So check it out, we finally finish the major kitchen projects and it suddenly dawns on us that the adjacent bathroom now looks pretty lackluster by comparison.
Mind you this was already updated once from it’s original state:
In fact, it was the very first “renovation” project that we did in the house (before we really knew how to do anything) and admittedly, it was pretty shotty. Nothing terribly wrong but nothing terribly great either. Just… vanilla.
We knew now was the time to spruce things up a bit. Give it a facelift and take care of a couple of things that were bothering us. Starting with the chair rail.
Now, I get it, a toilet is a bit like a chair, right? But it doesn’t move, it doesn’t rock, it doesn’t shift, it’s…well…pretty stationary. So why a chair rail? Decoration? Blech. We weren’t digging it. So away it went.
The color looked great. It helped open things up in an already small bathroom. But now we needed something more. Something that I had been hoping to do for quite some time. A pallet wall. We thought that the nice dark tones mixed with the light grey paint would create some solid contrast. In addition, we hoped that the horizontal boards would help create the illusion of a wider room. So we got to work.
We loved the idea of using actual pallets which are usually free and have great character but they come with several downsides:
1) You need to find and collect them all
2) Must confirm that they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides
3) Tear apart pallet piece by piece
4) Remove all nails, splinters, and useless pieces
So we decided to take a stab at creating our own. We ran up to the local HD and looked around in their lumber section. We made our way over to the furring strips and fell in love. With the wood that is.
Furring strips are generally used as backing to finished walls. They usually go unseen and are, therefore, far from perfect strips of wood. Many of them are knotty, curved, split, tattered, and bent. Which makes them perfect for a faux pallet pallet wall.
At $2 per 8′ piece it wasn’t terrible. We ended up spending almost exactly $50 total.
When we got the wood home we spread it out on the table and began staining.
We had 2 cans of stain. Espresso and Grey. We figured as long as we used variance of only these 2 colors our pallet would look like it was all part of the same family and that some of the pieces had aged more than others. Might I say that it worked well.
If you’re going to give this a go I’d recommend just having some fun with it. Put a couple of coats on 1 piece and the thinnest coat you possibly can on another. Mix the two stains on a third and keep dinking around. 25 boards down and we didn’t have a single one that was exactly the same as another #boom.
Apparently I got a bit too into it and ended up throwing the container of stain at myself #fail. So word of wisdom #2 do this outdoors.
When all was said and done we had some awesome looking “aged” pallets ready for their prime time debut as our bathroom wall.
I had marked the studs on the wall before hand (hence the large purple lines down the wall) and just began pinning them in place with my handy-dandy-nail-gun.
After about 4 hours of measuring, cutting, and nailing the project was coming along nicely. The hardest thing about this whole project was picking out colors that weren’t too close in shade. I had to vary things enough that it looked random. And might I say, we are pretty dern happy with the end result.
In the end we ended up with a pretty awesome looking bathroom that only took a weekend (though technically Saturday and Monday) to complete. And we only shelled out $150 for supplies:
- $50 on wood
- $70 on the light (I know, the light cost more than the entire wall)
- $30 on supplies (stain, brushes, spackle, etc.)