Boys Bedroom Makeover Update.

We have a game of musical rooms going on at our house.  The oldest two were sharing the bunk room.  Then they got on each other’s nerves. Soon they became territorial about toys, Dude Diary’s and real estate.  (I thought boys weren’t supposed to get caught up in this kind of drama).  The oldest moved out and started sleeping in the spare room (aka the junk room…it’s kind of like a junk drawer but on a much larger scale).

Unfortantely I lost my junk room.
Fortunately I lost my junk room.

Plans for this room got put on the top of the to-do list due to a brotherly squabble.

First the bedroom got cleared (no easy task).


The youngest (aka the angel) gave us a little Vanna White before-shot show off.


Planks, planks and more planks were installed using the same technique as we used for our stair wall.


The oldest boy actually liked the look of the unfinished boards.  I agree, they did look good but it gave an awful orange hue to the rest of the room.


So white they went.  I’m really loving “Silent White” lately by Clark and Kensington.


This other blip of a wall also got planked as well.  I experimented with staining the boards a Walnut but after I took a step back and looked it was just too dark for this small little room.  There is this small little 90 degree nook right next to the door.  I’m planning some floating shelves to give some added storage.

PicMonkey Collage

I’m really excited about the third wall.  The oldest boy really wanted some color.  I picked up a dozen sample cans of paint at ACE Hardware last month during their $0.99 sale and tested them all on the wall.  You may fall in love with a color on a sample card but if you don’t test it on the actual wall playing off the light in the room you can never really be sure.  I’ve got big plans for this wall.  It looks great in my mind but I’m hoping I can enlist the right help to pull it off.

I’ve also got plans for the 4th wall which I’m not quite ready to divulge…stay tuned.

Plank Wall Reveal.

This is a sponsored post by HomeAdvisor.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

Last week I gave you an in-progress peak of how our plywood plank wall project was coming along that HomeAdvisor sponsored.


Now that my new friend Nathan was done with his part of the install it was my turn to take over. It was quite a doozey but I balanced a ladder on the stairs and filled nail holes then got it all painted. One thing I learned the hard way was that I should have painted the wall prior to installing the boards.  I honestly thought the cracks would be so small that the stencil wouldn’t show through but it did.  Getting enough paint on my brush and jamming it in to all those cracks was a major task.   Note to self…paint the wall underneath first.



Having a sheet of plywood cut down in to planks was a lot cheaper than using tongue and groove boards like we did in the rest of the house but there are some big differences.

4men1lady plank

You probably wouldn’t notice there were two types of materials in the house but if you compare the two you’d see some differences.

Plank vs. Tongue & Groove

The plywood planks have a much rougher surface and the edges can get a little jagged when they are cut down.  It’s not a big deal if you’re going for the slightly distressed look.  I tend to like things a little more clean and smooth so I prefer the tongue and groove.  However, I saved so much money with the plywood boards that I can easily overlook it.

Another issue with the plywood planks is that they ten to bow a bit.  Again, you would probably never notice but when you take a part in the install you notice everything.


One way to try and alleviate this is to glue the boards down in addition to nailing them down.  I was worried I would say in 10 years, “Remember that year when planks were big?…” and want to rip them out, which is why I opted not to have them glued down.  Filling a gazillion nail holes is one thing…repairing damaged, glued drywall is another.


Now that it’s all done I am SO glad I hired out the install of the planks themselves.  It was just such a major job which would have taken me weeks to do with my little men.  I lucked out with finding a superb guy on HomeAdvisor and would highly recommend giving them a try next time you need a home improvement professional.

HomeAdvisor also just launced their new True Cost Guide which is an interactive tool that helps you get an idea of how much your project will cost you by comparing averages of local and national jobs.


 Check out our previous post on the install here. Paint color: Silent White by Clark & Kensington.

Wood Plank Wall with the help of HomeAdvisor.

This is a sponsored post by HomeAdvisor.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.

