How to Make a DIY Wood Wall from an Old Fence

Home decor

Inside: How to make a DIY Wood Wall from an old fence, as well as other ideas for using fence boards and interior wood plank walls. 

I must admit I never thought this is a post that I would be writing, but ever since we shared our basement barn board flooring project I’ve been getting questions about our reclaimed wood wall in the space. So I figured I could share with you today how to make a DIY Wood Wall from an Old Fence. I love that this project is super affordable and eco-friendly.

If you are into upcycling and reclaimed stuff, you might want to check out my cool reclaimed wood photo board, how to strip veneer off old furniture to make it new again and you might also be interested to see how I turned old fence posts into candle sticks!diy wood wall old fence

How to make a DIY Wood Wall from an old Fence

There is a little bit of the backstory to this project. It begins in our backyard that was once a jungle. It still feels somewhat like a jungle. Taking down this random fence in the middle of the yard was step one to bringing it back to life. But being the DIYers that we are, we didn’t want the wood to go to waste.

BEFORE! It was a random fence in our yard
BEFORE! It was a random fence in our yard

Step One – Wash All the Old Fence Boards

The first step was to pull it down and give the boards a good wash. There was a fair amount of green slime all over the boards, but some oxygen bleach along with soap and water and elbow grease did the trick. I use oxygen bleach for cleaning throughout the house. I absolutely love it for the laundry and for getting rid of pests in the kitchen. It’s also extremely gently and effective on wood. Wash fence boards thoroughly before using for planking

Step Two – Sand Down the Fence Boards

We knew there was no way that we were ever going to sand them down to match, so instead we set to sanding them to make them all different. Dan lay the boards down on the floor, and gave them all a good once over with the belt sander.Use a belt sander to fix up reclaimed fence posts

Then he passed them off to me for some finer work with a palm sander. Make sure you’re wearing a mask and in a well-ventilated area  when doing this, especially if working with weather treated wood like we were – this does create a big mess.Sand fence posts again with a palm sander

Step Three – Stain the Boards to Match

Because our fence posts were weather treated they had an awful green hue. To combat that we used mixtures of different gel stains to give each board a unique finish.Mix gel stains to achieve reclaimed look on old fence boards

I love working with gel stain. Apply it with a brush and then wipe it off with a rag.

Now for the fun part. Putting the boards on the wall! We were working with a really small space; a strange nook created in the basement beneath ductwork and above some piping. The good news is all of our boards were roughly the same length. Find level and start with the best fence board

Step Four – Cut down the Boards and attach them to the wall

We started with our prettiest and longest board, found level, applied a small amount of glue to the back and nailed in at the studs. We continue down the wall using the prettiest boards first. Then all we had to do was cut down the remaining boards to fill in any gaps.Stagger finishes on the fence boards

See? I told you this is one of the best ways make a DIY Wood Wall!!How to create a rustic plank wall with old fence boards

Here’s what it looks like now…

Studio Floor and Cabinet Update
Studio Floor and Cabinet Update

As you can see, the rustic fence board wall seems to really enhance our developing space. And did I mention it was free? Oh ya. It was free. 😛

Other rooms where we’ve done DIY Wood Walls

You’ll definitely want to have a look at our Living Room ‘nook’ area. We used basic tongue and groove planks to modernize a 1980’s style television nook and we love it. 

We also used barn board to create the most gorgeous DIY Wood Wall in our dining room. It’s one of my favorite projects ever. Every time we do a wood wall, I get happy. They all follow the same basic principles – clean, stain or paint, cut, measure, secure/hang. That’s it!

Want to see some other DIY Wood Wall Features?

Twelve on Main uses untreated barn board on her walls. And the result is gorgeous. diy wood wall

DIY Beautify installs a wood wall around a doorway to give it a grand and rustic feel. This is gorgeous!diy rustic wood wall

Diva of DIY uses an actual set of pallets to create a wood feature wall for free! That’s what I like to see!free pallet feature wall

And Designer Trapped creates an epic herringbone wall pattern with her old fence boards. This is the project that inspired mine!

herringbone pallet feature wall

And some additional DIY Projects using Reclaimed Fence Boards and Wood?

Check out my cute Thanksgiving candle sticks using old fence posts. I was in a challenge to create table decor for free – and this is all I had! So I used basic DIY supplies to make candle sticks. I might do it differently if I were to do these now, but the principle is okay, I think. 

And here I used reclaimed wood shims to make a herringbone back splash accent in our kitchen! This project cost me less than $2! And it’s been in our kitchen for five years.

Herringbone Back Splash

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