It's a Plank and Mill Accent Wall DIY Project, Honey!
Hi, my honeys! I have a special DIY project and review planned for today's post! It's gonna be a long one, so grab a snack and your favorite blanket! This easy peasy DIY was completed in less than 4 hours with two people, but really my dad doing about 99% off the work! I'd really like to thank Plank and Mill for collaborating with me on this project and my dad for being the kindest, most loving and hardworking father a gal could ask for! Cue the tears, y'all, I just really love my daddio! He's been my rock! If you want to learn how I transformed our guest bedroom from blank walls to a rustic dream, keep reading!
This project came about because a few months ago, I was watching a YouTube video from one of my favorite interior designer's, Mr. Kate. She created a nursery for comedian and YouTube personality Colleen Ballinger and her husband. Not only was the space incredibly beautiful, I noticed a product that Mr. Kate installed that I had to have. That product was peel-and-stick reclaimed wood boards from Plank and Mill! They're made in the USA, they require no power tools to install (you can use a linoleum knife or hand saw to cut them), they're expertly distressed and whitewashed, and they are very easy and quick to install.
The wood boards looked so cool as an accent wall in the nursery, and the installation looked so easy! I excitedly searched for Plank and Mill on Instagram and sent them a message asking (probably more like begging) them to collaborate with me on an accent wall project in my own home. They agreed to send over my favorite 5" whitewashed reclaimed wood boards at no cost to me to try out and give an honest, unpaid review for y'all, so I set out to find the best wall in my house to use their boards and decided on the back wall of our guest room behind our tufted headboard.
My husband always jokes that our guest room is the nicest room in our house and that the best room should be the master bedroom, but I live two states away from my family and wanted to create a retreat for them for when they come to stay with us at our home. I have a difficult time sometimes being so far away from my family, especially with my health not being so great over the last couple years, so my way of dealing with being apart is making an incredibly cozy and beautiful space for them to stay when they are here visiting. My parents used to stay in a hotel when they visited, but I'm so glad I'm able to host them in our own home, because we get to spend more time together.
Anyway, once we decided on the guest room being the perfect spot for the wood accent wall, I measured multiple times and sent the details over to Plank and Mill. We received the boards less than a week later, and the unboxing was pretty exciting! Each board had its own unique qualities, and the distressing and whitewashing on the boards looked so very cool! The boards also have three pieces of tape on the back that you peel the plastic backing off of when you are ready for install.
They came boxed very well in cute woodgrain printed packaging, and it was then that I learned they are made in the USA, which I love! I unboxed the boards and set them in the guest room so they could get acclimated to the humidity level and temperature of the room. The wood needs at least 48 hours before installing to get acclimated, so plan for that!
Then, this weekend my mom and dad came out for a visit, and my dad said he was ready to tackle the installation! I was not only super excited to see my parents, but something about doing renovation projects with my dad is really therapeutic for me. I may not physically be able to do a lot, but I'm great at plotting our methods and helping my dad accurately measure! In this case, I also proved to be very useful because I was able to peel the plastic off the tape strips a lot faster than my dad because I have nails! LOL
To start, we wiped off the wall with an anti-dust cloth. You want to make sure you have clean, dry walls for this project. In fact, Plank and Mill recommends you even do a test board to make sure that the type of paint on your walls agrees with their adhesive. You also need to put this over a wall that has been painted for a while, I'd say at least a couple months to be on the safe side! My wall had been painted over a year ago, so we didn't do a test board. My dad also broad his brad nailer just in case some of the boards didn't stick--he never used it; those dang wood boards really adhered to the wall nicely!
After prepping the wall, we then grouped the boards by height and color and propped them up against the wall in the guest room, so we could easily grab the size and color we wanted. The boards came in four different lengths, the shortest being 1 foot and the longest being 4 feet. This allowed us to achieve a more random, patterned look and make less cuts! We debated for a few minutes about how we were going to arrange the boards on the wall. Plank and Mill suggest laying the boards out on the floor to see how they will look on the wall. I, however, did not have patience for that.
I just peeled the plastic off the adhesive strips on the first wood board and handed it to my dad stick it to the wall. It is a very sticky board with the adhesive, so make sure to angle the board top first to get it into position without it sticking before you lay it down the rest of the way. The application of the wood boards to the wall is almost fool-proof, but you just want to make sure you are sticking the boards on from that upper angle because repositioning is not an option! Also, Plank and Mill also recommends starting the boards from the bottom up to the ceiling, but we decided it would be better for our project to start from the top since we wanted the best looking boards to be at eye level and above because the lower boards would be mostly covered by the headboard and other furniture pieces.
