DIY Whitewash Wood Wall

I have always loved the look of a wood wall. It’s inexpensive and looks great. I had plans for most of the walls in my house except for my little girl’s bedrooms but the wood wall was a bit to rough.  I needed something a little softer. I really wanted to incorperate the idea into the design of  the room so I came up with a plan that involved some painting. I was able to get a hold of two women that were selling some old fence wood. I paid between $1-$1.50 for each 5 ft plank of wood. If you’re using pallet board wood you could get your wood for FREE but I wanted the wide boards for my design so I had to pay for it. I ended up spending about $60 in wood. If you can get ahold of enough free pallet board wood, go with that. You can’t beat FREE! After getting all your wood home you will have to sand each piece down till it is smooth. The wood I bought from one of the ladies was extremely weathered.

I had to pull old nails and staples out of it and I was a little worried about being able to sand it until it was smooth but it actually worked just fine. Here is something to keep in mind while you are looking for old wood. The less weathered your wood is, the less sanding you will do. You will also want to pick out the straightest pieces available. Most of them won’t be perfectly straight which is fine but it’s easier if they are.  On the pieces that were really weathered, I had to do A LOT of sanding. You will want the wood smooth enough that you can run your hand across it without getting splinters. You will also want to wear a mask while you are sanding. I didn’t wear a mask the first time and I was picking dusty boogers out of my nose for a couple of days. Safety glasses also wouldn’t be a bad idea.

After all your wood is smooth to the touch you will put a white coat of paint on it.  I used a white paint I bought at a garage sale for $1. The first time I painted the boards I left some spots of wood exposed to help with my white washed look. However when I started sanding the painted board I noticed the dust being kicked up from the exposed parts of my wood was mixing in with the paint and was changing the color of my paint. I ended up going back and painting a solid coat of paint with no wood exposed.

When all your boards are painted and dry, you will begin distressing them by using a wet rag, bowl of water, and a sander. I used a 100 grit sand paper. Any Sander paper will work. First you will take your wet rag and wipe down the wood. The damper the rag the faster your paint will start to move. But remember that you are working with and electric tool. You don’t want to use so much water that the sander shorts out. During this process if you turn your sander over you will notice the sand paper fill with paint. That’s fine keep going. All you are trying to do is move the paint. The picture below shows you the difference between the painted board and the whitewashed board.

I put together a little video that shows you the techniques I used and it may be easier for you to follow.

Here is a before picture of the wall


Once you finish the process of painting and sanding you are ready to nail your boards up. We ran several 1×1 boards down the wall so we didn’t have to put a million holes in the wall.

 You  can pre cut your wood to certain lengths and plan the placement of your boards but C.J. and I went straight to nailing.

The first board is up! Woot! Woot!

Either process works, you just want to make sure the breaks (my made up word for where the wood meets up) in the wood don’t match up with the breaks in the wood on another row. You want them to interchange on each row. If you look close in this picture you will see what I mean.

Every one in a while our boards would meet up in a place on the wall that didn’t have a 1×1 piece of wood behind it. When this happened we would stick a little piece of scrap wood behind the two ends and nailed it in to that.

Almost done! Because we are not using wood that if perfectly straight you will have to see which boards line up best with the row above it. You will be able to manipulate the wood a little bit by forcing it into the position you want it and then nailing it in.

Once you get down to the bottom of your wall you have to deal with outlets. Pre-cut holes for your outlets in the wood. You will also want to make sure to unscrew the outlet caps so that the outlet is exposed. Once you have nailed your wood down you’ll notice that the outlet does not fit flush with the wall. There are several ways to fix this issue. We just used extra long screws.



If you want to be a little more professional you can used an outlet box extender. If you click HERE you will get an idea of what one looks like.

Once my wall was complete, I spray painted a large decorative medallion I bought at a garage sale for $3 and then nailed Mr. Pedey on top of that. Mr. Pedey is a real taxidermied deer that I tried to throw away several times. Find out how I gave him a make over transformation to look like a White Faux Deer

Here is the finished product!





One comment on “DIY Whitewash Wood Wall

  1. August 4, 2014 4:52 am

    I NEED something red like that. I will have to keep my eyes out. That teal and red and the colors of my new family room. So bright and FUN!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>