backing in the direction described by the arrows on the wax paper.
3. Apply Adhesive
With a paintbrush, (a little smaller than the width of the planks is best) scoop out a nice big goop of adhesive and slather onto the sticky side of the plank. Make sure to cover all of the back of the plank with adhesive. Then use the long edge of a paint stirrer to scrape off access clumps of adhesive paste.You don't have to be mega precise and it's perfectly okay if some adhesive spreads onto the wood side. Once you get the planks on the wall any visible adhesive will wipe right off.
Begin from either side and stick the plank to the wall making sure to line up the sides and bottom of the plank to the side and bottom of the wall. Press firmly on the blank holding it in place for 5 to 10 seconds. Use a rag to polish off any adhesive from the plank and any seepage from the edges. With a clean, dry paint roller, roll the plank (put some elbow grease into it) in all directions. Before moving onto the next plank, use your fingers to kind of press down on the top of the plank and make sure it's sitting firmly in place.
5. Cut (to fit length of wall and to create staggering.)
If you ask me a strict cutting/measuring formula is not necessary to create depth in this project. I simply continued to eyeball my progress while applying the planks and I would decide, on the fly, whether a shorter/longer piece should be next. With my first row, I used two uncut planks and measured the cut for the third by placing it (wax backing still in tact) against the wall lined up with second plank and the wall's edge. With a sharpie I made a "tick" mark on the wax paper at the top and bottom where I needed to cut. Then using a small level and small steel ruler I connected the marks with a line on the wax paper. Using a cutting board and pressing down forcefully on the ruler with one hand, I cut the plank keeping the box cutter right up against the ruler's edge. Make a deep enough cut and then you can just snap the plank right at the cut. (If the edge isn't straight to your liking, use sandpaper to level it out.)
NOTE: I used 2 measuring/cutting methods throughout my project. As described above and shown below, I was able to determine the length to cut the last plank of a row by holding it against the wall and marking the top and bottom of the wax paper backing. You can just as easily use a measuring tape in the blank space to calculate how much plank to cut.
6. Repeat / Stagger
I began each new row from the opposite edge of the wall as the previous. I applied a few rows using the uncut plank, uncut plank, cut plank method and then I would start the next few rows with a piece of a plank that I cut without measuring. Next to that piece I would place either an uncut plank or another cut piece just depending on what looked best. When I got close to the edge I would use the "hold up plank and mark to measure" or the "measure blank space with a tape measure" method for the last plank of the row.