How To Install A Reclaimed Wood Wall

Written and Video Instructions with Pro Tips for Reclaimed Wood Walls, Barn Wood Walls, and Regular Wood Walls Using ¼ inch Thick Planks
Step one of installing a reclaimed wood wall is drawing a reference line
Reclaimed wood wall in grey, brown, silver, and cinnamon hues in the Cody finish from Centennial Woods
How to install a reclaimed wood wall step 3 continue applying boards untl wall is finished
How to install a reclaimed wood wall step 4 trim the boards flush to the corner of the wall

Tool List

Recommended Safety Equipment:
Hand icon Gloves
Goggles icon Goggles
Audio icon Ear Plugs
Dust mask icon Dust Mask
Construction adhesive
1 Tube Covers Approx. 40 SQFT
Caulk Gun
Brad Nailer
Brad Nails
6-18 gauge | 5/8" inch - 1 1/2 inch
Hand Saw / Electric Saw
Pencil, Tape Measure, & Level
Painting supplies
for background color if desired
Warning
Wood working can expose you to wood dust, a substance known in the state of California to cause cancer.
Use other safeguards for personal protection, more info here: www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/wood
Step 1

Preparation

To start, make sure that your surface is relatively flat, smooth, clean, dust-free, and structurally sound. Painting the wall or ceiling a color similar to your wood is an optional step, this will help camouflage any knot holes or slight gaps between boards.

Clean your smooth and flat wall before installing your reclaimed wood planks
Step 2

Reference line

We recommend starting your wood wall installation at the top or bottom of your wall. Prior to starting, check to make sure the area where you will begin your first row is level.

Reclaimed wood varies in texture and color hues. We recommend laying out 1-2 packs of planks prior to installation to see how the different boards will look together when put up on your wall.

Do not remove banding from material that you do not plan on installing that day.

Reference line for installing a wood plank wall
Step 3

Gaps

There may be small knot holes and/or slight gaps between panels. If you didn't paint your wall ahead of time, a sharpie can be used to color in these spaces.

How to hide knotholes on reclaimed wood walls
Step 4

Construction Adhesive

Apply construction adhesive (Liquid Nails or similar) to the backs of the planks. Keep the adhesive away from the edges of the reclaimed wood planks so the adhesive won’t ooze past the edges once applied to your wall. A continuous “S” pattern or squiggle line works best.

Reclaimed wood installed traditionally uses liquid adhesive and finish nails
Step 5

Secure With Nails

Place the board flush with your selected straight edge (floor, ceiling, or reference line). While holding the board in place, put nails in the four corners approximately 1/2 inch from the edge of the board. The nails will keep the reclaimed wood from warping or cupping as the adhesive sets.

Trimming reclaimed wood to fit into areas with complex angles
Step 6

Continue

Repeat step 5 with the next board. Continue until you reach the edge of your wall or ceiling. Remember to stagger your reclaimed wood planks so the ends of your boards don’t line up and create seams that are too close together. A good rule of thumb is to keep the edges of the planks at least 8 inches apart from row to row.

When finishing a row, keep the cut piece. This piece can be used to start your next row, or fill gaps later on in the project.

How to cut around an outlet when installing reclaimed wood
Step 7

Repeat Until Complete

Repeat steps 1-6 until your wall or ceiling is completely covered by your reclaimed wood planks.

Barn wood feature wall in San Diego
Tutorial by

Zac Builds

ZacBuilds avatar, social media creator specializing in custom building and tool recommendations

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