Options for Cedar Closet Lining

Lining a closet with cedar planks and panels has long thought to be a means of deterring months, roaches, silverfish and other damaging insects that can damage clothing. The jury is out on whether that reputation is deserved (some people believe that cedar merely masks the smell of the wool that moths like to feed on, acting as a deterrent, not a repellant). But there is little dispute over the fact that cedar can lend a very pleasant odor to a closet.


Turning your closet into a cedar closet is a simple do-it-yourself project that can easily be completed in a day or two. Three types of products are available for the purpose.

Waferboard Panels

This is the least expensive option and also the least attractive. The panels are 1/4-inch thick and are available in 4 x 8-foot and 16 x 48-inch sheets. Installation is very simple: the panels can be either nailed to the wall or attached with adhesive. A large panel costs about $25, which means that you could cover a typical 8-foot-wide closet for just $75 in panel costs. Because these panels aren't all that attractive, this is an appropriate solution only where you're not terribly concerned about appearance.

Solid-Wood Planks

Solid-wood cedar planks come in kits designed for closet installation. They create a much more attractive closet than waferboard panels. The 1/4-inch thick planks have tongue-and-groove edges that make for a quick, strong installation.

Attach the planks to the wall with nails driven into the . Plan to spend about $2 to $2.50  per square foot for the planks. This makes solid wood the more most expensive option, but it also provides the nicest appearance, and, frankly, the nicest smell. 

    Plywood Panels 

    Plywood panels with a surface veneer of cedar install as easily as the waferboard panels but looks more like real wood.

    This product can be harder to find than the previous two products, so call around to local lumberyards and plywood distributors--or look for online purchase sources. The panels are installed with nails or adhesive, and the cost will midway between the other two options.

    A Note on Installation with Adhesives

    Several panel adhesives are available that allow you to glue up either waferboard or cedar plywood panels to the wall surfaces. However, remember that a glued-up wall surface becomes a relatively permanent installation that can be quite difficult to remove if you ever want to do so. Tearing out glued panels can tear out wallboard, leaving you with a complicated repair job. Gluing wall panels in place is a very easy method, but don't do it unless you are willing to live with its permanence.