What do you do when you have a pile of old tongue and groove wood sitting with the rest of your building supplies? You turn it into beautiful decorative wooden wall panelling for your sitting room, of course! And that is exactly what Louis has done.
Reclaimed Tongue & Groove Planks
A few years ago, Small Scale Engineering repaired a gate and fence for a client. The design of the gate and fence incorporated tongue and groove wood set into a framework, at a 45 degree angle. Very nice, but after many years of enduring Cape Town’s weather, some sections of the planks were beginning to rot. The client decided to replace all the wood.
All the rotten bits went to the dump. Louis was able to salvage a small portion of the wood that was still okay. He brought the salvageable planks home. It has come in really useful for working on the interior of the first private living area in our shipping container home. So, we’re happy that Louis saved the old wood.
Louis had to make some preparations in order to use the wood for wall panelling
Preparing the Tongue & Groove for Use
The wood is old; most likely meranti. It isn’t anything particularly fancy, but it’s age means that the grain is nice and fine. Of what Louis could salvage, the quality is very good. But it was dirty, and covered with old paint.
The pieces were also all different lengths because they had been previously installed at an angle.
Louis spent a lot of time cutting out the damaged sections. He then cut them to the correct length to be used as decorative wooden wall panelling. He planned to have the panelling on the bottom half of the walls in the sitting room area, up to the height of the dado rail.
Once the planks were sorted and trimmed to size, they had to be cleaned up. The decision was made to sand the old paint in order to give the planks a really awesome vintage look. I think that this is an excellent idea! The sanding would also get rid of any loose areas of paint.
It was a lot of hard work, but finally Louis was able to fit the tongue and groove planks to the clad interior walls of our container home.
As always, he used a level to make sure that the panelling was fitted correctly.
Finishing Touches To the Decorative Wooden Wall Panelling
Louis will complete the finishing touches at a later stage. This will include a dado rail over the top of the panelling in order to hide the screws. The skirting around the bottom of the wall will hide the bottom screws. A lick of varnish will finish it all off nicely.
A Change to the Original Plan?
However, we are considering how best to finish off the panelling in order to match the cupboards that will be fitted in the same space. Louis is also busy with the installation of a small open plan kitchen/coffee-station in the same space. We will be painting the coffee-station cupboard doors a solid colour. So, we may just change our minds about the vintage look with varnish. We may paint the panelling the same colour as the cupboard doors.
We would love to know what our readers think. Please leave a comment below and let us know if you think we should 1) keep the vintage look, or 2) paint the decorative panelling to match the kitchen cupboards.