We also knew we would have to cut a board height-wise, so we thought it would be best to have that piece at the bottom. We stuck an entire row of boards up at the the top of the wall using our level as a guide, and my dad cut the final piece with a power saw and finished off the row. Please note: it is not necessary at all to use a power saw, but he had one, and it did make the process a bit quicker I would think. A hand saw or linoleum knife would both work fine though.
One handy dandy item my dad purchased, though, was THIS linoleum roller off of Amazon! The adhesive tape on the back of the wood boards are plenty strong, but this heavy roller helped really adhere them to the wall and close any gaps due to the curve of the wall and/or boards. If you aren't going to use any nails (which you definitely don't need), I highly recommend this for reassurance that your boards aren't going anywhere!
After we had the first row up and nice and level, we kind of threw caution to the wind and kicked it into high gear. I was literally on the bed in the room peeling the plastic backing off the adhesive strips as fast as my dad was grabbing the peeled pieces and sticking them to the wall. Instead of completely randomizing the colors of the boards, we decided to group similar boards together in clumps, so it looked more like a barn wall got weathered in certain spots as opposed to having a very obvious pattern to the wall. Overall, I'd say the lack of a distinct plan is actually the best plan when doing this project.
We then stuck on as many full boards as we could going down the wall, leaving space on the end where we knew we'd need to make cuts. You just want to make sure that the row below the one your working on is not longer, so you can easily slide your custom cut piece in at the end without worrying about the next row blocking it if it's slightly off level. Hope that makes sense the way I'm explaining it. At this point you can either make your cuts every time you get to the end of the a row, or move down the wall as much as you can without going longer each row than the one above it, and then start making cuts.
My dad then made the cuts with his power saw, and he always says to measure twice and cut once! They don't call him Obi-Wan-Ryobi for nothing! Yes, he's obsessed with Ryobi tools #notsponsored but seriously #sponsormydadRyobi HAHA! At the very bottom, we had only about 4 inches, and the height of the boards are 5", so my dad used a linoleum knife and cut off the extra inch on the cement sidewalk outside. We stuck the last boards on the bottom, and that was it!
We ended up having roughly 5 square feet left to play with, so if you don't like a couple of the boards in your packs, you'll have a few options leftover. I'll probably take the leftover pieces and make some cute little wall sign or something! Now, that I explained our process, I will go through the pro's and con's and answer some of your questions you sent me on Instagram:
- Well-made boards
- Quick shipping
- Free Shipping on orders of 130 sq ft or more
- Free Tutorials on their website
- Made in America
- Lightweight, easy to move boxes around your home
- Well-packed, clear instructions
- Beautiful whitewashing and knotting
- Easy to stick on, stick on very well
- No power tools need
- No nails needed
- One day project (less than 4 hours with two people, one barely helping LOL)
- Multiple color options and widths to choose from
- A variety 1-4' long boards included
- Totally transform the space
- Calculates how much you need to buy based on your measurements
- Free sample packs available
- Little to no mess to deal with
- Somewhat of an investment (although, they're cheaper than competitors that I looked at )
- Peeling the plastic off the adhesive tape is tedious
- The thickness of the boards varies
How expensive are the wood boards?
Go to their site to check your measurements, but roughly $11 per square foot
Are they permanent?
I would say mostly yes, however on Plank and Mill's site, they give you options on how to install these boards on a temporary wall. One woman on their blog even adhered them to cardboard because she was a renter--genius!
Do you need power tools?
Nope, you'll only need just a simple hand saw or linoleum knife; however, if you have a power saw, it will go faster. I definitely recommend the linoleum roller, too!
Is my dad for hire?
Naw, he is in his 60's and lives in Chicago, LOL, get your own dad! Seriously though, you don't have to be handy to do this! I promise!
My Final Thoughts
Overall, this project was extremely satisfying. It truly was amazing for us to see a room transform in just one work day and a matter of only a few hours. My dad and I actually joked that it was weird that our project was finished so quickly, but it allowed to be able to have more time to spend together, just hanging out! We were impressed by the company Plank and Mill and how the boards were packaged nicely, weathered beautifully, and how they gave you every resource possible to have success with their product. You can easily find tutorials on their site and on YouTube, plus they include instructional materials in each pack.
If you are looking to achieve magazine quality rustic charm, and you have little to no construction skills, this product makes it very easy. I will mention again that I did receive this product free of charge; however, my opinions are honest about the product and I'm not being paid to give a positive review. I would use this product again in another room in my home, and we even talked about my sister or parents using it in their homes. I think the end result also speaks for itself. Thank you to Plank and Mill once again for letting me trying out your gorgeous wood boards, and I look forward to hosting guests in our rustic retreat soon!
For even more on the project, check out my YouTube review with my dad!