Attach these weathered-wood beauties to the wall in a diagonal grid to give an entryway or hallway rustic charm. We used a combination of dark and light barn boards to complete this design. To find barn boards in your area, search for salvaged wood on Craigslist or ask someone at your local lumberyard, wood specialty store, or architectural salvage yard if they have stock or a salvaged wood source. Visit iowabarnboards.com to learn about the types of lumber a barn may yield.
Project Tip: Knots, nail holes, and warps can make barn boards difficult to work with. We planned our lengths to avoid cutting through bad areas. We left some knot holes visible, allowing the wall color to show through in those areas.
Four 4x72-inch barn boards
Thirty-six to thirty-eight 8x32-inch barn boards
Eight 4x32-inch barn boards
384 inches of 3-inch barn boards
Determine an 8x8-foot area you wish to cover with barn boards. Draw two diagonal lines that extend from corner to corner of the area to make an X. Measure 2 inches above and 2 inches below each line at each corner of the square and mark. Connect opposite marks with a chalk line and snap the line (pictured).
Repeat Step 1 to snap two sets of two chalk lines that form an X (pictured).
To install the first grid board, measure 2 inches from one end of one 4x72-inch barn board; mark on each edge. Also mark the center of the board at the end. Make a 45-degree cut from one edge mark to the center mark. Make a second 45-degree cut from the other edge mark to the center to make a pointed end. Apply contact adhesive to the back of the board, and press the board in place between the lines, placing the pointed end of the board at the bottom left corner of the wall section. Cut a second 4x72-inch board to make a pointed end for the opposite corner and cut it to length to complete the diagonal line (pictured). Nail the boards, hitting studs as much as possible.
Using a carpenter's square, make marks 14 inches away from each diagonal line that intersects with the first grid board (pictured).
Spread contact adhesive on the backs of four 8×32-inch barn boards and adhere the boards to the wall inside the marks so they are perpendicular to the first grid board and make a 32-inch square. Spread contact adhesive on the backs of two 4x32-inch barn boards and adhere one board to each side of the 32-inch square (pictured).
Adhere and nail four more 8x32-inch barn boards parallel to the first grid board for the next grid square (pictured). Cut the ends of the boards at a 45-degree angle to fit along the floor. Continue adding squares of barn boards and grid boards, alternating the direction of the boards with each adjacent square.
Center a 4x32-inch barn board inside the center diagonal lines and perpendicular to the first barn board square; adhere and nail (pictured). Add four 8x32-inch barn boards to one side of the grid board and add a second 4x32-inch barn board to the opposite side. Trim ends of boards at a 45-degree angle as needed to fit.
Continue the grid pattern, using remaining 4x72, 4x32, and 8x32 boards (pictured). Add 3-inch trim boards at the bottom, top, and sides of the area. If there's a small gap between the trim boards and the wall, fill with clear silicone caulk, if desired.