Wood planked wall in basement kitchenette

September 30, 2015

Well hello! I have to thank you so much for your kind words about our kitty. We miss him so much. Monday was really, really hard. It's just been a rough few days all together. But thankfully the Bub is feeling better and is back at school and I'm getting stuff done again. It helps to keep busy. 

I am really thrilled with this project and so excited to show you! I've planned it in my head for some time now and it came out even better than I had hoped. I've been working on a few projects completed with the help of Minwax products over the past couple of months (see my DIY state art here) and this one is one of my favorite DIYs ever. 

I got the idea from the planked wall I did on our stair landing down to the basement: 
wood planked wall stairs
I love our basement. :) I've definitely gone slightly industrial design-wise down there by using some metal and darker woods. It's been fun to have a space to do something different than I do in the rest of the house. 

If you recall, our little kitchenette has had quite a few updates. I stenciled the wall years ago and then early this year during my no spend month I finished it up with some shelving
stenciled wall over kitchenette
I loved the stencil for years but I was growing tired of it. This new plan in my head took root and I just had to change it up! 

I went to the hardware store and had a large sheet of maple veneered plywood cut down into strips (I measured the space and then decided on the size of each strip). For my project I needed four inch planks. 

I went with the thinnest wood I could find -- I love a thicker planked wall but this was going in above the countertop and I didn't want it to hang over the backsplash part too much. You could very easily use the planks I used for the stair landing, I just wanted something a little less busy this time. 

When I got them home I used some pre-stain conditioner on the planks. (Go here to learn more about it.) I never used to use this but now that I've tried it a few times I'm hooked. It makes a big difference in how well your stain takes to the wood:
pre-stain conditioner on wood
I used to avoid it mostly because I'm impatient, honestly. But it takes no time at all to wipe it on and you can stain within minutes. I highly recommend it -- I will do a post sometime to show you the difference it makes. 

By the way, I use the cheap foam brushes to apply the conditioner and my stain: 
foam brushes for staining
They are the easiest and cleanest way to apply stain in my opinion. I have used rags to do it but it's crazy messy and this does just as good of a job.

Staining is SO easy to do and one of my favorite DIYs because the change is so easy and it's instant. There are a couple rules though. First of all, keep a "wet edge" when wiping it on. Don't start a project unless you are able to finish it. If any parts of the stain dry (it takes some time), you will see where you left off. So keep it going and smoothed out:
how to stain wood
Also, let it sit for a while but not too long. The longer you let the stain sit the deeper the color will be. But if you wait too long to wipe it off it will get sticky. (I never wait more than five minutes -- if I want it darker I can add more coats.) Use a lint-free rag to wipe your stain (those blue shop paper towels work great).

I took down the shelves on the wall (I had added a mirror to the middle since that last post too) and started installing my planks. I only had 12 planks cut from a four by eight piece of wood and my area was 52 inches by six feet -- so I had to cut them in pieces so I'd have enough to cover the whole thing (I was fine length-wise but vertically I knew I'd come up short unless I cut them up). 

I had a few receptacles to cut around -- I marked my cuts and used a jigsaw: 
cutting around receptacles
I still need to install a GFI outlet here -- that's happening this week (I have a few other minor touch ups to do on the baseboards as well before I can officially call this spot done). Before I put the new outlet covers on I used this method to pull the outlets out a bit more to be even with the new wall. 

Remember when you are using a jigsaw to turn your wood over and cut on the "bad" side, not the stained side. The jigsaw will sometimes tear up the wood a bit but only on top. 

I didn't really follow a pattern with the planks but I did try to vary it as much as possible. I didn't want to stress to much about it -- it's supposed to be imperfect. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!:
wood planked wall basement
It is SO so warm and cool looking, I adore it! I used a nail gun to put the boards on the wall. Never use glue unless you are absolutely sure you are never taking it down. 

I used three stain colors on the wall -- Dark Walnut (a favorite of mine), Ebony and Provincial (I used this list to decide on them before I went to the store.) I think Provincial is my new favorite stain color -- it is so lovely. So warm but a little lighter than I typically use. Really beautiful! (It's the lightest color on the wall): 
wood planked backsplash
I did full planks on some of the rows, some were half and half, some were two feet and four feet and some were three pieces of two footers. 

