Reclaimed Wood Ceiling & Accent Wall

Once upon a time we were going to refinish our basement. We set aside money, met with contractors, toyed with the idea of another bedroom or bathroom. Then family called and invited us to stay with them in Oahu. Plane tickets it was with no regrets! While we haven't looked back, we have looked up. Its an eyesore.

So I snatched a bunch of fence boards (thank you spring windstorms for maintaining a bountiful supply of fences) and scrubbed and washed and measure and cut. The result? A free ceiling and splinters. :)

Read on or scroll through the pictures to see the before, during and after.
**basement lighting is unfriendly for quality pictures. I tried. PicMonkey helped.


Accent Wall

Who wouldn't want to stare at toilet pipes while chillin' in the basement? When my first son was a toddler/preschooler with insane amounts of energy he tried to climb up these! I totally freaked, not something we want breaking!!! Can you imagine? ~shudder~

Spray painted the boards black since I was expecting small gaps between some of the boards. A black background will help eliminate the visual distraction.

Laid out my pattern on the deck. So glad I keep a steady supply of wood pieces around (my hubby is not as enthusiastic about this as I am!).

And boom! A beautiful accent wall. In the future, I can see myself creating a similar pattern across an entire wall.

my brother's cat photobombing

Fence Board Ceiling

In progress photo: I quickly discovered that my rafters were not equidistant apart. Sometimes one row was 1/2 inch wider, other times, the difference was in whole inches!

Best part of this project was the lack of nails involved. I didn't use a single one to put the boards up. The rafters (is that what those horizontal beams are called?) each had a half inch lip to slip fence board onto. Installing the boards was the easiest part! Minus the dust and occasional splinter that fell in my eye. I do own safety goggles and I know where they are...but I'm lazy when it comes to safety. More of a safety-if-convenient rather than a safety-first person.

And then there was this weirdo spot like this around the toilet pipes....they were lower than the rafters so it took a little creativity to hide the mess above...not much I can do about the pipes without actually building something...and that is more work that I want to do now. Maybe another day...

 A much more inviting space when one doesn't have to look up to air ducts and water pipes. The drywall is unfinished and the carpet is a hodpodge of remnant pieces so its still a very unfinished space, but something about a ceiling helps bring a room together. 

Some homemade metal stars hung on a lamp shade skeleton. Why? Because. And the hook was already there. (Do you see the water stained boards at the top? Thank you summer sprinklers for creating this effect!)

View from the "den" portion of the basement, so much nicer now that the toilet pipes are masked! The old window frame my sister found next to a trash can. Truly a piece of trashure! If I can find a couple more without the glass inserts I might add a row of windows next to the accent wall, stacking the windows on top of each other to help create a "wall." 

I had fun mixing up the wood colors and adding "character" pieces, ya know, with the holes and knots. I gotta say, I like this more than drywall and mudding. It's so fun to look at! It's been suggested by a few people to paint it white, which would also look fantastic, but requires work. Hand scrubbing each and every board on both sides before measuring and cutting is enough effort for now. Unless someone wants to come cover up all my furniture and walls and then paint the ceiling for free!

Pinterest was my best friend during this project. Here are a few blogs/tutorials that guided me through this process. They are all worth a read, especially since board prep varies depending your climate and bug life.

before     and     after

What do you think? 


  1. WHAAAAT????!!!! This is probably the most amazing thing I've seen in a long time!! We are JUST starting to prep our home for retirement/selling/moving and the basement is our current project. Showing this to my hubby! I wonder if pallet boards would work? I've been lucky enough to get fence boards from time to time for free but not enough to do a project like this.

    1. I think pallet boards would work, too. I'm sure a I have a few up there, this project exhausted my scrap wood supply. Our realtor thought our ceiling looked cool but said it wouldn't add any value to our home...but our basement is still unfinished, raw drywall, remnant carpet. Good luck prepping your home!

  2. That is crazy creative!! I can't believe the difference it made. Wow. I am so impressed with your skills and your patience, too. Lazy about safety maybe, but you my friend are far from lazy!! Enjoy your new view!

    1. Right? It turned out better than I imagined it would. :) Its one of my favorite DIY home projects. Yes, I need to make safety more of a priority until its too late and I regret it, digging out the goggles is worth the time!

  3. What an impressive project.
    You are so talented!

    I enjoyed visiting-
    White Spray Paint

  4. Now, from what we’ve read, we just need to mix in some peat moss and vermiculite and we will be ready to start gardening.
    rail fence


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