Remember that little old thing called the One Room Challenge? What an amazing event! And this room kind of pushed my time limits, for sure. Mostly because of the board and batten walls I decided to install in the guest room. But I’m so glad that I did it. It adds such dimension to an otherwise boring room. If you are thinking about doing it at your home, I highly recommend it. However, I did learn a few things along the way and I would like to pass them on to you.
Some of these little nuggets may make you say “Duh! I knew that already!”. Well, you are smarter than me. I am a reluctant DIYer. Mostly because I am a perfectionist and I throw in the towel when it doesn’t go well and call my favorite carpenter. But this time I was determined to get through it. And it’s not perfect. So my first lesson was:
1. Finish it even if it’s not perfect. I have such a sense of accomplishment every time I walk into that room. And now that the challenge is over I am able to go in and adjust and fix and touch up at my leisure. Pretty soon it will look like a pro did it (fingers crossed!)
2. A 1/16 of an inch matters. This one was so hard for me because I immensely dislike math. And running up and down my stairs a hundred and fifty times from the guest room to the saw in the garage was exhausting. So I got lazy a few times. And then I got frustrated. Because I was off by 1/16 of an inch!
3. Know your materials. Game changer! Honestly. Especially in the $$ department. OK, so here is the story. I’m at the local big box hardware store and I’m in the trim aisle. And I’m looking at the flat pieces of wood in 9 foot lengths, that only come in stain grade and I’m hating math again because I realize that for the amount of wood I need, it would be well over $200. What?! I’m just going to paint the stuff! So I definitely didn’t need stain grade. So I wander over to lumber, ask a sweet fellow if they could cut up some plywood for me and BAM! $44 later I am out the door with lots of board and batten!
4. Have the right tools. I am in love with my nail gun. Truly. I have a Ryobi Air Strike Brad Nailer and it is the BEST TOOL EVER! I also love my saw and my 3 foot level. I kinda hate my measuring tape but that’s only because we spent too much time together. If we spend some time apart I will love it again. I also love my Dremel because it helped with the tough spots like cutting around light switches and stuff.
5. Spackle, wood putty, whatever sealer you can find…. It is your friend. When working with plywood, you realize that it’s not always perfectly flat, it has knots and burls and you get nail holes when you nail it to the wall. That is where all this stuff comes in. Fill in the holes, gaps and knots. Sand ’em down and you will never know they were there in the first place.
6. Pat yourself on the back. This stuff can be intimidating. Or it can look incredibly easy. It is neither. It is totally doable and totally tough. Remember to give yourself a pat on the back. You are doing it! You are changing your home! Step away when you are tired or frustrated. ( I found an adult beverage is great at healing a frustrated mind!) It’s OK. You are doing a great job.