DIY a Wood Planked Accent Wall for Your Home

DIY Plank Wall
DIY Plank Wall Getty Images

Add warmth and texture to your room by adding wood planks to a wall using sheets of plywood and your choice of paint or stain finish to create a beautiful architectural detailing in just a few hours for around $100.

What You Will Need To Make A Wood Planked Wall

  • several 4 feet by 8 feet sheets of 1/4 inch thick birch plywood
  • your choice of paint colors of stains
  • a paintbrush or foam paintbrush to apply paint or stain
  • a hammer and nails (or nail gun)
  • a level
  • tile spacers or several pennies
  • a saw
  • a pencil
  • sandpaper (60 and 100 grit sandpaper)
  • a measuring tape
  • a drop cloth
  • wood filler
  • a table saw 

How To Make a Wood Planked Wall

  1. At the hardware store or home cut several sheets of 4 feet by 8 feet pieces of plywood into 8 inch wide planks that are the entire length of the plywood. It is possible to use another type of wood board in replacement of plywood, but birch plywood is suggested for this project to keep the cost as a low as possible.
  2. Sand down the plywood boards using either sheets of sandpaper or electric belt sander to give them a smooth finish using 60 grit, followed by 100 grit sandpaper.
  3. Using a level the first strip of plywood just above the floor baseboard and check the level to make sure the board is level. Nail the plywood piece into place either using a hammer or nail gun.
  4. If you are making one small plank wood accent wall, you can place the next board directly on top of the previous plywood piece, and wedge pennies as spacers between the boards to allow some space in case the boards expand. If the wall you are applying plywood boards to is longer than the length of the plywood you will need to stagger the boards so the second row of boards have the edge of the boards line up with the middles of the previous board just like the pattern you would see on a brick wall.
  5. Continue hanging the plywood boards using nails until the entire wall is covered. It may be necessary to cut boards to the correct length using a table saw as you continue hanging boards on the wall.
  6. After the entire wall is fully covered with wood planks, remove all the pennies from the wall. With the wood filler fill in all the nail holes in the boards, use a damp cloth to wipe away the excess wood filler. Allow the wood filler to dry and continue adding wood filler until the holes are filled. Once the wood filler has dried and the holes are all filled lightly sand the wood filler spots with 100 grit sandpaper to make sure the filler is flush with the board.
  7. Take a damp cloth and wipe down all the wall to wash away all the dust from sanding so that the dust will not get stuck into the paint or stain. Allow the wall time to dry.
  8. To finish the wall, lay down a drop cloth below the wall and apply your choice or stain or paint finish to the wall (make sure to apply paint to the sides of the boards as well). Begin by applying the paint or stain to the edges and spaces between the boards, then paint the middle of the boards using a 2 or 3" paint brush. It might be necessary to apply more than one coat of paint or stain per board to get your desired color. If you desire a more modern look consider picking a deep ebony wood stain, while a whitewash stain would give a timeless elegance to a room.
  9. Once the paint or stain dries, remove the drop cloth and return your furniture against the wall.

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