My Family Room Plank Wall And a Clean Up Dream!

Note:  As per FTC regulations I need to let you know this is a post sponsored by Tide.  I was compensated for writing this, but the opinions are my own.  

Hello!  This post has been a long time coming!  Or at least it feels that way to me!  We moved into our new house at the end of April and it seems like it's taken an eternity to wrap my head around what I wanted to do in each room.  Now after some careful consideration,  I have a long list of projects needing to be completed.  Thankfully school is back in session!

The first major project on the list was to do something with a huge wall in our family room/great room.  We have 10 ft ceilings and a large 20 ft wall in this room.  Putting a TV on the wall looked odd because the scale was completely off.  As a quick and easy fix (and to have a place to put some of my 'stuff') I bought 2 shelves from IKEA.  At $20 each they were a 'good for now' fix, but I never loved them.  

Here's how the wall looked with the shelves.  I really liked it, but we didn't paint the walls this color and I wasn't a huge fan of the shade.  Also, I felt the wall lacked character and charm.  

This is the fireplace and mantel.  I placed this huge (and very heavy) mail sorter up there to fill up the space until I knew what I wanted to do.  The wall behind it was painted this burlap/cardboard box color and was B O R I N G. The mantel was stained but whoever built and installed the mantel didn't do a good job.  There were lots of swirl marks and filler holes.  It needed some help.

I'd been seeing plank walls on Pinterest and I liked the idea.  Then while I was watching an episode of HGTV's Fixer Upper I saw their plank walls, which are actually ship lap, and fell in love.  It was then I knew this would be the perfect solution to our huge and boring wall.  I had a plan!

First thing we did was buy our planking at Home Depot.  We used knotty pine tongue and groove planks.  The planks were $17 for 13.5 sq ft.  I needed a little over 200 sq ft.  So this wasn't a bargain wall, but certainly not as expensive as some of my other options.  

We found the studs on the wall, using a stud finder and chalk line.  

This is my little helper, Hunter, wearing his safety glasses no less, helping to find the stud locations with his stud finder.  

Next up, marking the studs with a chalk line.  Hunter LOVED snapping the chalk you can imagine the mess all over the floors, moulding and surrounding chalk as far as the eye could see!  

Hunter wanted me to make sure I included this picture on the here it is!  He took this all very seriously and help a lot.

After we determined the placement of the studs, we got to work planking the wall.  We attached the planks using brad nails with my Ryobi brad nailer.  This thing made this job a whole lot easier!!

I have to admit, the toughest part of this project was the outlets.  I had no idea it would be so tough to cut them out.  I found a tutorial on Pinterest from Pretty Handy Girl suggesting using lipstick to imprint the outlet placement on the board.  Well, I don't wear lipstick, but I do wear lip gloss and it worked!!

I applied lipgloss to the outside of the outlet.

Then I put my piece of pine plank on top so it would make a mark.

Placed the outlet cover on and drew a line around.  Easy peasy!!

Drill holes in the corners, then use a jig saw to cut out the shape.

One thing I did forget to mention earlier, is we started at the bottom of the wall.  We started at one end and then placed the boards in an offset pattern to avoid seams all the way down.  This planking is made for vertical placement, but I preferred the horizontal placement instead.  

There's that pesky chalk dust everywhere!

That blue chalk dust was no challenge for my Tide Oxi!  I added some Tide Oxi to a bowl of warm water and that chalk dust was history!!  Plus, the smell was lovely!!  

Here are some in progress pictures of the wall installation.  It was like building a puzzle.  Cut pieces to fit, slide them into the groove, nail them in on the stud.  Move to the next piece.

ALL DONE!!!  Hunter was so excited!  This really was a family affair....we all helped out and it was a great bonding experience.

Next step was to caulk and fill any holes.  This was a truly MESSY job!!  I had no idea and really hadn't prepped well enough for the mess.  Again, Tide Oxi came to my rescue.  Hunter helped me as we wiped up the dust using a damp cloth and our Tide Oxi.  It worked great!

After we used the Tide Oxi!  What a difference!

