Welcome to Kelli's Olympic Nest's tale of how we are creating a home we love through thrifty DIY projects, crafty ideas, and a willingness to get dirty. In between, there's the stories reminding us to also live the life you love. 

$100 Room Challenge Guest Bedroom Walls & Headboard Part 3

$100 Room Challenge Guest Bedroom Walls & Headboard Part 3

DIY is ugly until it isn't

It’s week 3 and the guest bedroom has drastically changed with new paint, wall trim and a DIY queen sized headboard. With only a hundred bucks (paid for by our change jar) I took the challenge to create a farm style guest bedroom. 

Before I tell you all about my two days elbow deep in paint and caulk, grab a cup of coffee or a toddy, a snack and get comfortable. This one may take awhile.

Just in case you missed the hubbub of what the $100 Room Challenge is, you have 4 weeks and a hundred dollars to change a room or space (for more details click here). I chose my daughter’s room; as of, two years ago she flew from our nest.  

Week 1 was all about showing you the before pictures, setting goals and coming up with a plan which you can check out here. I originally wanted to add board and batten but quickly realized it just wasn't in the budget. Week 2 was spent taking a cluttered graffiti walled closet and turning it into an extension of the bedroom. See how I was able to make my daughter’s grafitti, who ambersonrsewell on Instagram said, "She’s a Basquiat in the making! That closet is full of modern art!" 

100 room challenge before closet made into a dreamy space.jpg

Now to get down and dirty with all the details. I've divided this post into 3 sections: the wall trim, faux shiplap accent under window, and the DIY queen headboard.

How to add wood boarder to boring walls

Here’s what the room looked like before I added white paint to almost all the walls.

before bedroom wall trim.JPG

Yeah, I wish I could have moved the bed from the room, but it's heavy and bulky for one person to move. This DIY was a solo project so ya got work with what ya got, right?

Some people don’t like to paint. Hubby being one of them. He actually can’t stand it. Me? I actually enjoy this tedious process. It’s therapeutic. New paint offers a clean slate or new chapter. I also know how drastic this simple process has on a room. I was happy! 

I began by taping off the accent wall. This would mark where I would install my wood trim as well as make it easier to paint the lower half. Where you want your trim to be placed is purely up to you. I happened to go with the same area I had, once upon a time, painted circles and stripes (don't ask) and these lines were still apparent if you looked close.

tape wall where to mark wood boarder starting point.JPG

Once that was done I grabbed my friend, the paint brush, and got to work. I painted all of the areas a roller can’t reach. The brush I used was a 2 1/2 inch Glide paint brush for around the windows, outlets, and edges This type of brus tends to hold more paint and is easier to cut in for straight lines. I highly recommend spending a little extra cash on a good paint brush. The paint goes on smoother and you don’t get those nasty shedding bristles.

With the painting done I then took one of the 1x4x8 furring strips and with a level, held it along the bottom edge of the tape. Using a pencil, I marked a line below the board and then removed the tape.

If your walls are the same color as your boards AND you are adding simple trim like I did, then it’s no biggie to paint the boards after they have been attached. BUT if you have a different wall color from your trim board, you’re going to want to prime and paint before installing. That’s what I did along the two-toned wall.

Now you're ready to begin installing the 4” boards.

This is where it got tricky. One set of hands trying to hold the board, a level, hammer, and 2” finishing nails was not fun. Something else not fun...finding the studs. Not those kind of studs (wink, wink). One purchase item I wish I had paid for was a stud finder. I tried the ol’ knock and listen trick. Supposedly you can hear the difference. All I got was sore knuckles. My other strategy was to put the first nail along the same line as an electrical outlet. I know these are attached to a stud. You just have to figure out what side.

HUGE lesson...those wiley studs. I thought I heard them about every 16” but I think it was more like every 12”. Hard to tell with my manufactured home AND that's what you get when you are too cheap to buy a stud finder for less than $10. Get ya a stud finder!

Once the first board was up, I pretty much measured from there and cut each piece with a miter saw. You can also use a circular saw if you don’t have the first one.

Back and forth this went and was going pretty smoothly until the area behind the door. I knew the bookshelf was going to go back there. And I knew I didn’t want it extending past the wall it was against. Already the floor trim made it so it didn’t fit snug. I debated on whether or not to even put any furring strips here.

