It’s time to get this master bedroom renovation started!  I discussed here what my room looks like and what direction I want to take it.  I started by painting three walls Balsam Beige.  The room instantly went from dark to light and bright.


It surprisingly only took less than a gallon of paint to cover the dark red.  I was highly impressed! The next step was to get going on the wall treatment.  I used Thrifty Décor Chick’s wood panel wall post as my inspiration.

I started my wall treatment off by removing the baseboard.  I did this because what I was placing on the wall would stick out further than the top of the baseboard and look all kinds of wrong.  I was worried that I would break the baseboard as I was removing it since it was so long but it was surprisingly easy.  Start by scoring the top of your baseboard with a utility knife.  This helps separate the baseboard from the wall.  My house is a poorly constructed builder basic house and no caulk was used to seal the gap between the baseboard and the wall but I had painted both the wall and the baseboards over the course of my time here so I needed to break the paint.

I then used a pry bar to work my way behind the baseboard and a mallet to wedge it in.  I wasn’t too concerned about causing damage to the wall because it was going to be covered but you can put a piece of wood behind your pry bar to prevent indentions.  Work your way along the length of the board until it pulls free.

Next I needed to cut away at the remaining baseboards on the other walls to accommodate my wall treatment.  I cut a piece of my wood paneling and held it against the remaining baseboard to mark how much I needed to cut away.

I used a chisel and mallet to cut away the material.  There are much easier and faster ways to do this but I was working with what I had and did not want to stop to try to track down a tool from my dad.  Next, I tested the fit of my board into the new cutout.  Don’t worry if it doesn’t fit super snug.  Caulk can fix that!


Before I started attaching the boards, I used a stud finder to mark all of my studs in the wall.  I used a long level to make the marks the entire height of the wall so that I did not have to continuously mark them as I went.

Then I cut my wood!  My original plan was to use the same planks described in the inspiration blog post.  They were 8’ lengths and came in packs of 6 boards.  I needed more that would fit in my car so I hit up my dad for assistance.  When I told him what I was doing, he told me that he had some leftover car siding I could have if it would work for me.  If you’re like me, you had to ask what car siding was.  This is what it looks like!

It was perfect! And free which made it even more perfect!  The boards were 16’ lengths and with a wall that was 14’ 10”, it meant that I didn’t have to worry about joints.  When I actually saw the boards, the groves on the front were too close together for what I was wanting.  Easy fix, though.  I just turned them around and put the back facing forward!  I then started putting my boards in place and nailing them with a brad nailer in the tongue where the studs were located.  This helps prevent having to fill holes later because you won’t see the nail holes!  I simply stacked each board on top of the next.

Remember that little piece I used as a guide for cutting the baseboards? Well, it’s back and still being helpful.  To help prevent damage to the tongue portion of the boards, I used the small piece to hammer each board together with my mallet.

Things were going smoothly until my third board.  I encountered outlets…  I simply measured to the edge of each outlet from the wall then measured how wide the outlet is.  I took these notes and used my jigsaw to make the cuts.  Luckily, the top of each outlet aligned with the top of the board.

It was put in place and fit like a dream!

The next hurdle was around my windows.  They say hindsight is 20/20. There are several things I would do differently.  One thing is I would have removed the window sills instead of leaving them in place.  I didn’t fully think through how they would look with the boards in place and it doesn’t look right now.  I’m still trying to figure out a way to revamp those window sills but for now they are covered by curtains. Also, by removing them, it would have been much easier to put the next board in.  Instead, I measured my areas that would need cut out like I did with the outlets.  I also needed to cut out part of the groove on the back of the boards because they would not fit over the tongue with the window sill in place.  I used my jigsaw to make the cutouts for the window and my circular saw to cut a portion of the back of the groove to allow me to just place the board on the wall and not have to lift and push down.  It might have been easier to just remove the entire back side of the groove.  It’s a pretty simple process.  Just set the depth of your skill saw and, with a steady hand and a slower pace, cut out what you need removed.  This could also easily be done on a table saw.

The rest of the install was fairly easy and went quickly.  I just cut my pieces to size as I went for the rest of the wall and installed them.

These boards had been lying around for a long while before I got them and some of them had bowed more than I could easily muscle into place.  One trick you can use is to get a couple pieces of scrap wood to wedge the bowed board into place.  You’ll want one just slightly longer than your remaining space and one to protect your ceiling.  You will place one end of the longer board on your bowed piece and the other end at the piece to protect your ceiling.  You’ll then use a mallet to wedge the long piece into place which in turn pushes down your bowed piece so you can nail it where you want it.  As you move up the wall, you’ll want to cut off the corresponding length on the long board.

I finally got the whole wall up except for the very last board up top.

There are a couple things to take into consideration for the final board.  First is that your ceiling may not be perfectly level across.  Second, there may be slight variations in the height of your boards as you installed them.  An easy way to deal with this is to make several measurements across the ceiling and take notes.  Starting on my right, I measured the distance from the ceiling to the point that the top board sits on the board under it.  Moving down the wall 24”, I did the same thing, continuing this method until I got to the other end of the wall.

I made marks on my next board corresponding to the measurements on my board to mark where I need to cut it.  Using a straight edge to connect the marks, I followed along the line with my circular saw to remove the excess.  I wasn’t worried about getting it perfectly flush with the ceiling because I will be adding crown moulding later.  If you don’t want to add crown, you can easily add a small trim which I will show you later.  I also cut off the back side of the groove so that I could just lay it on top of the tongue of the board already in place like I did around the window.

With the installation of the final board, you’re ready to move on!

