DIY Plank Walls (and Painted Mudroom Floors!)

We are making some great progress on the mudroom this week! Before we moved in and tackled the space, the room had plant shelves aplenty and highly textured walls.

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It’s still a work in progress, but I love the direction we’re going in here. The room is completely flooded with light all day long, so I decided to go dark and dramatic on the walls and the floors.

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Here’s the full break down…

A couple days ago we headed over to Lowes to have the wood cut for the wall planks. We decided on 1/4″ melamine boards because they’re inexpensive, light and easy to hang. Lowes has a pretty generous lumber cutting policy. Usually they’ll do all your cutting for free (even many multiple cuts like with these planks), but sometimes they’ll charge 10-25 cents per cut. We cut my stack of five 8×4′ melamine board ten times, so it wasn’t that expensive to have the wood cut quickly and precisely. I had all the boards cut to be 6″ wide and 4′ long.
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The installation part is a breeze. You’ll want a miter saw, a nail gun, a handful of nickels, a level, a hammer and maybe a nail set if you want to see no nail heads.
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So to start, just use a level to hang your first plank up against the ceiling and then stagger the next plank underneath and maybe cut it down a little too so not every plank is the same length. You’ll have lots of different lengths to choose from before long though as you hit corners and doors/windows.
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I used a couple of nickels to space out my planks before I nailed them in. Worked like a charm to create a small, consistent sized gap between the planks. And to make my nail heads more flush with the planks, I just tapped the nails the rest of the way in with a hammer. I didn’t set mine in yet though because I don’t mind seeing the shadow of the nails in the planks.
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To fill in the plant shelf area above the closets, I sort of framed out the space with 1×2’s and just nailed in the planks on the frame. I probably should have just drywalled in the space, but this worked too.
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One of the great things about using melamine board is that it can be cut with a razor blade. If you score it over and over again, it actually cuts pretty easily. It was nice to not have to pull out my small Dremel saw or some other tool to cut around light switches and electrical outlets.
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The room isn’t finished yet. I’m still working on the built-ins part of the room, so the planking doesn’t go all the way around the space yet. I got anxious though and decided to paint what I have done so far (the brown melamine was hurting my eyes). So I took off all the switch plates again and threw on a coat of paint.
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I’ve been using Benjamin Moore’s Onyx on our doors (you can see it here in action on the louvered doors below) and I decided to go a couple shades lighter on the walls in here. The color is called Day’s End and it’s a really pretty charcoal with blue undertones. It looks navy for part of the day, which I’m digging.
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The brown side of the melamine board takes paint SO well. The white side sort of deflects paint in the same way most IKEA furniture does, so I’d stick with the brown side even if I was going with a light paint color. I just brushed the paint on so I could get into the cracks between the planks easily.

 

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On Monday night my kids had a sleepover with their cousins at my sister’s house so I took advantage of their absence and painted the floors. I decided I wanted to try a sort of medallion pattern in here, but wanted it to be not as busy as the laundry room floors.
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I marked out my idea with painters tape and then painted most of the tiles the same color as I painted the kitchen floors (post coming there).
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And then I filled in the medallions with black paint.

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This whole area will get reworked when we do the big kitchen renovation in a year or two, so I’m fine with this temporary fix on both the walls and the floors. I spent only about $50 on wood and supplies and I love how it’s looking.

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Here are those freshly sprayed closet and cabinet doors. Man, I love that Critter sprayer!
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I also used the Critter to spray the chairs in here, which are all a similar style, but were thrift store finds on different days over the past couple weeks.

 

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And actually, the bright orange-red chair was a garbage room find from when we lived at the loft. I should dig up some before photos – it cleaned up really well with that new coat of sprayed paint.
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Remember that mirror from the powder bath in the brownstone? It fits perfectly on this little wall. I always love having a mirror by an exit door so I can verify I don’t look like a complete fool before leaving my house. This came in handy earlier today when I noticed a big smear of black paint on my forehead as I was leaving to pick up the kids. Daughter-embarrassment dodged!

 

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Lots and lots to do in here still, but, you know, it’s progress!
  1. Ann

    You amaze me! Every day another project. And I can't wait to buy myself a Critter and paint all my doors. Simplifies what I always thought was a complicated job.

  2. WHOA! UH-mazing! I know you didn't move to another state and buy a, frankly, sort-of concerning house just to captivate readers like me with its transformation. But I'm captivated! And at the risk of being redundant: it's also amazing to see you operationalize in an accessible way all of these things that I pin. THANKS and I'll be back tomorrow and the next day and the next day…

  3. sarah

    mmm….i would have a hard time doing a reno in a year or two. love this look way too much. your floors are killer. such an awesome look.

  4. Erica

    Jenny, AHHHHMYAZZING!!! What a great post. I am so loving watching this new house transform. Question: did you just plank up that vent over the door, or what?

  5. Nicole

    There are cartoony hearts dancing around my head right now…I just love this. Question: did you just butt the edges up to existing trim work? How do the edges look on outside corners?
    Man, I gotta find a place to do this in my house.

  6. Amber

    I love your style! So what kind of spray paint did you use for that red-orange chair? I've been looking for that style on Craigslist and i found someone who has 9 in different colors, but I want to paint them all one color. I was nervous that wouldn't hold up though if i spray them. They are metal.

  7. This is so brilliant! Do your DIY's ever not turn out? You really inspire me to try new things, but sometimes they don't turn out. :) Ha! I'm just curious if you ever face something that didn't go the way you had hoped. Your thinking inspired me to take a sharpie to a Kilim covered bench several months ago and I blogged about it today. This room is killer, Jenny!

  8. Love it! Great tip on the melamine. I wanted to paint the back of my Ikea shelves and I assure you, I would not have figured out to just flip them around and paint them. I would have fussed and spent time on the stupid white side.

    Tears averted. Whoo hoo!

  9. I love love love this. I have been thinking a lot about walls like this ever since Remodlista did a great post on shiplap.

    Also, I've used Zinsser BIN to prime melamine and then finished with Advance. BIN is toxic and smells like death but it works like a charm.

  10. Jenny

    Hi Jess! The floors are brick pavers. They're about a 1/4" thick. So mostly they're just tile made to look like brick. Nothing special. :)

  11. Jenny

    Hi Johanna! The fabric in my header is Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon in Aquamarine. You can find pre-made pillows on etsy and yardage on eBay sometimes. Decoratorsbest.com sells it by the yard at retail price. Hope that helps!
    xo

  12. Jenny

    Mishmosh- the hardware is new! I discovered a new section at Lowes and Home Depot that has cheaper stuff. It's chunkier and less finished looking, which I like. The door knob and deadbolt are new too. I posted about them on the keep.com post I did a week or so ago.
    xo

  13. Jenny

    Hi Dani,

    I did a post on painting the floors (I linked to it in this post too I think). I didn't paint the grout and I just free-handed it with a small 1" brush. It' s easy and fun! I used an oil-based paint on the kitchen and mudroom floors so it should hold up for a really long time. The good news if there are dings, I can touch them up easily! :)

    I didn't sand the planks. The brown part is really really smooth. Just like MDF and it takes paint beautifully. Hope that helps!
    xo

  14. Jenny

    Hi Erica! I took off the shelf area in front of the vent so I'm just planking right around the vent, just like I have been the electrical outlets. I looks so much better than before! :)

  15. Jenny

    Nicole – Yup, just butted the edges up to the existing trim. I might put in chunkier baseboards down the road, but it looks fine for now.

    I left the outside corners as is and didn't cover them with trim or anything. I like the look – it's kind of more modern looking maybe? I lined up the planks perfectly on those edges, so the lines are clean.

    xo

  16. Jenny

    Hi Amber! The paint was a orangey red color from BEHR called Red Hot. I sprayed it on using my new spray paint gun that I just posted about. If you're looking for a bright orangey red aerosol spray paint, I LOVE Rustoleum's Safety Red. It comes in tall Aluminum bottles and can be a little hard to find on the shelves sometimes because I think it was made for construction work? :) It's a really bright red!

    xo

  17. Jenny

    Gwen! Ha! Of course things don't work out sometimes in my projects! I usually end up course correcting before things get unsalvageable. :) So glad you are enjoying LGN!
    xo

  18. Hi Jenny,

    I love the look of this wall. It's beautiful now, but I have a question about cleaning it. Do you plan to clean the cracks? If so how?

    Thank you!

  19. Jenny

    Kimberly – I already have some experience cleaning in the cracks! I cut the melamine on the floor in the mudroom and it makes a crazy amount of dust when you cut it. Some of it got in the cracks of the planks. I just used a microfiber cloth and it cleaned up really easily! No complaints so far. :)

  20. Beyond talented! My jaw dropped when you came up with another beautiful pattern to paint your floors. Amazing!!!

  21. You are amazing! It all looks great.

  22. This transformation is amazing! Who knew planked walls would look so good!! You did a great job!

  23. I'm just blown away by how you come up with these concepts, and so quickly! I'd be stricken with "decorating inertia" and would have to think about it for years! The mudroom looks fantastic!

  24. You leave me speechless! This is once again amazing!

  25. Fantastic! I love the dark wood planks!

  26. This is completely wonderful! The colors, the medallion, and the planking. Btw, who thought plant shelves were a good idea?

  27. Maurie

    You are an amazing woman! Your vision and your can-do attitude. God did an amazing job infusing you with creativity! I am loving seeing your home transformed.

  28. I can't believe all the DIY projects you tackle, and the end results are always so amazing!! Especially awesome considering you have three little munchkins! I LOVE how the planking came out and can't wait to use the melamine trick in my house!! Thank you!!

  29. wow! it looks amazing! i love that wall color and the planking is a great idea!

  30. Great advice! I've been thinking of adding wood walls and wondering about an inexpensive way to pull it off. I LOVE this! Love that you went dark too – brave. The floor is stunning too! What a great transformation!

  31. Jessie

    Love the amazing transformation! I really like the plank walls. Looking forward to see more! You did a really good job.

    Happy weekend!

    Jessie
    http://www.mixandchic.com

  32. Love it! I think this is the answer for above my ginormous plant shelves in my great room. I'm ignoring the shelves but want to add a little architectural interest up there. Couple questions:

    It looks like you didn't paint behind the planks. Does the white show through?

    Did you make sure to nail into studs all the time? Or is the melamine light enough that you just nailed into drywall?

    Thanks! I'm so excited that you moved to the valley! Can't wait for you to share your finds nearby! ;)

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