DIY Plank Wall

The hubby and I tackled a HUGE bathroom, HUGE! We decided the main focal point would be a beautiful multi-colored plank wall! We took all of those sites and all of our inspiration we'd found online and decided on the best plan for our space, and more importantly, our BUDGET! Let me start by saying, we aren't new to the whole pallet thing. Our laundry room is an awesome pallet wall work of art (thanks, Charlie). It was also his least favorite project.
Have you ever taken apart pallets? One pallet - not so bad. A zillion pallets in order to cover the bottom half of a good sized laundry room? Not fun. Especially not fun in the heat of the summer. It's safe to say that using the most budget friendly option, pallets, was out of the question!
We also couldn't afford to use actual wood planks for this project. And, we also knew we wanted our wood to look old, knotty, imperfect and rustic. So, we went with Jen's idea from Life, Crafts & Whatever and we used 4' x 8', 1/2" thick sheets of plywood.

Here's my plans....
You got that?

HAHA! Charlie laughed in my face when I showed him my plans! They may not make sense to anyone but me, but I highly recommend jotting down the crazy numbers and plans that you run through your head! Even if they only make sense to YOU!

So anyways....

Start by measuring your space. We knew that 3 sheets would be enough for us. That's 12 foot wide. Our wall is 14 foot wide, but we have the bathtub up against that wall and we didn't use planks behind the vanity which left enough for the extra width of our wall.

We cut our plywood sheets into 4" wide strips.
We sanded down the edges just a bit to take off the rough splinters. We didn't mind the red lines. We wanted the knotty, distressed, reclaimed look.

There's four different paint treatments going on here. We painted first, cut our different lengths second.

We went with a walnut stain, natural/burned, white-wash, and blue-washed (is that a thing?).

For the walnut, we applied it straight onto the planks using an old rag.

For the white-wash planks, we applied the walnut stain, same as above. Then, used a watered down white primer and dry brushed it on. Meaning barely put any paint on your brush (scrape most of it off on the side of the paint can) and lightly and quickly brush it on unevenly!

For the blue planks, we used the same method as the white wash, except first, we painted the board solid white. Then dry brushed on the blue paint.

The natural planks were the easiest! We just cut them to size and used a map gas torch to burn the wood and add a little dimension.

Here's a look at all of our different treatments.
Start in the top corner and work your way across. Use a level every once in awhile and make sure you aren't way off. No house is totally square and chances are your ceiling isn't really the best leveling device. You may have to cheat a board up or down a bit, just to make it level.

We used our nail gun to attach our planks. Mark your studs as you go so you can attempt to attach each piece into a stud.

Before you know it, you've got a plank wall! Woop Woop!!!!
This was a very budget friendly, fairly easy, way to completely transform the look of this room! We love it and are very happy with how it turned out!

Check out the whole bathroom transformation here:
Emily Eisert
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
Join the conversation
3 of 8 comments