D.I.Y. Barn Wood Plank Wall

So. This happened.  I finally made the time to do something with some of the “treasures” I picked up a while back. Okay. Probably a year ago. Or more. 


This is just one of my “treasure” piles.  But this is the one I started with.  

  • #1: I picked this little roll-top desk up at a yard sale. I love the spindle legs on it.  My husband needed a small “work” desk because he likes to build models, and this little gem was the perfect size. I removed the roll-top and cleaned the desk with Denatured Alcohol. I painted it with Annie Sloan Old White, then sanded off some of the paint to bring out the character in the legs. I finished with a coat of Annie Sloan Paste Wax. The knobs were original to the desk. The desk chair is the one my husband had as a child. I’ve decided to leave that as-is.

#2. This is a “lawyer’s cabinet” that we used to have in our house years ago. I just haven’t been able to part with it, although it’s been in our garage for years.  I finally came up with an idea for it. I took off the top two glass doors, and left the bottom two. I moved it into my closet here, in this house, and it is serving as extra shelf space.  I wanted to make sure it “worked” for me before I spent the time painting it. It does, so this will be headed to my workshop soon (I hope!).   Please ignore the flooring; it will be replaced soon.  The removed glass doors will be part of a door collection I am in the process of putting together.

#3. When a local artist’s repurposing shop closed, they sold all of their raw materials.  We picked up about 30 pieces of wood that had been removed from a 100-year-old barn when it was dismantled.  We had 2 rooms in our house that we wanted to “switch” – my craft room and my husband’s “man cave.”  My craft room had a colorful plank wall that I put up (DIY Plank Wall) but it didn’t really fit with the man-cave look. I loved that wall and wanted it in my craft room. What to do? When I told my husband I was just going to move it, he thought I was nuts! But I took down all of the planks, to reassemble in my craft room, and then used the barn wood to put up a new plank wall that was more suitable to the man-cave decor.  

The desk was one we picked up at an estate sale, and you can read it’s history here:  DIY UPdate #2.

If you decide to work with old wood, just be sure to prepare it for use in your house. These are the instructions I followed.  Be sure to measure and re-measure. You don’t want your wood cut too short.. or too long. Because this was old wood, I just used black nails to attach it to the wall. The look of the black nails fit perfectly with the look of the old wood. I started at the top and worked down, so if a piece of wood needed to be cut lengthwise, that piece would be at the bottom.  I’m sure there are more professional ways to do this, but I love the look, and the wood is staying on the wall, so I’m happy.

So now… what’s next in this pile?  It might be one of the 3 headboards I have there. They make GREAT benches!

Have any of you been working on your own DIY projects?  This article will post to my Facebook Page. Will you show us some of your own DIY projects there?  It’s always great to get ideas from one another!

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Comments (14)

  1. Renee

    Oh my goodness Karen – these all look amazing. Love what you did with the roll top desk! You are so talented to be able to envision what something will look like with a little TLC.

    February 17, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    • Karen

      Sometimes things don’t always turn out the way I think, but they’re always worth the try!

      February 17, 2018 at 4:09 pm
  2. Michelle

    You are AMAZING with the creative and talented ways you preserve “found treasures”!

    February 17, 2018 at 2:43 pm
    • Karen

      Thanks, Michelle! I have to thank my Dad, who was a building contractor, for teaching me not to be afraid of tools.

      February 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm
  3. Love the wood plank wall.

    February 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm
  4. This is a beautiful wall! You did a terrific job! Hugs, DeLoris

    February 18, 2018 at 2:39 am
  5. We had one of those Lawyer’s cabinets when I was growing up. We kept our World Book Encyclopedias in there!! 🙂 Not sure where they ended up!!

    February 18, 2018 at 9:05 pm
    • Karen

      Funny, Deanna – I was just thinking the other day about the Encyclopedias (I can never spell that word without singing it – do you remember that little song too?). I remember using those to do research for school projects. 🙂

      February 19, 2018 at 5:32 am
  6. Sandra Jensen

    Love the Plank wall! Thanks for the instructions for cleaning the old wood. My hubby and I are thinking of trying this!

    February 20, 2018 at 10:00 am
    • Karen

      That is so cool, Sandra!!! Please, please post a photo of your results for us!

      February 20, 2018 at 10:12 am
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