When I plotted to decorate a barren wall in the dining room as one of my October must-do’s, I want you to know, I had no plan in mind.
I thought about reinstating my stairwell gallery, considered adding a few new large IKEA RIBBA frames, and also considered adding a shelf to the brackets installed with the intention of holding enormous reclaimed wood frames, but because they were hung high, it felt wacky. I also played with the idea of layering a second shelf beneath it to even it out on the wall, but it just still felt too above-my-head, too weird an option. Welcome to the brain of the serially-indecisive.
And then I figured out what I’d do: Because I’m still having a total lovefest over the stained shiplap that I installed in my bedroom, it occurred to me that I could duplicate that cozy, knotty pine look in my main living area (and enjoy it all the live-long day). After all, the wall I was eyeing to oomph-up (a technical design term) was very similar to the wall in my bedroom that I refinished: single window, no outlets to be jutting around, very simple window trim, and it otherwise unoccupied with curtain rods or weird angles. Best of all, it was a great excuse to carry that lovin’ feeling all throughout the house (you know how I’m always striving for a sense of cohesiveness in my palette).
I did things a little different this time based on what I experienced in the previous shiplap project. After having measured out the square-footage of the wall in the dining room, I bought 25 8-foot shiplap boards from Lowe’s (just about $200 when you consider taxes). I loaded them into the garage with a plan to do every minute of staining them out there.
My outdoor staining plan was much easier for a number of reasons, and I’m surprised how much I enjoyed doing the project this time around. As my Mom reminded me on Monday, “Didn’t you say you wouldn’t stain again as long as you lived? Are you setting yourself up for dissapointment?”… I can be a bit dramatic when I’m covered in stain and sleeping on the couch, having been fumed out of my own bedroom.
1. I picked a new stain. I don’t think this gets all the credit, but Rust-Oleum stain in Kona caught my eye at Lowe’s because it was ULTIMATE and obviously I’d buy anything ULTIMATE because I’m succeptible to those kind of marketing tactics, despite my manipulative advertising-industry background. Plus, what can I say… Kona makes me want to do a little hula-hula while I’m drinking my morning coffee.
2. It was damn easy and fast to stain flat, instead of on a vertical wall. Also, because of the laps in the shiplap, I avoided the very long-and-trying process of painting inbetween those prehung boards with a micro artist’s brush. (I installed the boards unstained in my bedroom originally, because I was considering leaving the wood au natural.)
3. ULTIMATE stain dries fast. As in, within an hour or two it was totally fine to carry from the garage sawhorses and into the yard to continue to dry in the sun. (The bedroom shiplap took a full week from application to non-sticky, presumably much because of lacking ventilation in my small bedroom, hence the reason I was angry at my DIY staining lifestyle, sleeping on the couch, and complaining to Mom.)
ULTIMATE was also fast-drying enough to help me realize that I’d want to do a second coat of Kona with minimal wiping down to ensure achieving that dark-dark brown that I was going for. (The 3 boards on the left have been doubly-stained, the one on the right only had a single coat and dried a little more light-brown-reddish than I was desiring. This also may be a factor in a poor stain-mixing job too. Mix your stain really, really well, people.)
I left the boards out of the house for several days this time to let the fumes clear out before I began to hang the shiplap; no way did I want to make my house nearly uninhabitable again. But on Tuesday as I started to install, the simplicity of the project just took over, and the wall was completely up in a mere afternoon of chop sawing, jigsawing, drilling, and nail-gunning.
Just like with my first shiplapping experience, I started by installing two furring strips on either side of the wall to act as a frame so that the shiplap wasn’t butted up directly to the adjacent wall’s drywall; once the vertical sides were up, I filled in the shiplap from the bottom up, custom-cutting the boards with the chop saw in the basement as I went.
How about a little photo montage to tell the story? Make sure to click on the photos to see the captions and learn a little more about what I was doing.
- I didn’t remove the baseboard trim, baseboard heater, or window trim to install this wall accent. The shiplap is actually much thinner than the original baseboard and window trim, so it sits nicely around it without looking out of place or diminishing the trim’s “pop”.
- There is a 1/4″ clearance around the baseboard heater just in case we need to get in there, and just in case having wood that close is a fire hazard of some kind (we doubt it though, considering the wood trim running beside the unit). I’d rather be 1/4″ safe than sorry.
- We’re officially champs at making the wood fit around the window trim like it’s a puzzle piece, which is why Pete was in that second photo. His technique (that I did almost entirely by myself this time) deserves a whole DIY post of it’s own. Soon, young grasshopper.
- Also worth pointing out: I abandoned the wood filler completely. If you read this post in my shiplap installation series, you’ll know that the wood filler was the real troublemaker, but without it, the nail holes are virtually invisible. Unless you get all up in their business like I am here (also exposing a few dried paint drips, what do you know):
In any case, the nails may have left a slight unstained indentation from the impact of the air compressor, but I was able to go over those places with a stain-soaked rag and match the colors back up really easily.
The view from the couch in the living room changed from this:
The view from the kitchen changed too. From this:
And I love how the warm Kona brown anchors the dark brown furniture on the first floor. It’s a good thing, no, a great thing.