For my mom's room, I knew I wanted to create the look of a horizontal planked wall behind her bed -- but I didn't have the budget to make it a reality, so I got creative. I figured that whatever material I used, once it was installed wall to wall you wouldn't be able to tell how deep it was and it would look (pretty much) like a regular paneled wall.
So with kiddos in tow, I ventured into my friendly neighborhood Lowe's where I had them cut 3 sheets of 1/'8" Masonite hardboard (like pegboard but without the holes) into 6" strips for me. Lowe's has a generous cutting policy that is great for projects such as this.
After getting them home the first thing I did was prime them with oil-based primer. I'm always glad when I pre-prime; you should save yourself the hassle and pre-prime (and even pre-paint) things like this or like board and batten. You'll thank yourself when it's on the wall and there are nooks and crannies you don't have to contend with.
Next I marked the studs on the wall and started nailing the panels up.
I marked pieces that covered outlets and scored them with a utility knife before breaking the unwanted pieces of Masonite off -- another advantage of working with material that's only 1/8" thick.
I wanted it to appear random so I didn't worry very much about it -- I'd cut a piece to fit with a miter saw and then use the rest of the same board as the first piece for the next row as I worked my way up -- sometimes things lined up, sometimes they didn't. Sometimes I cut a random piece on an arbitrary line if I felt like my lengths were getting too patterned. I made it up as I went along and it worked great.
I made sure to nail each strip of Masonite into the studs for stability and I also put two nails into each board's short end, one at the top and one at the bottom of each strip like this:
I used craft (popsicle) sticks as spacers between rows so there would be a natural looking gap between my faux boards.
And of course, I ran to the store for that one last piece of Masonite for the two dark boards in this photo -- talk about frustrating!
Last, I filled all nail holes except the pair in each Masonite strip's ends (I like how they looked) and
coerced invited my dear sister and niece to help paint. Mwahaha.
For about $32 in Masonite, I think it looks fabulous! It was a quick, easy way to add some detail to the room and it was definitely worth it.
Definitely a manageable way to add some character to a room in your house, don't you think?