How to Install an Inexpensive Shiplap Plank Wall Using Plywood

Next up in our Plywood Pretty lineup, we have a fabulous guest showing how to add some Joanna-Gaines-farmhouse-Fixer-Upper style to a room with a sheet of plywood and a nail gun… yup, we’re talking a shiplap plank wall, and she added towel hooks to make it even more fabulous! Give Janice a warm welcome and be sure to subscribe by email or RSS and follow along over on Facebook and Instagram with #PlywoodPretty so you won’t miss any of these new plywood tutorials!

DIY Plywood Shiplap Plank Wall With Towel Hooks | Get a Fixer Upper style farmhouse look on a budget with this easy and inexpensive shiplap plank wall, made from a single sheet of inexpensive plywood.

I remember a time when I had decorative towels in my bathroom that my kids were not allowed to use. Ever. They hung on the towel bar and collected dust.

So silly.

What towels did they use, you ask?

The ugly ones they piled on a hook behind the bathroom door. Sometimes there were four or five towels on one hook, while the decorative ones sat there…on their towel bar throne, unused.

Using hooks instead of a towel bar is not a new trend, but it sure is a smarter way to make usable towels look pretty! And has eliminated the need for decorative towels in a bathroom that is used every day, in my case by teenagers and occasional house guests!.

Adding a DIY plywood wall sure makes that towel throne even prettier. Don’t you agree?

1 DIY Plywood Shiplap Wall, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

DIY Plywood Shiplap Plank Wall

My name is Janice Thomas and I blog at Sawdust Sisters where I share wood building tutorials for beginners and ways to add a little DIY awesomeness to your home, on a budget.

I teach college kids for a living and I am very passionate about budget-friendly DIY. So, teaching DIY tutorials is my favorite! Thank you for joining me!

I am so honored to be part of Remodelaholic’s Plywood week! As a non-recovering remodelaholic myself, I am happy to feed your project addiction with this budget friendly DIY Plywood wall. This project is so easy, you can pull it off in one afternoon or two. It gives your bathroom wall some character on a budget, and keeps usable towels hanging nicely. To give you some perspective, let me show what my basement bathroom towel wall looked like…


2 How To Update Your Bathroom Walls With A Plank Wall, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

The towel bar actually fell off a while back and I never bothered replacing it, because I just knew there was something better I could do!

DIY Plywood Shiplap Plank Wall Tutorial

Materials Needed

  • Plywood-1/4″ thick, cut into 6″ strips. I had the nice guy at the home improvement store cut a 4’x8’sheet for me and I brought it home all ready to go! Then I came home and used the saw to cut them to the width of the wall.
  • MDF Casing cut to the width of the wall
  • A piece of 1×2 for the top
  • Level
  • Stud Finder
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Putty
  • Brad Nail Gun, with 1″ and 2″ brad nails. (Or a hammer and finish nails)
  • Petroleum Jelly (aka. vaseline)
  • Paint of choice and painting supplies (I chose some white paint I had on hand)
  • Dark Walnut Stain
  • Sand Paper
  • Metal hooks

Step 1: Find the studs

Using a stud finder I marked all of the studs on the wall. My bathroom wall is just over 5 feet wide so I had four studs to mark. I used a level to draw a straight line on the wall where each stud was located. I stopped just above where the wall would end.

3 DIY Planked Half Wall In Bathroom, Distressed Look With Plywood, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Step 2: Nail the planks

After the studs where all marked, I started nailing the planks from the bottom up. I used a cordless brad nailer and shot a couple of nails into the studs. I used a level as I went, to make sure my planks were straight before I shot 2″ nails in. I did not use glue on the planks because I am fickle, and I want to be able to pull these planks out easily (without too much damage to the wall) when I decide I want to do something else.

I used pennies as spacers to keep the planks at equal distance from each other.

4 How To Diy A Planked Wall Out Of Plywood, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Pretty soon I was up to the half way point!

Step 3: Add casing

Once all of the planks were nailed on, I cut a piece of casing the width of the wall. I put wood glue on the back and placed it on the top plank, flush with the top edge. I held it there for a few seconds, then I shot a few nails into the studs to secure it.

5 How To Diy A Shiplap Wall Using Plywood, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

6 Plywood Planked Wall In Bathroom, DIY, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Step 4- Add Wood Ledge

I used a primed 1×2 for the top ledge. I didn’t want the ledge to stick out to far, but if you have more room, using a wider board would look pretty and allow you to place cute accessories on the ledge. I did something similar on my entry way plank wall.

The ledge was secured on with wood glue and I also shot some nails from the top down into the casing. I used 1″ nails for this part.

7 Tutorial For Installing A Shiplap Wall, Plywood DIY, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Step 5- Add stain to the edges

Using a small brush, I added stain the edges of each plank.

8 How To Create A Distressed Look Using Plywood For A Plank Wall, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Step 6- Add Vaseline

Then I added vaseline in random places. That way when you sand the paint off, the places where you added vaseline will make the paint easily fall off and the dark walnut will show through, giving it a distressed look!

9 Plywood Planked Wall, Distressed Look, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic
Hindsight moment: Make sure you don’t put vaseline on the lighter colored areas if you don’t want them to show through.

Step 7: Paint and Sand

Once the stain is dry, give the wall two coats of white paint. Once the paint is all dry, use light sand paper and go over the entire wall to get the farmhouse, distressed look!

10 Build A Planked Shiplap Wall Using Plywood, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Step 8: Add the hooks and admire your work!

I placed the hooks on the studs. I only had room for three hooks or else the door got in my way. But, maybe you could do more hooks on your wall!

11 Build A Plywood Shiplap Wall, Distressed Look Tutorial, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Now it is just a matter of adding some cute accessories and voila! A shiplap look on a budget!

Here are some pictures of the finished wall. If you would like to see the entire bathroom, come see what I did for $100!

12 DIY Tutorial For Shiplap Wall From 8x4 Sheet Of Plywood, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

13 Shiplap Wall Built From Plywood, DIY Tutorial, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

14 Planked Wall From Plywood, By Sawdust Sisters Featured On @Remodelaholic

Until next time,


Don’t forget to subscribe by email or RSS and follow along over on Facebook and Instagram with #PlywoodPretty so you won’t miss any of these new tutorials!

It's Plywood BUT Pretty! 12 New DIY Plywood Projects + Tutorials

Also check out this pallet wood wall for a different kind of rustic look.

How To Build A Pallet Wood Wall, A Tutorial From Remodelaholic

+ posts

Lorene has been behind the scenes here at Remodelaholic for more than a decade! She believes that planning projects and actually completing them are two different hobbies, but that doesn't stop her from planning at least a dozen projects at any given time. She spends her free time creating memories with her husband and 5 kids, traveling as far as she can afford, and partaking of books in any form available.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

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


  1. Not so much a comment as a question : can you just use the plywood type that has channels routed in them already? Since that is also exterior grade it seems it would hold up well in the moisture rich environment.

    1. Hi Stephanie, if you click the link in the post to see the whole bathroom reveal, Janice has a full source list there including the hooks. Thanks!