How to Install Planked Walls - a tutorial by Pretty Handy Girl

Today’s post is all about filling in the plank and how to plank walls! I love a good play on words…and I love the planked wall look which harkens back to a simple country farmhouse look. Previous to the water leak we had beadboard walls that I had installed shortly after moving into our house. But, I was tired of the beadboard and really wanted a look that was casual, cozy and all about the farmhouse look. I’d fallen in love with The Lettered Cottage’s guest room walls:

Those lucky ducks uncovered the planks under the drywall! I knew we wouldn’t be lucky enough to find anything but termite damage under our drywall. Then I saw the House of Smith’s installed their own gorgeous planked walls using ripped plywood planks and two nickels:

I decided I could do it for cheaper, so I used two pennies. LOL. Get it? Cheaper than two nickels. 😀

The process of installing plank walls is really very simple. And the planks are great for covering a multitude of sins on your wall. (Like previously glued beadboard walls.)

clear_walls_of_baseboards_covers

Materials:

  • 3/16″ plywood subfloor sheet ripped (cut with the grain) into 5 7/8″ planks
  • Edge molding (90 degree angle) for exterior corners
  • Sanding block
  • Finish nailer and compressor with 1 1/4″ nails (or finish nails and a hammer)
  • Construction glue
  • Level
  • 2 Pennies
  • Pencil
  • Jigsaw
  • Wood putty
  • Putty knife
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Paint roller
  • Paint brush
  • 5-in-1 Paint tool
  • Howe casing molding
  • Caulk (paintable latex)
  • Caulk gun

Prepping your plywood.

Look for the thin 3/16″ plywood subflooring. Our local Lowe’s sells it for $13.28 a sheet. You can get 8 planks out of each sheet. When you purchase the plywood, ask an employee in the lumber department if they can rip the sheets for you. Because the sheets are thin, they can usually layer 2-3 sheets on the saw at a time. If they rip the planks at 5 7/8″ there will be one row left that is 6″. Keep that row for the bottom on all your walls or your horizontal lines will be off.

After you get home with your planks, put on a movie or DIY Network and hand sand all the edges of the planks to remove any splinters.

ripping_plywood_strips

Installing the plank wall:

Measure and cut your first plank and set it at the bottom of your wall.

measure_cut_plank

Cut your second plank for any adjoining walls. Make sure to level both planks and line them up with each other.

level_first_planks

Add construction adhesive to the back of your planks and secure them to the wall with finish nails. Add nails as needed to keep the planks from waving.

glue_and_nail_first_plank

Cut your planks for the next row. Add adhesive to the back of the plank. Insert two pennies between the first and second plank for a spacer and nail your 2nd row to the wall.

penny_spacers_plank_boards

At some p0int you’ll need to cut holes in the planks to work around outlets and light switches. You can measure the location of the switches and then cut out the hole with a jigsaw, or use this technique for marking where the outlet is with lipstick.

Note: If you are working with walls that exceed 8 feet in width, you should cut your boards to random lengths and stagger your seams.

Continue working your way up the wall. You could go all the way to the ceiling. I chose to stop about 5′ up and capped off the planks with Howe casing.

add_howe_casing_on_top_planks

This provides a nice visual break in our 8′ tall room.

For outside corners, add corner molding below the Howe casing by nailing it in place and then caulking the seams.

planked_corner_unpainted

Fill all the nail holes with wood putty and sand when dry. Fill the inside corners, seams and cracks between the door casing and the planks with caulk.

wood_putty_and_caulk_seams

Prime the planks and molding.

prime_walls_with_kilz

After the primer has dried, gently sand any rough spots. To paint the planks, roll the paint on first. Use your paint brush to smooth the paint and maintain the wood grain. Use a 5-in-1 paint tool to scrape any paint out of the grooves.

roll_brush_scrape_painting_planks

Use at least two coats, allowing the paint to dry between coats.

(Side note: I used the Benjamin Moore Advance paint on the planks and molding. The paint is a waterborne alkyd, in other words, an oil paint with dryers added. This means you get the durability and smoothness of an oil paint with the drying and clean up of a latex paint. The finish is amazing! I used satin and the paint has great leveling, low VOCs and a strong finish.)

painted_plank_corner

The planked molding treatment looks great in our kitchen.

planked_corner

Unfortunately, I had to run the molding around the circuit breaker box in the kitchen. But, my son’s artwork disguises the ugly box.

The planks look great as they hug the kitchen command center (tutorial to come.)

command_center_corner

It’s a cozy spot for me to get organized.

close_up_desk_planks

I’m really liking our clean white cottage farmhouse walls. They were super easy!

plank_wall_behind_table

I know you could do this too because Pretty Handsome Guy easily installed a few walls ;-). Have a great weekend!

PHGFancySign

Just getting caught up on our kitchen renovation? You can read ALL about how we went from a small water leak to bare studs to a working kitchen!

39 replies
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  1. Amanda
    Amanda says:

    I love how beautifully your kitchen looks! Thanks for taking time to put it online for a tutorial. I want to do the plank walls in our entry and half wall in the kitchen. We live in the country and so lots of dust and dirt comes in. My sister warned me that planked walls would be a dusting nightmare. What do you think?

    Reply
  2. Chelsea @ CBC
    Chelsea @ CBC says:

    Wow, I have never thought to use planks as a wall decoration. It adds so much texture and design to the room! I also liked how you covered up the eye sore from the ugly box. Awesome work!

    Reply
  3. BeemerSteve
    BeemerSteve says:

    Did you consider routing an equivalent groove at the same spacing? Considering planking a garage, it could be a lot less cutting and handling.

    Reply
  4. Kassy @ Purposeful Productions
    Kassy @ Purposeful Productions says:

    Hi!

    I love the clean look of your white wood wall… and that you added character and kept it simple by only going half way up the wall. We recently installed a wood wall in our baby girl’s nursery but stained it instead. It turned out great.

    Kassy

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] At this point in the window seat build, we ran our plank walls up the sides of the windows, and capped them off with Howe casing. You can read about installing plank walls in this tutorial. […]

  2. […] Source // Pretty Handy Girl […]

  3. […] You may wish to clad the walls in wood planks like I did before you build the shelving. If you decide to add the planks, here’s the tutorial for planking your walls. […]

  4. […] skimming Pinterest when I saw a planked wall and BOOM! a plan was created. I read a few tutorials (here and here) and realized it seemed really simple and we would only need a few supplies from the […]

  5. […] It looks great with the plank and Howe casing that I installed in the kitchen. […]

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