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DIY HERRINGBONE WOOD WALL ART

Like many of my good ideas this wood herringbone wall art came to me in a sleepless night.
My mind raced and nothing short of a miracle could will me to sleep. Instead of letting the night go to waste, I sat up in bed surrounded by my planner and various notebooks and made lists. 
One of the lists happened to be ideas for my apartment. This list ranged from ‘get door weathering’ to ‘spray paint entire apartment gold‘  but somewhere in the middle was an idea to cover up this eyesore “bar” area in my place. I was not even sure I could do it, or at least if I could do it without chopping a finger off but in the end this project far surpassed my dreams.
It started out as a wood herringbone wall, but being a renter I thought it had to be removable like a wood picture. So off to Home Depot I went. There I discovered these thin, inexpensive wood planks called laths. At my store they cost about 95 cents and are 2″ wide by 8′ long and 1/4″ thick, perfect for my project. I ended up buying 14 in total and had extra when all was said and done.

I started by staining my laths with a homemade steel wool and vinegar stain. Any stain will do, most home improvement stores have a large variety of stains to fit any need or style. After my laths had dried overnight, say lath five times fast and see if you lisp too, I brought them inside and started measuring. My wall was 41″ wide by 40″ tall and I had the wonderful people at Home Depot cut me down a four foot board into those exact dimensions at no extra cost.

For my wall I wanted each strip to be 8″ long. I started by measuring 8″ along a board and ended up using one of the pre-cut strips to mark the rest of the boards. I have to be completely honest here and say I have never used a power saw by myself. Living in an apartment I do not have access to a large array of power tools but was lucky enough to borrow this adorable saw for a few days. If you do not have any power tools available to you I would suggest going to a local home improvement store and ask them to cut the boards for you, in the end your project will likely be a lot more even than mine.

After cutting too many strips to count I started laying them down. The easiest way to create a uniform herringbone pattern is to first find the middle of your board and mark it. From there, create a 45 degree angle off of each side. Your very first board will have its top corner touching the center mark and that attached long edge aligned against the 45 degree angle. The next board lies one short edge flush with the inside long side of the first board and so on and so forth down the middle of the board. It makes more sense to see this in a visual pattern so googling herringbone pattern, or using my finished project, for reference may help.

To get the boards to stick I primarily used wood glue, however the laths I bought were the bottom of the barrel and they had warped a little. So, I bought these things called ‘wire brads’ simply because they were only a 1/2″ tall and wouldn’t really show in the end. Although they create a fantastic seamless look they can be a pain to get hammered in. Per suggestion of my father, real talk I call him every time I go to Home Depot because I have no idea what I’m doing, I used a pair of pliers to reduce the headache. If you pinch the brad between your pliers’ nose and then get it started with a hammer you can remove the pliers and hammer it all the way in. I ended up putting a brad in both ends of the boards except on the edges because I wanted it to look like those boards would hypothetically continue.

Hours later and almost a whole bottle of wood glue I ran into a snag.
This is where I recommend you take my advice and learn from my mistakes. I started to glue down those edge pieces that stick up higher than the board when I realized my little saw couldn’t nicely go through those. After some choice words in my head I flipped my board over, marked where I needed to cut each board and then pulled the suckers off. I learned quickly that wood glue is great stuff as it took a fair amount of muscle to wiggle these off.
I would also recommend leaving the corners free for now. Make the needed cuts for the pieces to go there eventually, but this will make hanging it up so much more simple.
Now you get to hang your project up!
Mine was going above a ‘bar’ area in my apartment so I could rest it there while drilled the pilot holes. I put one hole in each corner and made sure it went into the wall behind as well. I used anchors to add some stability to the whole thing but I imagine plain screws would be fine depending on the weight and location of your ‘wall’. 

Add the corners back onto your project, I recommend lots of wood glue and even drilling a little cave in the back of the lath where the screw sits for a more flush design.
For under $30 you have a gorgeous, custom herringbone statement piece, or wall if you prefer.

Now to find a color to paint the bar… any suggestions? Leave them in the comments!

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