How to Plank a Wall on a Budget- Faux Shiplap

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DIY Plank Wall

Planking on a Budget

Have you ever wanted to get the look of shiplap without spending a lot of money? If you like the look of shiplap or just adding texture to a wall, we are going to show you how we planked a wall in a day and on a budget! Sandi had already done faux shiplap in her kitchen and living room, so she had previous experience.

Faux Shiplap Plank

These are the items you will need in order to begin the process:



2 pennies

1/4" plywood

nail gun

18 gauge finish nails 1-1/2"

stud finder

jigsaw (you will need this for pieces that are too long and need to be cut)

This is a picture of the plywood we purchased for the project. Most home improvement stores will cut the plywood for you, sometimes for free or they may charge a small fee. We cut ours in 6" strips since our walls were only 8' tall. I have seen them cut in 8" and even 10" strips; I think that looks really good if you have taller ceilings. 

Prior to beginning the project, the wall was painted Sherwin Williams Iron Ore. Painting the wall the same color as the intended finished color of the wall assists with "bleed through" colors coming in through the seams. Of course, it would have been better to paint all the planks and allowing them to dry prior to installation, too, but we were on a deadline of one day so cut that step.

Here, we first found the studs on the wall and then used the level to mark them all the way down so we could easily nail the boards up and hit the stud every time.

Starting at the bottom, the strips of plywood are nailed to the wall. Be sure to use a level so it's straight! We used 2 pennies between rows to determine the spacing (we liked the spacing 2 pennies gave us so that's why we used them). Also, be sure to stagger your seams as we did here. This is what the wall looked like prior to the last piece being placed.

The final piece!

Once the wall is entirely planked, caulk down the sides and across the top to fill large seams. You can also fill the nail holes with wood filler. We skipped this step since we painted the wall black and the nail holes are barely noticeable. 

The wall is now ready to paint. This wall is painted Sherwin Williams Iron Ore in a flat paint.

For little money and time, the room was transformed into a cute baby's nursery! Keep in mind, this entire project was completed in a day, including a new light fixture replacement as well. The faux shiplap gave our grandaughter's new room instant character. Updates still needed include removing the popcorn ceiling and repainting all the trim work, but as with any fixer-upper, there will always be a project!

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  1. Linsey
    January 17, 2018 / 3:05 pm

    Thank you for sharing. Will be doing this project soon in our house!! 🤗🤗

    • Sandi Johnson
      January 18, 2018 / 2:28 pm

      How exciting! You will be amazed by how much character it will add to your home. Good luck!

  2. Angie Fairbanks
    January 17, 2018 / 10:50 pm

    This looks amazing!!! I’ve been dying to do black shiplap in my bathrooms and the wall behind my fireplace. How much did you spend on the wood and how big was the wall you covered?

    • Sandi Johnson
      January 18, 2018 / 2:34 pm

      We bought 3 pieces of plywood, so it was around $45, after tax. I can’t remember exactly how big the wall was, but I do remember we had left over material from the last sheet of plywood. Each sheet of 1/4″ plywood is 4’x 8′, so we measured the wall and figured how much material we would need based from that.

  3. christy
    August 12, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    Your room is beautiful. What color did you use on your side walls?

    • Shalia
      August 13, 2018 / 10:22 am

      Thank you so much. The side wall color is Sherwin Williams Eider White.

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