The world of DIY blogs can be an intimidating place.
Pinterest fools you in to thinking you can easily build a king size bed in just an afternoon while your kids quietly play legos in the corner for 5 hours.  The truth is it just ain’t like that.

I’ve done enough projects to realize that you don’t always save money by doing it yourself.  There’s also a steep learning curve which takes quite a bit of time from the planning process to shopping for materials to actually building your project.  Even if you do save money by doing it yourself you have to ask if the time you invested was worth the money you saved.  Then there’s the huge guilt for letting your kids rot their brains in front of an iPad while you figure out how to recreate the wheel (so to speak).  Of course I’ve never been guilty of that.

Now I’m not suggesting you never do another DIY project again.  You can’t put a price tag on the sense of pride in accomplishment and that’s what keeps us DIY’ers staying at it.

If perhaps the world of DIY doesn’t speak to you and you have some money to play with then by all means, hire it out!..which is just what I did for my stair wall.


I painted this wall going down our stairs an Easter egg striped-nightmare three years ago. It a moment of temporary insanity. I then tried to fix it with a Birch Tree Stencil. The Mr. and plenty other people loved it. I felt “meh” about it.

 I’ve been wanting to cover it with wood planks forever but I just couldn’t ever seem to carve out the time with life.

Then came a calling.  How would I like to try out their service on a home project I’ve been wanting to tackle? It was like the clouds parted and the Heaven’s opened.


If you haven’t heard of HomeAdvisor, they are a web-based service that matches home improvement professionals with home owners.  Anything from plumbers to electricians to general handymen…they do it all.  You just type in what you are looking for and the site spits out several matches.  It’s like the home improvement version of match-making.

The great thing about it is you can read reviews from their past customers (and they don’t hold back).  I’ve read some great reviews and not-so great reviews. (Wouldn’t that be great if you could read reviews on match-making sites from past daters?)  HomeAdvisor provides such a great service because hiring the right person will make or break your project.  I should know, you may remember I dedicated a whole post on how to hire the right sub-contractor.

write a review

I called three of the matches that site gave me to come give me a bid. The first guy was great but his price was double what the second guy was. The third guy was booked out several months. I went with Nathan. His price was right, his reviews were positive and he was available the following week.

I showed him some pictures of what I wanted and he got to work.



I have planking installed all over my home. It’s in the boys bunk room, our entry and in the basement. In those installations we used 5 inch tongue and groove. It’s durable, comes pre-primed but it’s thick and expensive. For the stairs I needed material that was thinner because it’s such a tight space.  I decided to use this tutorial found on Sweet Pickins.

The difference between Tongue and Groove and 5.0 mm Utility Plywood is that the plywood boards are thin and pliable. The benefit is that you can leave the board just a hair longer than what you are trying to fit in your space because they have some give when you nail them in. It’s hard to explain but what that means is that your corners and end pieces look like you cut them precise each time.


The negative of using the plywood is that you have to nail the boards on the face whereas with tongue and groove you nail in to the groove which gets hidden when you lay the next board over it. (Tip: nail boards in to the studs). That means a lot of nail holes to fill in.
How to spackle

I thought it would take forever to fill all those holes in but it went pretty quick using my finger, some spackle and a putty knife.  The other draw back is that you have to give everything a light sand before you paint because the plywood tends to have rough edges.


I was so pleased with Nathan that I had put up some more planking and build some floating shelves in  my sons room.  I’ll be sharing that with you soon enough.  My only complaint is that he was on typical contractor-standard-time which was always late.  In his defense he did call and let me know when to expect him.  All in all I was very pleased with him and will definitely call him again for help.  The other great thing about HomeAdvisor is that they stay in touch with you during your renovation process so if things aren’t going well perhaps they can help…maybe the contractor gets a scolding or something?

I felt a little guilt about not doing this project myself.  But after I looked back on the job he did it was just so easy and I could be present with my kids and life. If you’re looking to hire some help with your home improvement list you definitely have to bookmark

Stay tuned for the final reveal soon!