Project Playroom: rock wall.

rockwall18When we built our house we decided on putting in an extra room that the builder called a “bonus room”. I knew from the beginning of our home search that I wanted a play area for the kids. A place for them to have that is all theirs and also a community area for them to be together and bring their friends. I also knew from the beginning that I would do everything in my power to make it as amazing as I could. There have been so many plans and ideas talked about so far. Some impossible, some vetoed, and some, like this rock wall, in the making. I don’t know what the finished project will look like yet, but I am so excited to figure it out as we go.

One of the reasons (the main reason) the rock wall ended up being our first play room project is because we went a LITTLE crazy last prime day and we found a “great deal” on this set of rock climbing holds. Which actually ended up being perfect because Jax is now becoming obsessed with climbing up on anything and everything.

First, we scouted out the perfect spot in the room for our rock wall and measured it out. The portion of wall we choose was 70 inches across and 96 inches tall.

After some “simple math” in the hardware store we decided that 1in x 6in x 8ft pieces of wood were the cheapest and most efficient route to go. We got enough to line the wall horizontally with a couple extra to spare just in case.

After all of the pieces were cut to the length we needed for them to fit across the wall Justin looked for the studs in the portion of the wall we were going to use (there were two) and measured the distance each stud was from the wall.

On each of the panels of wood we measured out the same distances and made a mark for where to screw. This way once the wood was on the wall and we screwed into the marks they would line up with the studs in the wall.

Before placing each panel to the wall we started the screws into the marks so that they could easily be drilled into the studs. Then we covered the wood panels in liquid nail, stuck them to the wall and screwed them in. We tried to reinforce this wall as much as possible, I have a little bit of a hunch that the little ones won’t be the only ones trying to tackle it late one night…rockwall3 rockwall6Keep lining the boards down the wall.rockwall5Once we got to the bottom we decided that we wanted the wall to go all the way to the carpet so we needed to remove the trim. After measuring exactly where the cut would need to be made, Justin first took a box cutter to the trim and then used a sawzall to finish the cut. Once the cut was all the way through we used a wonder bar to remove the trim.rockwall8The last piece of wood going down the wall needed to be cut down so that it would fit perfectly in the remaining space. We measured the space and cut the wood to fit. Once it was cut we put that piece on the bottom first and then added the last full size piece of wood right above it. It was a snug fit and needed a little hammering to get it in there. rockwall10At this point I was jumping for joy! I was so relieved when we got all the wood on the wall because I thought most of the work was done and that we would be climbing on the wall in no time. But, nope. Thank goodness for Justin’s patience. He sanded everything down, Making sure to really round any corners and we got ready to fill all of the cracks and screw holes. rockwall12rockwall14Giving it one more light sanding to remove the excess wood putty.rockwall13 At this point the wood can be stained or considered finished. We added a coat of natural urethane for a little finish.

After that dries you are ready to add the rock climbing holds! rockwall20Our wall has 30 holds on it. One bag of twenty and one bag of ten. These rock climbing holds come with their own set of instructions which has you place them on the wood before adhering the wood to the wall. I think most of the time these are used on playgrounds and not put on walls…. We choose to add them after the fact and they are still completely sturdy.

In the bag there are the climbing holds, a washer, a screw, and the piece that goes on the back of the wood for the screw to go into. We didn’t use the last piece and instead screwed the screw and washer through the climbing hold and into the wood and drywall.

Make sure to have a drill bit slightly smaller than the screw so that you can pre-drill where the holes will go.rockwall27I marked the placement for each hold by drawing little circles inside of the holes while I held it against the wall. Then Justin drilled right into the holes with the smaller drill bit first, and then again mounting the hold to the wall with the screw and washer that came with the holds. rockwall28Keep adding them while rotating colors as you work up the wall. We made one side very easy and one side very hard. We also put a few holds very low to the ground.rockwall29rockwall15Caulk the entire perimeter where it is needed for a clean finish.rockwall19And for fun we added a brass bell at the top! Because honestly, this thing is harder than it looks… and you need gratification.rockwall16We were so happy to be done by the time we finished this wall. It was totally worth it though and looks great! We have our housewarming tomorrow and I can’t wait to see everyone on it! rockwall17

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