How to Build a Wood Plank Wall

Woot woot!! Today is the day, friend! We are building our wall!! The painting and prepping didn’t take near as long as I thought it would. I’m hoping building the wall will be just as easy!

How to Build a Wood Plank Wall from Vintage News Junkie

After my pallet wall palooza, I was overwhelmed with ideas for our wall… colors… designs… layouts. And after all of that, we decided to go with a look we thought would be timeless. We went with horizontal slats laid out in a brick-style pattern. Simple and sleek. Since our color palette was a little busy, we didn’t want a crazy design competing with it.

I knew from research, that it was important to make sure your first row of slats were STRAIGHT! Even if your ceiling is not straight, and often times it’s not, use a level and make sure to lay out your first row straight and fill in any bits at the top and bottom later if need be. Lucky for us, our ceiling was level.

How to Attach First Board for Wood Plank Wall

After our first ceremonial slat went up.. it was smooth sailing for a bit. I tell you what, I cannot imagine doing this without my Ryobi nailer. Whew… I might have a little bicep bump this morning if I had to sling a hammer that many times! But I’ll sacrifice the bump for a power tool and a hearty Tim-the-Tool-Man grunt… huhgh huhgh huhgh!

Ceremonial First Plank Goes on the Wall

We trucked right along and got about a quarter of the wall done and then we ran into our first hurdle… the light fixture! I knew that we would need to custom cut a few slats to work around the light fixture and some of the plumbing. We pulled the light fixture away from the wall and marked our slat where we would need to drill a hole. This would allow us to simply slide the slat right over the fixture and reattach.

Drill Hold to Work Around Light Fixtures

Isn’t she pretty? That’s my new drill… can I get another huhgh huhgh huhgh!?! Oooooor maybe that was too soon. It looks like our hole was a little off, so we had to extend it a bit. No worries, the light fixture plate will cover up that little oopsie!

Attaching Light Fixture to Wood Plank Wall

Attach Light Fixture to Wood Pallet Wall

Then it was on with more nailin’…. whistle while we work… wooooo-oooooo-oooo-ooo (oh. nevermind.) I really need sound effects on this blog!

Ryobi Nailer Used to Attach Wood Plank Wall

When it came to cutting the slats to fit around the sink and plumbing fixtures, it was a bit of a guessing game. There was no real science to it. We used pieces of paper and scrap wood and just played with it until we got it right close enough! After all, this wall is of the rugged sort!

Cutting Wood Planks Around Sink

How to Work Around Bathroom Fixtures

Cutting Wood Planks to Fit Around Plumbing

    As we worked our way down the wall, we learned that it would be waaaay easier to remove the toilet bowl than to try to fight and sneak behind it.

Remove Toilet Tank to Access Wall

Once the tank was out of the way, it was no time and we were measuring for our final row of slats. This is almost inevitable no matter how perfectly straight your slats are. You won’t have room to put and entire row in its original width. So you will have to cut them down to fit.

Measure Width Needed for Final Wood Slats

The final slat was just as celebratory as the first!!

Wood Plank Wall by Vintage News Junkie

Here’s a quick before and after… but we’re not finished yet! I have a great idea for the mirror above the sink and some other wall décor.

Wood Plank Wall Before and After         I just can’t get over how great it looks! This is when I wish I was a better photographer! But I think you have to feel the wood, and see it in person to truly appreciate its beauty!!

The BIG bathroom reveal is coming soon!!

Until then,

Vintage News Junkie

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post; however, I received free products from Ryobi and Purebond for review. As always, all opinions are truthfully mine and I genuinely LOVE both of these companies and their products!

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  1. Wow this looks amazing! You are so brave tackling a huge project like this. I have been delaying stenciling my bathroom because I am scared of how long it will take! Kuddos to you! Love it!

  2. That looks amazing!! Strange question- how do you choose where to nail? Does it have to be on studs? If not, what kind of nails did you use? thanks!

    • Hi, Melissa! Good question… so the boards that we used were only 1/4 inch thick so they were extremely lightweight. I use the Ryobi AirStrike P320 18-Gauge 2 in. Brad Nailer, so the nails were the perfect weight to tack these boards to the wall. We didn’t find it necessary to hit the studs because the wood is so lightweight. As for where we nailed each board, we tacked each end of the board and let it float in the middle. That gave us the differentiation we were looking for in the different boards. Some laid flatter than others so it looked very natural, like the boards were different thicknesses. Hope that helps! Thanks for asking! 🙂

  3. This turned out AWESOME! XO, Aimee

  4. I love the way it turned out and I though your pictures were great. I’m really loving all of these wood walls I’m seeing; it’s such a nice change. I love the texture it gives the bathroom along with that homey feel. I love it. Stopping by from House of Rose.

