How to Install a Wood Plank Wall

Stack wood planks from the floor to the ceiling for an accent wall you won't soon forget. With our help, it's easier than you think!

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Take your love for DIY pallet crafts to the next level with a pallet-inspired wall. In your bedroom, hallway, or living room, a floor-to-ceiling wood wall will be a showstopper. This unique wall treatment pulls out natural tones in your room, giving it a rustic feel. Plus, it looks great with or without wall art! 

Check out our steps below to see how it's done. You'll be surprised at how easy this project can be!

Editor's Tip: We used inexpensive boards to get the look of a rustic pallet wall. Because of the high amount of chemicals used to treat pallets, we don't recommend using upcycled pallets for interior projects.

continue reading below

What You Need

  • 28  8-foot-long 1x4 boards, sanded (our wall is 8x8 feet)
  • Stain
  • Paintbrush 
  • 1/4-inch plywood 
  • Stud finder 
  • Pencil
  • Construction adhesive
  • Nail gun with nails
  • Jigsaw

Step 1: Prep Boards and Remove Baseboard

Working outside or in a ventilated area, sand until your boards reach your desired look. Stain boards, some light and some darker, and allow to dry per stain manufacturer's recommendations.

Remove baseboard on the wall you will be installing the stained wood wall. Use a hammer to tap a painters tool between the wall and baseboard to wiggle the baseboard loose. Then use a pry bar to remove the baseboard.

Step 2: Find and Mark Studs

Using stud finder, locate and mark all studs along the length of the wall you will be working on. Traditionally, studs are placed 16 or 24 inches apart. 

Learn how to use a stud finder.

Step 3: Install Plywood Board

Using a nail gun, secure 1/4" plywood to the wall at the studs, extending to the ceiling. You can also use 1-5/8" construction screws. Use a jigsaw to cut a hole in the plywood base for outlets. The board acts as a barrier between the planks and the wall. If you ever want to remove your pallet wall, this cautionary step will prevent your walls from being ruined. 

Step 4: Install First Plank

For your bottom board, use a full 8-foot board (for an 8-foot wall). Apply construction adhesive to the back of the stained board and place on wall, tack in place with at least 4 nails using a nail gun if possible.

Step 5: Alternate Seams

Working your way up, cut boards to alternate seams as you like and continue applying with liquid adhesive and nail gun.

Editor's Tip: Make sure every row has boards the same width beforehand. You might need to cut boards slightly to have matching widths before installing the rows

Step 6: Plan for Outlets

Plan cuts ahead of time to account for electrical outlets. Your first board at outlet level should be cut just at the edge to look like a natural stop. 

Safety Tip: Always turn your electrical outlet off at the ciruit breaker before handling the outlet and removing the switchplate.

 

Step 7: Work Around Outlets

If a board stretches across an outlet, use a jigsaw to notch out a piece of the board so it will fit. Measure the opening on the wall and then transfer those measurements to the board. Cut on a separate surface—do not cut the board directly on the wall. Nail and install the board as normal once the piece is removed. 

Safety Tip: Always turn your electrical outlet off at the ciruit breaker before handling the outlet and adding an outlet extender.

It's likely that once you add the extra depth of the wood to your walls, each outlet will require an outlet extender. If this is the case, simply add the small piece. 

Step 8: Finish Wall

Continue working your way up the wall. Keep an eye out for the seams in your previous rows and make sure you're alternating board length. Every five rows, take a step back to look at the overall picture. This will help with an even distribution of light and dark stained wood planks. 

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