Painting a Wood Wall White

Last I shared our master bedroom, it looked like this:


We had made some progress, especially compared to our starting point, but the to do list still had plenty of unchecked boxes including a new bed, seating arrangement, and possibly painting the wood wall white.


That last item, painting, was something I’d been considering for a while, to better flow with the white tongue and groove planks in the adjacent bath, entry, and kitchen.  Having painted new wood before, I suspected this reclaimed wood would toss me a curveball thanks to all the tar paper residue.

Reclaimed Cedar Planked Wall

Fortunately, after painting our deck ceiling, I had the perfect product in my possession: Sherwin Williams Exterior Oil-Based Wood Primer.

The reason I had to wait so long to tackle this step was the uncooperative weather.  Stupid summer with temps constantly in the 90’s.  Oil-based primers and paint are always stinky, so I waited for a few days of cool weather that would allow open windows and proper ventilation of the room.  My first coat of primer covered the wood beautifully, but the tar areas bled through lightly.


Per the instructions, I waited 24 hours before reapplying a follow-up coat for thorough, opaque coverage.  This primer is thick, and filled in some of the spaces between the boards, making it look sloppy.


Knowing I’d still have to paint, I held off cleaning out the grooves.  After two coats of white paint, I used a utility knife to scrape the paint out, leaving clean gaps and a full textured ship lap looking wall.


Though I liked the warmth of the wood wall, it didn’t flow with the rest of the room or house.  Painting the accent wall white gives me a blank slate to work against.  Moving forward, I still have projects to tackle, like a new bed, complete with a lovely green velvet upholstered headboard hence the taped up text fabric.


While I was making changes, I switched out the lamps and art.  The triangular lamps I made took up a lot of space on our floating nightstand, so while in Minnesota I picked up two Ranarp sconces from Ikea.

Smaller light fixtures left more space above the nightstand than before, so I painted feathers on watercolor paper to create science poster art.


Each piece cost less than five dollars and didn’t require frames thanks to the style.  I cut quarter-inch thick by 1 1/2 inch wide hemlock strips one inch longer than the paper, applied a coat of special walnut stain, and stapled through the paper into the back of the wood.  A string of twine is a simple hook, also stapled into the wood.


Thanks to the lightweight design, a thumb tack with a small wood slice glued to the front keeps the art in place.


Then, as usual, one thing leads to another and I didn’t like the mismatched look of the dark art wood and the light nightstand.  Not to worry, a coat of matching stain on each was a quick fix and really finished off the look.


Ahh yes, much better.




Up next, sewing a matching set of curtains for the window above our bed.  After many attempts to get my hands on another six yards of white linen, I finally broke down and had the fabric store order some for me.


With the deck project in full swing, I’m not sure when the bed will be a priority, but it’ll make all the difference in finishing off the room.  Now to decide how I want to handle the other side of the room.

14 thoughts on “Painting a Wood Wall White

  1. The painted wall is a vast improvement. It doesn’t clash with the floor anymore. I like the art and the lamps, too.

  2. I did like the natural wood wall but I love the painted wall. Gives it a very modern and light airy feeling. Job well done. I envy your bedroom … our master currently only consists of a bed and curtains 😉

    1. Hi Jasmin!

      That’s exactly what I wanted, a lighter, brighter clean slate. Don’t envy too much, we still have to buy/build a bed and plenty of other smaller things. You’ll get your space figured out, rooms just take time to pull together. 🙂


  3. What happened in the kitchen? We haven’t seen an update in a while. I also agree the competing woods were a little jarring (maybe less so in person?) but now the wall ads texture without overwhelming the room! Kudos.

    1. Hello Sweetpeabirthservices!

      Good question! The kitchen is 100% functional, but 90% finished-just a few small tasks to wrap up. Unfortunately, every year, any outdoor projects that need to be done are a priority and this summer we’re finishing up siding, windows, and rebuilding a deck. Hopefully soon we’ll turn our attention back to the kitchen and we can get it 100% done.

      I would say the tones weren’t so jarring in person, but the painted wall really changes the look and feel of the room.


  4. Agreed! White looks much better! Don’t care for the art not my thing not a fan of southwest stuff. But overall the room is looking great!

  5. I love the white! Makes the room look so much bigger and fresh!
    Have you guys finished your kitchen yet? Dying to see how it all turned out!

    1. Hello Liz!

      THe kitchen is completely functional, but not 100% finished, hence the lack of full reveal. There are a few small things on the two do list that wouldn’t take long to tackle, but aren’t a priority right now. We’re hoping to wrap up our deck build soon and then can get back inside to finish everything. 🙂


  6. Amazing job. The artwork goes well with the decor throughout your home. Very impressed with your artistic ability. Way to go!

  7. Looks so good! I love your taste and choice of colors! It all flows so well! Looks amazing:))

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