Week 6… the week of the change order! I’ve been thinking for some time that I really don’t love the idea of the board and batten in this space any longer. I felt like the styles clashed of a modern board and batten and the more midcentury/palm springs/old school Miami vibes that I was going for. I still don’t quite know what to call this style lol. I still liked the idea of having an accent wall behind the crib, but couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do. I debated a fluted velvet “headboard” type accent, which I think would have been really cool, but my heart kept going back to a fluted wall.
The fluted style has been trending this year. From coffee tables, to dressers, to accent walls, I kept seeing the fluted look and wanted that style for baby girl’s room. After looking up the cost of wood dowels, I quickly realized that was out of the budget as the 12 x 8 foot wall would cost us roughly $500 in supplies. I debated a half wall to lower the cost but it wasn’t quite what my mind had envisioned.
I decided to get creative to find an alternative to wood. I debated plaster at first but then thought of it… PVC pipes! I could use PVC pipes just like I would use wood dowels and hopefully achieve the same look! A 10-foot PVC pipe (at this point in time) costs $2.68 at Home Depot for the 1-inch diameter. So the whole wall would be around $150.
I wasn’t fully thinking (pregnancy brain) that the inside of the PVC is 1-inch so the outside is a bit thicker. I knew I needed 144 inches of PVC and planned to cut them in half, so 72 seemed like the correct answer. In hindsight and pregnancy brain aside, I could have gotten away with around 55-60 pipes (adding a few for errors.)
In addition to the PVC, we also bought 3 pieces of paneling (around $15 each) and 12 tubes of liquid nails.
Cutting PVC in Half Length-Wise:
Our first challenge was to figure out a way to cut the PVC in half length-wise. Although full pipes could work, it would double the cost, and with a baby on the way, and all of the other expenses of creating the nursery, we decided to save the money and cut the pipes in half. Cody built a jig out of some scrap pieces of wood and clamped it to the table saw (photo below) to act as bumpers so the PVC would stay straight and cut exactly in half length-wise. I thought the jig creation process would take a long time, but he had it built and working within 15 minutes. He pushed the pipe through at the front of the table saw and once it was safe to grab, I would pull through the back. It was super easy, but also a time-consuming process to cut all 60 pieces. We had to go fairly slowly to avoid any chipping. I have a highlight saved to my Instagram with videos of this process if you’re interested.
Cutting the PVC to our 8-ft Ceiling Height:
Because we purchased 10-ft PVC pipes, we had to cut them all down to 8 feet to fit our ceiling. We knew getting a precise 8-foot cut would be very important so they all line up and don’t stagger across the ceiling. We decided to use our garage lip/curb (whatever you call this) to line them all up straight. In addition, we screwed together some 2×4’s into a right angle to kind of hold them in place for this cut. I stood on one side to hold them steady, while Cody cut the bottoms with his circular saw. He used a scrap piece of 2×6 to put pressure on the ends of the boards where he was cutting to ensure they didn’t move.
Applying Paneling to the Wall:
We are lucky in that our wall is 12×8 so 3 sheets of the 4×8 paneling did the trick without any cuts needed. We marked the studs (16 inches apart) and screwed the paneling to the wall, ensuring no bowing occurred. This was the easiest part of our project.
Gluing the PVC to the Wall:
With all of the pipes cut, and the paneling up, it was time to start gluing. We zig-zagged 1 tube of liquid nails in about a 1.5 foot wide section onto the wall, then brushed it out with a cheap “chip” brush. We brushed it smooth to the wall to avoid any clumps of glue poking in between the pipes. Once the glue was smoothed, Cody stuck the pipes to the wall while I sat on the floor and aligned the bottoms/ held them in place. We only applied them in these small 1.5 ft sections, which was roughly 10-11 pipes at a time, to allow space for a brace. With me holding the bottoms in place, we applied a brace across the pipes, screwing to the left and right of the newly glued pipes to hold them in place. Typically we’d use a 2×4 scrap piece of wood, but we decided to cut up a piece of PVC that we had chipped into 2 ft chunks to use as a brace. It worked well and was cheap compared to today’s lumber prices. Working from the bottom to the top, we added 4-5 braces. We went back and screwed into the PVC we had just hung if needed (if there was a crooked one or one wouldn’t stay flush to the wall.)
Before starting the next section, we’d add little scraps as spacers so we knew how much space to leave for a PVC pipe to fit in. We repeated this throughout the course of the week, hanging about 2-3 sections per night after work. We always let the liquid nails dry overnight before removing the braces the next day and never had a problem with their bonding. We also went back and filled the gaps where the braces were by applying liquid nails to either edge of the gap like caulking. Again, there are time-lapse videos of this process on my Instagram highlights if you’re interested in seeing a visual of this process.
We finished adding all of the PVC into the gaps today (Sunday) so the wall is full and we can truly see a visual of what it looks like. Up next, we plan to caulk the holes where we added screws, sand the pipes for paint, and then… paint! I cannot wait to see what this wall will look like once painted!
If you want to check out the other participant’s week 6 updates, head to www.oneroomchallenge.com/orc-blog
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