If you install a wall treatment like this on a wall with no windows, you only need to worry about trim on the edges (if you wish).  Since I have two windows, I need to address the exposed edges of the car siding to give it a more finished look.  I’ll show you how I deal with that in another post.  From here, I began to sand, sand, sand!  It was not even a little bit fun and it made such a mess but it was a necessary step.  Once the sanding was done, I wiped down the boards with a few tack cloths to remove the sawdust.  I then used craft paper and painter’s tape to cover the side walls and the floor for staining.  I also put plastic on the floor because if you drip stain, there is a good possibility that the stain will soak through the paper and get on your flooring.

Now it’s time to bring this wall to life with some color!  I used Minwax Dark Walnut.

There are different techniques you can use to apply stain but I chose to apply it with a rag.  I put on gloves (because who wants to fight with removing stain from your hands?) and dipped a small bit of my rag in the stain and wiped it on the wall.  Some use a method of applying the stain and then wiping it off after it has had time to sit for a bit.  I chose to skip the wipe off step and just rub the stain into the wood as I applied it.  This is sort of an instant gratification method but I also don’t have to worry about remembering to go back to wipe off stain or making sure that I left the stain on long enough before wiping off.  You can also stain the boards before you put them up but here are a few reasons why I didn’t.  First, I wasn’t sure just how many boards it was going to take and I didn’t want to stain more than was necessary. Second, there were many boards I found I couldn’t use after I attempted to install them because they were too bowed and they would have been stained for nothing.  Third, I just didn’t have the space to lay out all of the boards to stain them and let them dry.

You’ll see that I did not tape off the ceiling and I also did not apply the stain right up to the ceiling.  This is because I plan to paint the ceiling and I will also be adding crown moulding.  It took me about two hours to stain the whole wall.  And I love it!!!

Public Service Announcement: Always, always, ALWAYS put plastic down when working with stain!!

You never know when you are going to knock over your can.  Even when you are being super careful.

And I suppose I need gloves that go to my elbows…  The good news is my hands were clean.  Also, you can use acetone and a rag to help remove the stain from your skin.

Because of bowing and knots, not all of my boards sat perfectly on top of each other and unstained wood was visible.  I simply took a small paintbrush and ran it in the areas that needed touch up.

I wiped up any excess and let everything dry overnight.  If the color is not as dark as you want or you want to layer stain colors, now is when you would add your second coat/color.  One coat was perfect for me so it was time to move on to adding poly.

I had never used a wipe on poly before but it was recommended for this application by my wonderful Instagram friends.  I bought Minwax Wipe-On Poly in Clear Satin because I wanted just a bit of sheen but not too much.

I was totally expecting this to take as long to apply as it did to stain the wall.  I was waaayyyy off!  It only took me about 30 minutes the first time!  I poured some of the poly onto a rag and just rubbed it on the wall similar to how I applied the stain.

This is the wall without poly:

And this is the wall with the first coat:

You can see the subtle sheen it provides which I loved.  I ended up doing three coats.  This stuff dried to the touch pretty fast and the last two applications only took me about 15 minutes each.  You can also see in these pictures that I have added outlet extender boxes to account for the new wall depth.  They are super easy to install and I tell you all about it here!

My next step was to reinstall the baseboard I removed at the beginning of the project.  Some of the nails used to secure it to the wall were still in the board.  I simply used a hammer on the nails from the back side of the board to remove them.  Some damage to the board was incurred during this process but since these are painted boards, a little wood filler and new paint will fix it right up.

I needed to cut off a small piece of the baseboard to make it fit again due to the way it was originally installed.  I happened to have a piece of matching trim from another project that I used as a guide. The pieces were matched up where the baseboard needed to be cut (the width of the second board) and I traced the outline.

I then used my jigsaw to make the cut along the line.  I actually cut the board a little longer than my line showed because it is better to have to cut it again than to cut off too much the first time.  This was fortunate because it fit perfectly cut a little longer.

If your cut isn’t perfect, don’t fret.  Caulk covers a multitude of trim/moulding sins.

Once you have your baseboard back in place, just nail it with a brad nailer.

The white just pops against the stain!  Once you have the board nailed in place, use wood filler to cover your nail holes and let it dry.  I’ll come back and caulk/paint the baseboards when I do the crown moulding so that I don’t have to drag out the supplies more than once.

Now that the baseboard is in place, I can work on adding trim to cover the edges of the car siding where it meets the adjacent walls.  I picked up two pieces of cove moulding to fit in the corners.  I knew I would have to cut it down to fit between the baseboards and the crown moulding but the moulding wasn’t in place yet.  Since I also already bought the moulding, I just cut off a small piece to use as a guide.  I taped it in position to the ceiling and wall in both corners.

It is important to ensure that the moulding piece is positioned correctly and that you measure both corners.  I discussed earlier that you cannot rely on your ceiling being completely level so there may be variances in the length you need to cut the cove moulding.  This was the case with this room.  Once the moulding was cut, I dry fit it in place to make sure it fit properly.

Once I was satisfied with the fit, I stained and applied poly to the trim pieces to match the wall.

When they were dry, I used my brad nailer to attach them to the wall.  Oh, what a difference these little pieces made!

I’m so excited to have this completed! I’m even more excited that it turned out like it looked in my head!  That does NOT always happen.

I can’t wait to get this room finished!

There is still quite a bit left to do in here but I’m loving the progress so far.  If you have any questions about my process for installing a wood panel wall, fire away!  What suggestions do you have for updating this room with an industrial touch?  Do you have any suggestions for correcting the window sills?

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