ADD a Picture of trim to bookcase

I decided to measure the depth of the bookcase and then cut a board to fit to the front of the case. But, I forgot I did this; so when I went to attach the board, I thought I had made a mistake and cut another piece to fit the entire length. What!? It was only afterwards I realized my mistake and took the darn thing down to replace it with my original cut. Grrr.

The other big snafu was the teeny-tiny area between the door and its adjoining wall. Measured, cut, and, realized my measurement was wrong so back out I went to trim it down. I thought I was being super smart by using hard-as-nails (a glue) rather than a couple of nails to attach to the space. It wasn’t until I placed the top trim board that I realized my error. Totally made a another mistake.

what not to do when cutting for small areas.JPG

Now I don’t know what to do to fix it so I decided to ignore it hope no one looks behind the door to this teeny-tiny area. Ugh.

With the 4” trim boards up, it was now ready for the top piece. I basically measured and cut the same way I did with the 4” furring strips. To attach was a little trickier. I used 2” finishing nails. This is where I discovered my error with the good ol’ knock and listen.

I was moving right along until I ran into a) the top board wasn't straight (be sure to carefully inspect each piece before you purchase). I kept pounding nail hoping it would straiten the boare. It didn't of course. B) when the anchor board is not attached to a stud and I'm pounding away, I soon realized what was once level, is now wonky. Lesson here...GET A STUD FINDER!

Some of the nails did not want to go in straight...especially the warped boards so I decided to attach with a screw. Sigh. It's late and I want to have the boards up in day one so I cut a corner. I didn't use a drill to first create the hole, hence I split the wood. Don't do that.

what not to do when adding wood trim work to walls.JPG

Stay with me. I realize this looks like a big fat failure but really it turned out amazing! Trust me. The reveal will blow your mind.

Cheap wood trim using furring strips.JPG

As you can see I did not cut outside or inside corners for a couple of reasons. 1) Time. I only had 2 days to give the walls a makeover and finish my DIY headboard. 2) I am clearly not a wood worker. What I am is a work in progress.

Be sure to use wood filler for the nail/screw entry points. I also used the wood filler for the cracks and other imperfections. I followed this with latex caulk along all of the seams...except for the underside because I ran out. You do want a wet cloth or sponge because as you smooth out the lines, your fingers will get goopy. Remember--elbows in paint and caulk?

Prime and paint and your wood trim boarder is done!

Next stage the faux shiplap wall accent.

How to create a faux shiplap wall accent

This didn't take too long since I had already used this technique before. I had leftover Traffic Master laminate flooring so that's what I used to add a faux shiplap accent on the wall beneath the bedroom window.

add diy faux shiplap window accent.JPG

I measured the space and factored in the trim around the "shiplap". You can see the full steps by clicking here.

Final step was to finish up the queen headboard I had started the week before.

How to make your own queen headboard with a door and Allure flooring

You still with me? Grab another cup of coffee...or whatever. We are on the last leg of this two day marathon. The DIY headboard...

Allure flooring repurposed to headboard.JPG

I made this from a hollow door, Allure flooring, and the remaining furring strips...

Then when it was all done, thought That's a lot of white? Where's the headboard? 

Make your own headboard with repurposed items.jpg

So after this post was published, went back and got to work which you can check out the full how-to post here.

And that wraps up 2 days, aprx. 22 hours, $100 Room Challenge: Week 3!

add character to boring sheet rock walls.jpg


  • 1x2x8 Furring strips: 7 x 1.32=9.24

  • 1x4x8 Furring boards: 7 x 3.92= 27.41

  • Latex all purpose caulk: 2 x 2.28 = z4.56

  • Wood filler: $5.00

Materials on hand: 

  • 2” finishing nails

  • 1 gallon white paint

  • Kilz primer

  • Brushes and roller

  • Hard as Nails adhesive

  • Traffic Master laminate flooring

  • Allure Flooring

  • 220 Sandpaper (used to smooth out the wood filler)

  • 2 x 4 scrap wood

  • level

Subtotal for this project: $43.21

Next Wednesday is all about the reveal so be sure to watch out for that.

 Now that you're comfy, check out these other great $100 Room Challengers'!

How to make a thrifty farm style headboard

How to make a thrifty farm style headboard

$100 Room Challenge: how to create a dreamy bedroom closet

$100 Room Challenge: how to create a dreamy bedroom closet