How To Plank A Wall

Updated 8.7.20
How to Plank A Wall

This project, was a spur of the moment, drop everything else, must do right now kind of project.  I don’t know what got into me, but when Hubby said he loved the idea, that was the green light I needed! 

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When I painted my cabinets and built the uppers to the ceiling, I painted this section of wall orange.  Thinking I was going to put shelves there... well the orange just didn't sit well with me and I'm so glad to be changing it!!  

Orange wall to be planked

Sometimes, it takes awhile for inspiration to hit.  I don't know about you, but if there isn't the 'vision' for a space, it will just sit.  So, when this one came to me and hubby was on board, I couldn't wait to get started!!    

This project is so cheap and easy!!  It does require using a miter saw, but if you're comfortable with that you can knock this out so quick!

Hubby and I stopped in at Lowes to pick up some plywood. It was originally about $16 dollars for a 4X8 sheet of it. We picked out 2 sheets that had nice grain and a few knots for character. 

We had Lowes cut it into 4 inch planks. Well, the saw was kinda butchering up the ends of the pieces and the cut had a slight angle to it. 😑  Not the best...  So, the guy gave us 50% off both sheets. Woot! Woot! 

(For future reference... Lowes will not cut wood that small anymore, but Home Depot will.  I usually go there, and ask them to cut the wood slowly.  It will come out better if they don't push it through so fast. 👍)

They were still useable, so including the $5 stain, we came out of there under $22! Nice deal!

I used 2 different wood stains Minwax Driftwoodand Minwax Classic Gray. I wanted the planks to be more on the grayish side with a few with a touch of brown and some with a whitish tint. 

I had fun mixing the stains. On some planks, I’d white wash after the stain and wipe it off, or I’d dry brush some white paint.  

Sometimes, I’d let the stain sit in the can and not mix it, then stain the wood.  I got so many different looks with only 3 products. You can really play around with the techniques.

First, I needed to put a plank on each side next to the cabinets.  

Plank along side the cabinet

That way I wouldn’t have to cut little pieces all the way up for that thin part of the wall. You really wont see it, unless you are standing right in front of the the coffee pot.

Back when I extended the upper cabinets to the ceiling, I made one mistake cutting the crown molding. There was a gap where the crown molding didn’t go all the way to the wall. I hid it there because I knew no one would see it. Well, that worked out perfectly because, I was able to slide that plank right behind the crown. It was a nice snug fit. Saawweeettt! I love it when things like that come together!

I had to cut the crown molding on the other side, which wasn’t too hard or too messy. I used a scrap piece of plank as a guide for width and used our Multi-Toolto cut that piece out.

Cutting crown molding for planks

That little chunk popped right out, then I slid the plank right into place. 👍

I didn't want full size planks the width of the wall.  So, I just cut and fitted them mixing the different colored planks. Then, I nailed them up with my Nail Gun.  (The best purchase I EVER made! Seriously, if you don’t have one, you should ask for one for Christmas! I LOVE mine!) 

Just make sure you mark where your studs are, you’ll want each plank to be nailed into at least one stud.

Nailing planks onto the wall

Cutting around the outlets was not that much fun.  I used the multi-tool again to make my cuts. 

Learn from my mistake.  Hubby tried to tell me on the phone, but I was being stubborn and told him, “I got this!” Ummm… I didn’t have anything!  I cut the outlets wrong and had to go back and put in spacers. I should have listened… 😩  Here's a diagram of how I SHOULD have cut it.

cutting holes for outlets

The best way is to cut the hole for the outlet space, just inside the wings.  The 'wings' support the outlet to make it flush with the wall.  (I know 'wings' aren't the correct name... you know what I mean, right?)  Then you will be able to screw it back in place using the plank as your spacer.  It will be flush with the wall and your cover will go on perfectly!

As I worked my way up the wall, there were gaps, which I was fine with.  What I wasn't fine with, was that I was seeing orange through the gaps... darn... I didn't think of that. 😒

Painting black between the planks

I had some black paint on hand, so I began to paint between the planks before I nailed them up.

Is it perfect? Not at all, but I didn’t want perfect.  I wanted it to have flaws. Wood has flaws...and I am not a professional builder.  I'm just an average stay-at-home wife with enough gumption to give something a try. 💪😬

As I was moving up the wall, I began to custom paint what plank I wanted and where.

Working up the wall

Of course, the ceiling and walls are never square... So, I had hubby cut the last bit to fit perfectly!

Last piece to cut for the top of the plank wall

Oh! It looks so good!  What a difference!!!

Plank wall finished

Then I built a floating shelf.  Here's the tutorial for the shelf, it was super easy!
Plank Wall with a Floating shelf
Now it looks like this!  This is still one of my favorite projects!

Plank Wall 2020

This was definitely the cheapest way we found to plank a wall!

Cheap Plank Wall

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