  5. Wow! So cool! I love the difference this makes. It took a bit of time and elbow grease it looks like, but what a statement it makes. Thanks for the great tips! I may get brave and tackle a project like this someday. Have a great weekend!

    • Thanks, Brooke! Yes, it was a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of huffin’ and puffin’…. ha ha! But we got there! And I LOVE how they turned out! Now, I’m thinking I want to make more!! We’ll see. Thanks for stopping by!!

  6. that looks awesome, I love the different colors of the wood. I need to ask a question about the picmonkey image you put on top-the how to build it part. I can’t get any of my writing to be bolder than the background color, is this making sense? even when I have the color be more opaque and the lettering be bold. any help would be appreciated.

    • Hey there… I am not 100% sure I understand, but I’ll give ‘er a go! When I did that image, I selected a white background image that I made transparent and then I added just a normal font on top. I just tinker around with the opacity of the white background to make the font color pop. For this one, I had to make it fairly solid in order for the font to show up. I think it has a lot to do with the colors that you choose, how well it shows up. And it also helps that my actual background (the wall) is pretty uniform so there were no distractions there. I hope that helps… if I totally missed the ball… shoot again… I’ll try my best to help! 🙂

  7. It looks awesome!! We’ve been wanting to do this in our half bath downstairs but I’ve been somewhat chicken, this inspires me to get it going 😉


  8. Love your plank wall! I’d like to invite you to share it at my Twirl & Take a Bow Party. Have a great weekend!

  9. This looks amazing! You did a great job! Come link up with us at Craft Frenzy Friday!! The link up is open until Wednesday!

  10. Can you come over and do my bathroom wall? Love this look! so fun how there are different colors/shades within the planks.

  11. Gorgeous! I love the varying shades of wood too.

    • Cathy Schmidt says:

      OHhhhh, I want to do our hallway!!! Started with wallpaper and that sucked… so it’s been half done for 2? years. The wood would (sorry!) be up to date in our 1920’s bungalow without being too cutesy. Maybe throw in a few cedar pieces to deter moths and smell good too! Terrific Idea!!!! Thanks Hmmmm we have 5 doors to work around and I have been wanting a stapler……. ah shucks, we have real plaster walls…. GLUE! 🙂

      • Ohhh, Cathy, cedar?! Now that is genius!! I’m jealous of your 1920’s bungalow… I bet it is just charming. Break out the glue, friend, looks like you have a masterpiece waiting to happen!! Do share when you finish it… I’d love to see it!!

  12. I LOVE how this came out! Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays. x

  13. OMG that looks awesome! Y’all did a fantastic job!

  14. Hi,
    Love the plank wall! I am about to buy my first house and I would love to do this as a wall in my new living room. Since the plywood is only .25″ thick, I see that only nailing into studs is not necessary. But what about mounting items on the wall when it is finished? Things like TV, shelving, mantle, etc. I’d imagine you need to find studs for those items, is that hard to do once the wood is up? How sturdy is the plywood? I’m sure I can find all this out from the guys at Home Depot. Sorry if these are dumb questions….#firsttimehomebuyer, #notcrafty!

    Your blog is really cool and informative, thanks for the helpful ideas!

    • Good question, Cynthia! Not dumb at all! So here’s what we did. We had to hang the mirror above the sink, so we used a stud finder and found the stud behind the wood slats. Then we removed the wood slat. It slide right out and back in again. It’s really just kinda tacked up their because it is so lightweight. Once we removed the slat, we drilled holes into the wall and into the stud. Then put the slat back on the wall and drilled through it and into the stud. Make sense? Then we could hang the mirror through the slat but still into the stud. The plywood is not sturdy at all, as far as holding something. You will definitely need to get it into the wall at least and the stud if the object you are hanging has any weight at all.

      I sure hope that helps!! Keep me posted on your progress and if you run into any snags, feel free to shoot me another message! Good luck! And congrats on your first house!! 🙂

      • Got it…Thanks so much!!

      • I finally completed my wall! I had the idea originally and my google search lead me to you and I basically followed your plan… thank you for your help! It truly adds a special effect to the room!

  15. Did you do anything to prep the wood against moisture in the bathroom? We’re thinking about doing something similar in our bathroom, and I want to be sure to avoid any mold/rot issues down the line. Our plank wall would be opposite a large bathroom from our shower, but next to a (rarely used) clawfoot tub.

    • Hey Melanie! We didn’t do anything special to the wood to protect it, but it’s also in a half bath. So there is really no moisture in there to be concerned with. Only a potty and a sink. You’ll have to let me know if you figure something out… I am thinking about doing our master bathroom which has both a tub and shower. So let me know what you end up doing! 🙂

  16. Hi!

    I love the gray tones of your wood… such a different and beautiful contrast. I recently posted about the wood plank wall we did for our baby girl’s nursery for $100! If you have a moment to pop in and check it out I would love to hear what you think. 🙂



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