Planking the Wall (not the meme)

Seriously, I have no idea why “planking” was a craze and my mother probably has no clue what I’m talking about, but people went around taking photos like this one below of themselves.  And what’s a meme anyway?

Yeah…humans are weird.  That much is true.  Well, we planked our WALL like I showed you earlier this week here and today I’ll show you how we did it.

Master Bedroom

First things first, the material.  We went to Lowes and picked up packs of this paneling product.


It’s tongue and groove paneling that comes in about 4″ x 8′-0″ long pieces and is thin and light weight.  You get 6 pieces (14 square feet) for a $14.86 for each package.  We needed 8 packages for both sides of the room, so the paneling cost us $119.  We had a $100 gift card, however, so really only $19 out of pocket plus a few extras for wood filler, etc, which I’ll tally up later.  We started by clearing the room and getting all the furniture out of the way.


Since it’s pretty cold up here in Boston and I didn’t want to be running up and down the stairs to the miter saw, we set up the miter saw in the office and covered everything with a plastic sheet to catch the saw dust.  I kept telling Jake I now knew how Dexter felt.  He kept telling me I was creepy.

3-Dexter2 3-Dexter1

Next up, we used our stud finder to mark the walls with the stud locations.  We opted to install these using finish nails only and no adhesive of any sorts.  Shooting them right into the studs was going to be plenty to keep these light boards in place on the wall.


My Dad got me this compressor and a whole bunch of nail guns for Christmas so I got the try them out again!  I used a smaller gun when I built the pantry shelves, but for this we went with the larger finish nailer and 1 1/2″ nails to get through the planks, drywall and get into the studs. If you didn’t have one of these you could do this with traditional hammer and nails – it would just take considerably longer!

Nail Gun

After we held up a piece we saw that we didn’t have to remove the molding at the ceiling.  We just checked to be sure it was level for starting our first row of planks and then worked out way down to the floor.  I still haven’t taught Birdie how to take pictures while we’re working nor could I even cox her from under a chair where she was hiding from the noise of the compressor and the saw, but basically we put up the first board, all 8′-0″ of it, measured, cut and put up the next, then ran the next 8′-0″ board from the other side of the room to stagger the joints.  After a couple of boards we stopped and checked to be sure it was level.


Since one side of the board is grooved and the other side the “tongue”, the just slide up together so the wall behind is actually completely hidden.


Then just repeat – row after row after row! It goes pretty fast with the right tools, actually.

6-Progress 7-Progress 8-Progress 9-Progress

Cutting around the outlets was pretty easy too after measuring, but I’m going to address that another day.  We still have another step to do here, so I’ll share with you when we finish it.  When we got to the bottom of the wall, however, we did decide to remove the baseboard (carefully!) so we could run the paneling behind it and then reapply the baseboard back on top.  It would just be cleaner and more “professional” (if you can call what we do that!) so we wanted to do it right.

11-Baseboard 11-Baseboard1 11-Baseboard2

To remove the baseboard we  ran a razor blade between the top of the baseboard and the wall to cut through any caulking and used a screwdriver as a crow-bar of sorts to pry it off carefully.  Since we were putting it back, we didn’t want to split it or anything since it was all once piece.    I also didn’t want to use a full board behind the baseboard where you wouldn’t see it, so we used some scrap pieces of the planks at the stud locations to reattach the baseboard to.

12-Progress (2) 13-Progress

That’s it!

14-Done 2 14-Done

The nook on the other side of the room was easy enough to tackle for one person, so Jake removed the baseboard over there and then started wood filling the big wall while I put up the planks in the nook.

15-Alcove 16-Alcove 16



We did all our wood filling and caulking that night so things could dry fully before we sanded and painted the next day.  When it came to sanding, we opted to go with the orbital sander just because of the quantity of sanding we were going to have to do.  This was VERY dusty, I might add.  We covered the bed and furniture with sheets.  Afterward we washed all the walls down with a wet rag and vacuumed everything.  This part is neither glamorous nor pretty so pictures aren’t really necessary.  Do as I say here and not as I do and wear a dust mask…


After letting the dust settle, vacuuming, and dusting everything again we got to painting.  We already had a can of white paint in Eggshell/Satin from Lowes from our office walls, so we used that to save on painting costs.  Using this product just reconfirmed my love of Sherwin Williams paint, so I’d spend the extra $10-$15 any day for the better product, personally.  This stuff was super thin like water.  The walls each took 3 coats and most of it was brush work to get into the grooves between the boards really well and to cover the knots.

19-Paint1 19-Paint2 Paint Paint

I’ve read that you can apply wood filler over knots since they might eventually bleed through, but we didn’t bother.  If the wall needs a coat of paint in another couple of years I’ll just paint it again.  Anything to avoid more sanding!

In the end, I think we accomplished what we were looking for and have a pretty feature-ish wall that helps to brighten up the space and elongate the room.  Since we have such low ceilings in here, it really does help make it feel a bit more spacious.

Master Bedroom Master Bedroom

So that’s how we did it.  Thanks for sticking with me through this post! Our grand total with planks and wood filler was $125.86.  We had all the other things on hand already and had a $100 gift card, so this really only cost us $25.86 out of pocket and took us a Saturday and Sunday to complete with time to spare.

So get out there and build something!  It’s fun! Now to solve more picture hanging dilemmas…

You may also like


  1. This looks great! I’d love to do this in my basement or kitchen. Of course, I just put up beadboard in the kitchen last year…

    1. Thanks Nicole! We were surprised at how easy it really was and I’m totally with you on the basement idea. We have a few walls with studs but no drywall and I thought maybe this would be a easy way to hide our field stone foundation but also keep it light and not to closed in!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *