Moving into a home that you didn’t design yourself can often leave you searching for ways to make it more representative of your personality. Adding customized touches can make you feel like the house is your home and allow you to show off your unique style the second guests come inside to visit. A great decorative element you can create on your own is a statement wall using wood flooring and different wood stains. Learn how to create the statement wall in the guide that follows.
Take Measurements of the Wall
The first thing you need to do is take measurements of the wall that you want to cover with wood. You will be creating the design on the wood while it is laid out on the floor and then attaching it to the wall once everything is complete so taking proper measurements is essential. You need to know the height and width of the wall to ensure that the entire wall is covered when you complete the project.
Determine How You Want to Lay Out the Wood
Next, you need to determine how you want the wood to be arranged when you put it on the wall. Some people want to have multiple small pieces of wood pieced together, while others want to have as many solid pieces as they can. You may also want to arrange the wood in a unique fashion, such as diagonally instead of the traditional horizontal or vertical options. Knowing how you want to arrange the wood ensures that you know roughly how long you need the pieces to be. Using long solid pieces of wood that span the entire height or width of the wall will be the easiest option when it comes to creating the statement wall.
Determine the Wood You Want to Use
After you know how long and wide the wood needs to be, you need to decide what type of wood you want to use. Since you plan to stain the wood, it needs to be unfinished. The wood will be mounted to the wall, so you don’t have to worry about the usual wear and tear that comes with wood that is used on the floors in a house.
Take the time to look at the wood options that are available to you carefully. Knotty wood may not be the best option when creating a statement wall because the knots could interfere with the design that you want to create with the stains. You may also want to consider the darkness of the wood when choosing one option over another option because you cannot make wood, lighter by staining it, but you can make it darker. You want to be sure to use wood that is lighter than the end color you hope to achieve.
Consider buying remnants if you want to really get the most bang for your buck when it comes to the wood that you buy. The remnants are leftover pieces of wood that can often be purchased for a discounted price. The only problem with the remnants is that they are often cut into small lengths and would require you to do more piecing together than you would have to do if you just bought the longer planks of wood. You need to consider what your budget and time constraints are to determine which wood option is best for you.
Assemble the Wood
Once you get the wood home, you need to lay it out on your floor the way that you want it arranged on the wall. Tongue and groove flooring is often the best option to choose because you can secure the wood together while it is on the floor somewhat by pushing the pieces together.
Use construction adhesive on the seams where each tongue and groove come together so that the wood planks will be secured together. This makes the process easier when it’s time to stain the wood because you don’t have to worry about the pieces sliding around.
When applying the adhesive, you want to be careful because it can be very difficult to remove once it has been put in place. You don’t want it to leak out of the back of the seams as it could cause the wood to stick to your floor. It’s best to use a paintbrush to paint the glue into the seams so that you don’t have to worry about adding too much of it at a time.
Determine What Stains You Want to Use
Once you have attached all of the wood together, you need to let it dry overnight. While it’s drying, determine what shades of stain you want to use to create the design that you want to create. It’s easiest to choose a light shade for the background color of the design and a darker shade to create the actual stenciling on the wood. Some people choose to use a stain for the background with yellow tones to it and a dark red or dark brown stain for the stenciled portions they want to create.
Choose the Stencil You Want to Use
You need to decide if you want to create a large stenciled design on the center of the wall or if you want the entire wall to have the stenciling on it. You want to be sure that the design you chose has a seamless look to it when you are done or there is a good chance it will look haphazard. Large stencils can sometimes be difficult to use when trying to stain the wood because they often allow the stain to seep under the edges of the stencil which can take away from the overall look that you are trying to create.
Take the time to also choose a stencil that doesn’t have too crisp or sharp of design elements to it because it can be very difficult to create these sharp details with stain when working on wood. You need to get a small painting sponge and a paintbrush with a very pointed tip to ensure that you can soften any edges that need to be softened after the stain is applied.
Stain the Background of the Wood
Dip the edge of a clean cloth in the lighter stain that you want to use for the background of the piece and rub the stain on the wood. You want to be sure to spread the stain as evenly as you can and using a cloth and doing it by hand will ensure that you are as precise as you can be. The stain needs to dry for a few hours and it will darken slightly as it dries. Once it’s dry, determine if the background is dark enough for you or if you want to apply another coat to make it a little bit darker. It’s important to remember that you only want to have to apply the darker color one time when you are creating the stencil so don’t make the background color too dark or it could make it difficult to see the darker shade of stain when you are done.
If you want to be sure that you are going to be totally happy with the end result, you may want to do a practice run with the stains before you actually tackle the entire wooden wall. You could use a piece of scrap wood and stain it a few times with the lighter shade of stain until you determine the color you like best. You can then use the darker stain on top of the light stain to see if you can still see it after the stains dry. If you can’t see the darker stain, you’ll know that you need to stop a coat or two sooner when you actually stain the wooden wall.
Stencil the Design on the Wood
After the background stain has dried, place the stencil wherever you want to stain the wood. Place some of the stain on a flat plastic plate and then lightly dip the paint sponge into the stain. Use a cloth to blot the end of the sponge so that any excess stain can be removed and then lightly press the sponge onto the edge of the stencil so that you can get as crisp of an edge as you can. Doing this ensures that stain doesn’t seep under the stencil and ruin the design. Repeat the process around the entire edge of the stencil.
Once you finish, you should be able to pull up the stencil and then fill in the center of the design with the sponge without having to hold the stencil in place. If you plan to do multiple stencils on the wood, repeat the process until you are satisfied with the designs that you have created. Once finished, use the small paintbrush to sharpen any edges that seem a little fuzzy or aren’t as crisp as you want them to be. Allow the wood to dry overnight before continuing.
Protect the Decorative Wood
Once the wood has dried, you need to apply a layer of water-based polyurethane over the entire surface of the wood. This will help to seal the stain and protect the wall from being damaged if a chair bumps into it or someone scrapes something against it. The polyurethane needs to dry for a few hours before the wood can be attached to the wall.
Find the Studs
Once you are ready to hang the wooden element that you created, you need to find the studs in the wall that you are going to attach the wood to. Use a stud finder to identify where the studs are located in the wall. Make a mark on the ceiling just above each stud lightly with a pencil.
When you place the wooden piece, you created against the wall, you will no longer be able to see the wall at all. Making marks on the ceiling allows you to easily determine where the studs are so that you know where to insert the nails so that the wood will be properly secured to the wall. Repeat the process until all of the studs are marked.
Attach the Wood to the Wall
Once you know where the studs are, you may want to enlist the help of a friend or relative. Even though the wood will be secured together thanks to the adhesive, it will still be better to have someone there to help you hold it in place as you nail the wood to the studs in the wall. Position the wood where you want it to be placed and then use a nail gun to nail the wood into the studs.
If you don’t own a nail gun, you can rent one from just about any home improvement store. They don’t come with nails, so you need to buy those separately when you rent the gun. Be sure to choose brad nails that are longer than the width of the wood that you are attaching to the wall so that they can actually go into the studs you want to attach it to.
When nailing the wood, you don’t need to use a ton of nails to keep it secure. Placing a nail very foot or so should be efficient when securing the wood in place.
Hide the Nails
You may be able to see the nails after the wood is attached to the wall. You can use a marker to lightly color the heads of the nails so that they aren’t easy to see. The brad nails typically have very small heads that aren’t easy to see but coloring them ensures that they aren’t noticeable.
Once the wood is in place you should be able to enjoy it for years to come. It will not require any maintenance except for possibly being wiped off every once in a while, if something spills on it or if you see dust collecting on it. The wall will allow you to show off your unique style and ensure that you have the one-of-a-kind house you have always dreamed of owning.