Stained Wood Wall

Stained Wood Wall (click through for DIY instructions)Do you have a room in your home that you want to look like an upscale coffee house or whiskey lounge? Or maybe you just want to make your space a bit more warmer/cozier, like a vacation cabin. This project is perfect if you do! It was pretty straightforward putting it together, and the outcome definitely outweighs the cost. When Elsie and Jeremy first asked me to do this project, we talked about sourcing salvaged barn wood but then decided that we didn't want to worry about critters in the wood and having to rip uniform strips. Plus, as cool as repurposed wood could be, it isn't always the least expensive route. It depends on where you are and the abundance of it. Staining your own wood gives you more creative freedom and looks great! I was able to do the whole room for about $325.

-drywall screws (you can use a finish nailer, but if the house is older, finding studs and/or plaster walls can be a problem)
wood (I used 8' 4 x 1s kiln-dried cedar so there was minimal warping). To figure out about how much wood you'll need, measure the space that you want to cover. For example, if one wall is 10 feet wide and 8 feet tall, that translates to 80 square feet or 11,520 square inches. Since I used the 8-foot 4" x 1" (which is actually 3.5" wide, making each piece 336 square inches), I divided the wall square inches by the wood square inches and got the total pieces needed which was 34.28 (I just rounded up and got 35 to be safe). Isn't math so fun?

miter saw
-measuring tape
-speed square
-brushes (sponge brushes)

Step One: Pick your stain colors! I chose to use seven different shades to give some variety and depth. The shades were similar enough that no one color jumped out. Here is the list that I used, but you can go darker or lighter or even jump out of the brown color spectrum altogether! I used the Minwax brand.

  • Golden Oak 210B
  • Cherry 235
  • Red Oak 215
  • Provincial 211
  • English Chestnut 233
  • Natural 209
  • Early American 230

Step Two: Make a work/stain area. I used a table with plastic over it. You'll want to stain outside because the fumes like to wiggle their way into material, and you probably don't want your house smelling like a stain factory. I stained everything in one day. I had around 63 pieces of wood total, so I did 9 pieces at one time, moved them aside, and did the next color. Don't worry about applying the poly till everything is dry. Let the wood sit overnight to dry.

6U8A8708Step Three: Start cutting pieces to length and nailing or screwing them to the wall. I started from the top and worked my way down. Since Elsie's house is older, the walls aren't perfectly square (are they ever?), so I measured the length every couple of pieces. From this point on, you're just going to be cuttin' and measurin' and screwin' till your walls are covered. Rotate between colors, keeping a good balance of color. 

6U8A8698HowtomeasureforwallplugsTips for cutting around outlets:

First, cut your piece to the full length that you need. Measure from A to B and B to D on the wall, and mark on the back side of the piece. Then measure for the length for C, and mark. Remember to mark opposite ends (illustrated bellow) because you will be flipping it back over. Cut out with jigsaw.


Once you have all the walls covered, sand any rough end spots and then apply two or three coats of poly as directed. 

6U8A8177Now put up a couple of prints or add some plants (Elsie made these sweet planters that go great with her wall) and enjoy your new space! I want to see your twist on this project; there are so many directions you can go with it: stain colors, wood width, patterns, etc.

6U8A81876U8A81876U8A81636U8A8210Happy building! -Josh

Credits // Author: Josh Rhodes. Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Stella of The Signature Collection.