Common in colonial times, lath walls are now almost completely obsolete. But we've noticed that this antiquated building material is experiencing a resurgence—not in construction, but as décor. Tara Mangini and Percy Bright of Jersey Ice Cream Co. have discovered all kinds of ingenious applications for these salvaged planks. During their recent home renovation, the couple employed recycled lath to turn a ho-hum wall in their guest room into a striking conversation piece. The rich texture and warm patina of the paneling gives the room a cozy, rustic feel. And your guests will rest assured know you’re helping the environment.
To recreate this look in your home, follow Tara and Percy’s simple instructions below.
1. Get your hands on some lath. Sadly, most people usually throw lathe away, so keep your eyes peeled for demolitions and renovations. A wanted ad on Craigslist might do the trick. Lathe comes in 4-foot lengths, so you'll need at least two pieces per square foot. No need to prep the wall; lathe covers a multitude of sins. But do snap a chalk line every 1 to 2 feet to keep things level as you go.
2. Using a brad nailgun or small finishing nails and a hammer, start hanging the lath one row at a time, cutting to length as needed and taking care to stagger the seams.
3. Continue until completion.