I wasn’t looking forward to the process of multiple staining and sanding of the wood slats, but was surprised when the Minwax instructions said to NOT sand between applications. I was a bit skeptical, but followed the directions and was happy with the results. I applied about 2-3 coats of stain with rags (old socks!) waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next. I liked the slight sheen that came from only using the stain, and opted to not apply any Polyurethane clear coat. Here is the mockup:
I did not pre-cut any of the slats due to the slight variations in the wall length which ranged from 1/4″ to 1/2″. I first held a slat on the wall, and marked the overhang (part to cut off) and trimmed off using a miter saw. I used a brad nailer to attach the 1″ x 2″ to the top of the 1″ x 3:
This also helped to straighten out some of the boards that were slightly warped. Using a finish nailer, I attached the first board to sit on top of the window frame. I did this for a couple of reasons. 1) I did not want to notch the board around the window frame, and 2) the measurements worked out so that I would end up with a 1/4″ gap between the top board and the ceiling. The substrates are never perfectly straight and the gap will help conceal any differentiations.
The opening in the middle was to leave space for artwork and also so I wouldn’t need to re-surface or cut around the light switch.
And the finished product:
The artwork is made up of Chinese zodiac characters. The first two represent my wife and me and the grouping of three is for our kids.