Step 2 : Make a layout plan
Unless you have an unusually large closet (more that 8-feet-wide) you can cover the back of the closet with full length planks. Measure the width of the closet in several places since few walls are truly square. Also measure the length and width of the ceiling in several places and the side walls.
To minimize waste, decide if the cutoff ends of the planks used to cover the back (longest) wall will be long enough to reach across the width of the ceiling. For example, if the ceiling is 5 feet by 3 feet,. then the cutoff ends of the back wall will be 3 feet. long. You can install these pieces on the ceiling perpendicular to the long wall. These could also be used on the short walls and full-length boards cut to fit the ceiling. If you have cutoff pieces shorter than the length of a wall then these pieces can be butted together. When you are doing these calculations remember to leave a 1/4-inch expansion gaps at the edges of the walls. A little planning before you start cutting can minimize waste.
Step 3 : Install the first plank
Cut off the tip of a tube of construction or panel adhesive at a 45-degree angle to form a 1/8-inch opening. Puncture the tube seal by inserting a piece stiff wire, like a coat hanger, through the tip opening and down into the tube. Once you feel the wire puncture the seal, place the tube in the caulk gun.
Cut the planking for the longest wall first. Start at the bottom of the wall and install this plank with the groove edge down. Dry fit the first plank and check that there is a 1/4-inch expansion gap at each end between the end of the plank and wall. Apply a long, skinny S-shaped bead of adhesive on the back of the plank and put it in place. Use a level to make sure that the plank is straight.
Step 4 : Install the rest of the planking
Apply panel adhesive to the back of the second plank and place it on the first plank with grooved edge down. Place a small block of wood against the top edge of the plank and tap the block with a hammer to fully seat the plank over the first plank's tongue. Again check that the planks are level.
Step 5 : Trim the last plank
The last plank will probably have to be trimmed to fit the space between the plank and wall. Measure this distance and then mark the ends of the plank. Make sure that you have marked the plank so that the tongue edge will be cut away. Stretch a chalk line between the narks on the end of the plank and snap the line to place the cut line on the plank.
Cut along this line. Cutting down the length of a board is called ripping. This can be a pretty long cut to make with a handsaw, but with a little perseverance it can be done. You can also mark all the planks that need to be ripped and take them to your local lumberyard for cutting.
Step 6 : Cover the remaining walls and ceiling
The other walls and ceiling are covered in the same manner. Start the planking at the bottom and work up. When working on the ceiling, start the planking at one side with the groove edge of the plank against the wall.
Step 7 : Reinstall the closet hardware and trim
Allow the panel adhesive to set up overnight before you reinstall any of the shelving or closet rods. The trim can be reinstalled with panel adhesive instead of nails if you want.
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