Herringbone Wood Wall

These days I find myself taking part in a house project almost every weekend. Being the most handy person in my family, a good portion of these projects are not my own.

My aunt is brilliant when it comes to decorating and has a true eye for interior design. Her house could easily be featured in a magazine and I often toss ideas to her when looking for design inspiration or validation. Needless to say, I jump at the chance to help when it comes to her house projects. They are always challenging, but in the end very worth it as the result is always fabulous. Between her ideas and my ability to execute them, we make one hell of a team. So what was the project on the docket this weekend? A reclaimed wood wall treatment for my cousin’s bedroom.

For the pattern we settled on a classic with a pinch of drama, the herringbone. But not just any herringbone pattern, we took groups of four boards in each direction to make the pattern bigger and bolder. The result, fantastic, so lets get started!

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  • Paint in a complementary color
  • Weathered hardwood boards
  • Liquid nails
  • Nails


Start by painting the wall a complimentary color. Since the wood is weathered the seam between boards isn’t always perfect. By painting you won’t be distracted by the wall color when it occasionally peaks through.

painted wall.jpg

Measure the wall’s length and mark a center line. You will use this later to start the pattern. Use your stud finder to mark the placement of all the studs in your wall (they are usually 16” apart). When you find the stud use a long level to draw a line the height of the wall, continuing the line onto your baseboards. The level will allow you to keep your line straight. If it wanders you might not end up in a stud when nailing.

Take two groups of four boards and butt one group against the other at a 90 degree angle. Mark a line from the center point of the top grouping all the way down through the center point of the second grouping. This will allow you to start the pattern in the center of the wall. You can also use this technique for starting the pattern with single boards as well if you want your pattern to be smaller.  

When putting the boards up on the wall make sure the line on the board lays over the center line on the wall. I chose to have the pattern point down on the center line, but you can flip it to point up if you’d like.

Starting point.jpg

Make a squiggly line of liquid nails on the back of each board then use the nailer to tack the boards into the studs you marked. Make sure to pop nails into each corner of the board as well, even if it's not in a stud. Use your level or any straight edge to make sure the ends of the grouping are aligned with one another.

glued board.jpg

Keep laying groups of four boards, alternating sides between groupings. When you come to the edges of the wall you will need to start making 45 degree miter cuts on the ends to make the boards fit. Making all the miter cuts at the end gets fatiguing but just take your time, be patient, and remember that your measurement will be the long edge of the miter cut.

laying boards.jpg

If you come across an outlet, which I'm sure you will, lay the board on the wall (without glue) and mark the placement of the outlet. Then remove the board from the wall and use a multitool or jigsaw to cut out the rectangle for the outlet.

You may encounter portions of the wall where you next step in the pattern may no longer be clear. For me this happened in the upper corners. I measured the width of the groupings then measured that distance up from the base of the last board I attached. This was the starting point for my next grouping which ran in the same direction.

Goofy corner.jpg

And there you have it, a beautiful statement wall that can transform any room. The impact is astonishing and the effort well worth it. I hope you enjoyed building with me.

Till next time,