When I was done, I thought maybe I would keep the wall unfinished.  Maybe it was the thought of all the painting, but I knew I wanted a white plank wall!

Priming was next!  I used a good primer and only needed one coat.  I used a good quality primer mainly for the knots in the wood.  If they're not properly sealed, over time they will bleed through the one wants that!

Of course, in my world, one project leads to another.  I had originally started out doing the wall without having a plan for my boring fireplace and mantel.  I had enough planks leftover I thought I might as well do above the mantel as well.   It was so boring before, anything would be an improvement!

I planked the area inside the already existing frame right above the mantel.  Then, I primed and painted it with the same paint I used on the wall.  When I was done, to add a little more interest, I added some reclaimed wood trim I had leftover from another project.  I cut the wood into thin strips and attached them with my Ryobi brad nailer. 

For paint I used Snowbound by Sherwin Williams in a satin finish.  I wanted a white that wasn't too stark and this one was perfect.  Two coats of paint and I was finished.  All I needed to do was decorate the wall!

And here it is!!  Words cannot express how much I love this transformation.  This went from a room that I really didn't enjoy spending time in, to somewhere I can't wait to sit and have a cup of coffee!  The room went from boring to character filled and bright!

What a difference!!

Here's an up-close picture so you can see the detail of the wall.

Just about everything in this space is vintage.  I love taking unexpected items, like old wood ladders and hanging them on a wall.  They adds character and charm to the space in a way you don't normally see.

One of my favorite vintage finds is this old gaming wheel.  It really pops off the white plank wall now!

One of my newest purchases, my dam sign, yep I just like to say dam sign!  I bought the sign at an all night flea market recently for $15.  Again, unexpected and fun!

Remember above the fireplace and that boring mantel?  Here's what it looks like now!  You can see the reclaimed wood details I added around the already existing frame.

Now, on to the next project on my list!  First, I think I need a few days to sit back and enjoy our lovely new family room!!

This project was a lot of work, but easy enough that anyone could do this.  It was fun to get the the family involved in the project, as well as the clean up!  

The clean up was SO much easier with Tide Oxi!  I had some pesky paint splatters on the hardwood floor, where the drop cloth moved.  I used the Tide Oxi to get them off and they came off like a breeze!  From the chalk residue on the walls and baseboards to the sanding dust and paint on the hardwood floor, the Tide Oxi handled every challenge I threw at it!!  

This really is a wonderful product that can be used anywhere in your home.  "From the hallway to the driveway,  household stain is safe from the virtually limitless cleaning potential of Tide Oxi Multi-Purpose Stain Remover."  

You can find lots more ideas from Jonathan Scott of HGTV's Property Brothers here:

NOW, who wants a plank wall in their house?  Have you already installed one?  If so, I'd love to hear about it!

Thank you for reading,



  1. Oh my GOSH Melody....I want to slap you and hug you and I don't know what else all at the same time..LOL....I just love it so much I don't know what to do with myself (kinda like Elaine on Seinfeld when she always pushes people when she is excited) :) I love it so much I don't know what to do. You are truly gifted in decorating and styling and you blow me away!

    1. You are hilarious! And so incredibly sweet. Thank you for the kind words, they truly mean a lot to me! :-)

  2. This is amazing. It really just keeps getting better and better with you. LOVE IT. Enjoy

    1. Aww thanks Emily! We all love it and the huge difference it has made in the house. Now you just need to come for a visit :-)

  3. It looks great! Your family room looks beautiful!

    1. Thank you so much Pam!! It's nice to have a family room that feels like home!

  4. First of all, your wall looks great. Second, sometimes I want my knots to bleed through. Third, I think I need an all-night flea market. Can I have yours?

    1. always make me laugh! If you want your knots to bleed through, then by all means let them :-) And the all-night flea market would be right up your alley! Maybe you should start one in your area.....or just come here for ours! Thanks for the comment and the laugh xoxo

  5. I am a big fan and I am so glad you are back...I love your sense of design, your upcycled items and collections. You are an incredible story teller. Congrats on your newly "finished" warm and inviting family room.

    1. Thank you Kelly for the kind words! It means so much to me.