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Guest Bedroom Renovation Part 1: Reclaimed Wood Wall

BY RACHEL STREET (www.rachelstreet.searchphillylistings.com)
 
space-and-company-philadelphia-reclaimed-wood-wall-1My house has four bedrooms total, three of which have exposed brick walls. The fourth bedroom, however, is a small room in the middle of the second floor, and because of the plumbing and HVAC system, I couldn’t leave the exposed brick in that room as well. With only one window, the room seemed kind of bland, and since my house will be featured on the Passyunk Square Home Tour in October (get your tickets here!), I wanted to finish decorating all of the rooms.
 
Reclaimed wood is a material that I like to use because it makes spaces- especially new construction- feel warmer and like they have more history. Usually I will take scraps of wood that I remove from other jobs, clean them, and cut them to size, however this process is pretty time consuming. There is a product on the market called Stikwood — you can buy it here — that is a thin layer of reclaimed wood that has an adhesive backing that you can stick to the wall. I’ve looked at the product for quite some time, but the price has always seemed too high, especially when I can get reclaimed wood for free! Over Labor Day Weekend, however, they had a big sale and I decided to try it out. The material comes in several different colors that you can buy by the square foot- I chose Reclaimed Weathered Wood to do an accent wall in the middle bedroom.
 
If you plan to do a reclaimed wood wall, remember that because of the different cuts, you will have to buy extra. I needed about 80sf and bought 100sf. Originally, I planned to do the wall in a diagonal pattern, but later decided to place the wood horizontally so that I could have some left over to use in another room. To install this material, I used a level, a pencil, a measuring tape, a miter saw (for trimming the ends), and a table saw (for cutting the pieces lengthwise). The first step is to measure your wall to see how many rows of pieces will fit there, so as not to make unnecessary cuts. The last row will most likely not be the full width of a piece, and I prefer to leave this at the top, so I start just below that space with my first row. You must use your level, because houses- especially old ones- most likely do not have perfectly level floors and ceilings, so your wall may end up looking quite lopsided if you skip this step. I measured from the ceiling and drew a level line across the wall at that height as a guide for the first row.
 
 
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Once you get the first row placed, the rest of the wall is much easier, although you have to take care to place the pieces right up against the row above it, so as not to ruin the line below or leave unsightly gaps between the pieces. You can cut the end pieces to size with the miter saw.
 
 
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After you’ve finished the wall to the bottom, measure the missing unlevel top row, and cut the pieces to size using the table saw for long cuts and the miter saw to trim the ends. After you’ve installed the last row, you can put back the base molding and quarter round, caulk and paint for a finished look (I waited to remove this until I reached the bottom, which is why it’s still in the photo above). If you have outlets on the wall, remember to unscrew them and place them on top of the wood when you reach that spot- you may need to use longer screws for this. It is also important to lay the pieces out on the floor before starting. Since the pieces will be varying lengths and colors, you should plan out how you want the wall to look before starting. I prefer to mix up the colors and lengths, and to make sure that none of the seams are directly above one another.
 
This is the finished wall!
 
 
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Next up — some new curtains, furniture, and decor!
 
If  you’re looking to buy a property that already has reclaimed wood, feel free to search my website here or give me a call at 267-357-1334 if you’d like to set up some showings!

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