DIY! How to Install a Reclaimed Barn Wood Shiplap Accent Wall

The number one question people ask us is how to install barn wood walls. Although it’s not rocket science, there are a few things you should know before attempting a reclaimed wood wall diy.

Our friends Karen and Randy were kind enough to let us use the pics from their recent installation. They are rebuilding in Gatlinburg after their cabin was destroyed by the fires :( They had this giant wall completed in just 9 hours :)

First, it’s a good idea to lay your wood out so you can get an idea of your design. Reclaimed barn wood tends to vary a lot in patina.

Next, you will need to know where your studs are located. If you don’t have a stud finder, you can try measuring from the corner. Studs are usually 16” apart but can sometimes be 24”. You can get a good idea by measuring from the corner to an outlet since they are usually mounted on or near the wall studs. Once you find one, tap a nail into it to confirm…the others should be easy to measure out. Make several marks vertically along the stud and snap a chalk line if you like. This will make it a lot easier when you start installing.

You can start from either the top or bottom, each has its advantages. Working from the bottom up, gravity is your friend :) If your ceiling or floor happens to be uneven though, working from the top down allows you to cover any discrepancies with your baseboard. You will probably need a helper if you work from the top down, so one person can hold the boards in place until they are secured.

If your accent wall is not extremely wide, you may be able to get away without having to make a lot of cuts to your barn wood, but cutting the boards makes for a more interesting aesthetic because you will stagger the joints. Regardless, you will probably need to be making some cuts. You can do this with a hand saw or most any type of power saw that you may have, and always wear safety goggles. When marking your boards, use a carpenter’s square, so your cuts are straight, and your boards butt up against one another.

Now, position your first board(s) either at the top or bottom, and use a level to make sure it is perfectly straight. Drive 2 (or more, depending on the width of your barn wood) nails through the board and into each stud to secure it to the wall. For the second, and subsequent rows, make sure to stagger the joints of your cut boards.

Once you reach your last row, you may have to rip the board lengthwise to fit in the remaining space. You can finish with trim and baseboard if you like.

Here are some more photos of Karen and Randy’s Job:

You can see lots more photos of reclaimed barn wood walls here. We will hand select your barn wood from our 7+ acres of inventory. Choose your own ratio of brown, gray, red or white planks for your DIY accent wall.

Still have questions? Call us!

We are ALWAYS in the mood to talk about wood :) 855-676-4220

Stacey McClure
stacey@historicflooring.com