It came out even better than I imagined it would: 
wood planked wall various stains
I was planning to put the IKEA shelves back up but as I went along I realized I didn't want them there. We have plenty of storage space below so they weren't really needed anyway. Most of the stuff I had on the shelves I put in a tray on top anyway:
wood planked backsplash
I wish I would have spaced out those lights just a tad more years ago -- but I left the placement up to our electrician. I still LOVE the lights (I found them at Lowe's):
wood planked wall over kitchenette
I have to caulk and paint the baseboards in this area and then this little corner is officially done! Only took me three years!:
wood planked wall different stains
I especially love the warm woods with the lighter cabinets. I'm a contrast lover. 

Here are the items I used on this project: 
planked wall stain colors
Those little cans are more than enough for a project of this size. A little bit of stain goes a very long way. I still have most of the cans left. 

This project cost me less than $35 -- the large piece of wood that I had cut down was $24 and the stains  were $5 each (I had the other stuff). Not bad for such a big impact! LOVE! 

Do you have a favorite stain color you've used in your house? Our floors are Jacobean by Minwax and I love that color. Dark walnut is also a favorite, but as I said, I fell in love with Provincial too. 

I have been compensated for this post by Minwax but all opinions are my own. I only work with products that I use and love. 
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  1. Looks awesome!!! How did you handle the outer corner? I tried to zoom in but couldn't really see it. I've only seen plank walls with an inner corner on each side but i have a wall with an outer corner on each side and was always wondering how to handle those. Does it look uneven or did you line them up pretty exact? I was thinking I would put a thin piece of vertical molding as a border on each side.

    1. Thank you! I used a corner piece you can find in the trim aisle. I stained it to match. I think a piece along each side would be great because you could make them butt right up to it.

  2. As I read the post and looked at the pics, "I hope she doesn't put the shelves back up" kept repeating in my head lol. I truly love this!

  3. How did you attach the planks to the wall?

  4. how did you attach them and how did you finish off the corner?

    1. They were attached with a nail gun and the outside corner is a corner piece from the trim aisle.

  5. AHHHH! I am in love with this! It looks so so so great!!!

  6. One of my favourites of your projects, for sure!

  7. Oooh I like this. It really fits in well in that room.

  8. how did you adhere the planks to the wall? Glue or nails?

  9. That looks so neat!! I agree with your decision about the shelves. Much more streamlined now.

  10. love the wall , it turned out great. i did one too! ill be posting soon~

  11. Such a great idea! I love that you used varying stain colors and think it looks FANTASTIC!

  12. I'd love to do a plank wall somewhere. I'm not sure where though. Our main rooms and have vaulted ceilings at odd angles. That would be a pain in the butt. LOL!

  13. The varying colors of stain give it such a warm but industrial feel. Looks fantastic and I too am glad you left the shelves off. I have the same question as some of the other commenters about how you chose to adhere the planks and how you covered the outside corner's edge. I'd really like to give this a try in my basement!

  14. I love it!!!!! I am always drawn to warmer tones. That is the perfect touch to your corne!!!

  15. i also want to know how they are attached to the wall! i have seen people use sheets of plywood to give the appearance of hard wood floors in a room and this would be so perfect!! cut into larger strips it would look just like the planks out the box!

  16. Looks amazing! A big 'Woohoo' to you!!!!

  17. This looks awesome! How did you apply the wood? Did you use a nail gun or glue? We have a wall we want to do this on and I've been hesitant to do it ourselves vs pay someone.

  18. Thanks so much everyone! I used a nail gun to put the boards on the wall. I never use glue because it will ruin the wall (in case you ever want to take it down.)

  19. Amazing!! Looks so great, really warm and cozy.

  20. Oh i just love this! I have to admit that i did not love the shelves so i am glad those are gone!

  21. This is gorgeous! It's so warm and inviting; how perfect is this now for fall and winter? It makes me feel like curling up on your couch with glass of wine and a good movie.

  22. The wall looks absolutely amazing!


  23. I am completelyyyyyyy in love with this. LOVE!

    Do you think this would be a good idea in a living room.. on a wall that's standard height x about 13' wide???? Or would it make my already-small place seem too small???

    (I also loveeee Jacobean. Best stain colour ever!!!)

  24. Looks awesome! I used that same, thin, 5mm plywood to do some herringbone planking in our kids bathroom upstairs, and I just look at it and sigh with satisfaction. Love it! http://www.twicelovely.com/2015/05/herringbone-wood-plank-accent-wall.html


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