Planking A Wall and How I Screwed It Up


I love beach decor.  I do not live near water; in fact I am a days drive to the Atlantic -but I love that coastal green and blue with weathered whitewash/been in the sun too long kind look.  So like many other bloggers and Pinterest addicts I find myself perusing the professional decorator pins that give me the feeling of being at the beach.



So it didn’t take long for me to start planning on creating a plank wall for my eat-in nook off the kitchen.  It’s a relatively small wall which meant cutting would be simple and CHEAP.  Ah yes – let’s see how cheap I can make this.

So I head to Home Depot where I can find 1/2 MDF.  Anyone who reads home improvement blogs knows that you can practically build yourself a house with MDF boards.  So I had the nice guys there cut me my MDF in 4″ strips and took em’ home.  So all three pieces cost me about 50 bucks.  My plan was coming together!  It was 50 bucks, easy to attach with my nail gun and all I would have to do is slap up some paint – the easiest project yet!  My wall is 104.5 inches high from baseboard to ceiling and 69.5 wide with only one return air vent to cut around!

Don't Judge! Yes.. I painted around a large piece of mosaic artwork!!

Don’t Judge! Yes.. I painted around a large piece of mosaic artwork!!

So I decided on a staggered plank my wall, it would look cool and the truth is MDF doesn’t come in long enough boards, so it is what it is.  Anyway, in 5 minutes I realized that over half my planks were cut crooked; I mean it was like the guy fell asleep while cutting, I am not kidding.  It wasn’t too long after that when I came to the horrifying realization that not only weren’t my planks cut straight….I didn’t have enough for the whole wall.  ARRGH!! I would have to go back and get more!!  That means spending more!!!

Well as I am ever the optimist I thought I could make it work so I began to plank.20140602-180944-65384051.jpg

So other DIYers use a nickel or whatever to get that space in between each planks were so crooked that I couldn’t even bother.  So not only was it frustratingly ugly and time consuming but I was depressed by the idea that I’d have to buy more!

Listen, sometimes in life we make a decision we regret and possibly spend some money that we later find ourselves tearing out and throwing into the back of our husband’s  truck… kicking ourselves as we go.  It is in those times that we have to breath and let it go …then go buy the damn tongue and groove stuff I shoulda bought in the first place!!


So down comes the MDF.

I bought tongue and groove from my local Home Central store.  These guys are such a great resource in our little town and they so care about what they sell you, how they cut wood for you and ask all kinds of questions like ” Umm – what are you planning to do with that length of pipe?” and remind me of important things like when I need to pre-drill holes etc.

So they calculated how much I needed (10 pieces of the 12 ft. planks cut carefully in 1/2) and the whole darn thing cost me 75 bucks.  They were cut straight– to my specs for me – they were easy and I almost cried when I realized that the MDF was really no savings at all – (live and learn).

So Mr. Knight and I laid them out in the yard and I mixed some flat white paint and water together.


Isn't he cute?

Isn’t he cute?

He painted each plank and I came through with a sponge brush and made sure the paint got in the grooves and the knots.  I mixed the paint with water because I really wanted to see the knots and the imperfections, plus I think it gives it a sun bleached look.



After the bottom one was nailed in it was so easy.  As long as your first one is straight, the rest are smooth sailing – mostly.  You do have to occasionally check for level and sometime you need to coax them together.  I attached them with my 1 1/2 inch nails at an angle down in the seam area, that way they are hidden.


I must note that the top piece had to by cut down by one inch.  I was thinking of getting someone to cut it down for me when Mr. Knight suggested we get a table saw on Craigslist!!! Yippee!! I will be ripping wood till the cows come home from now on! Yeah! We got a Craftsman Table Saw for 50 bucks!!…..yeah the cost of the original MDF debacle.  Anyway – I used my newly acquired table saw and voila!!!!


Isn’t she sweet?!?  I had an old flag that I attached to this beautiful old window frame I bought for $8.00 at this wonderful place –

What do you think?