Accent wall planks

Accent wall planks DEFAULT

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This post has been a long time coming...

I am happy to finally share how to install a plank wall, and how to avoid...the biggest mistake EVER!  (of course I wasn't planning on the biggest mistake ever happens)

You don't want to miss this tutorial on how to install a Plank wall...and how to avoid the biggest mistake EVER!!
I am loving it!!  Finally.  This tutorial will help you see how easy it is to do your own, minus the one mistake of course.  :)
measuring and marking studs on the wall

Let's start with a little shot of my wall shall we?  I know you are jealous...ha ha ha!  I have been wanting to paint over this since the day we moved in (cough cough...5 years ago) but it always got put on the back burner. Until now.  

My sister-in-law, Lisel, came to help me paint my room one weekend and we also got the plank wall up too. I had her use the stud finder and she went above and beyond by using a yard stick and a marker to let me know exactly where every stud was down the wall (above).  Thank you Lisel!  You could also use a chalk line to easily mark your studs.

It was very helpful.  And lest you think I was sitting back eating bon bons or something...I was outside cutting wood to build my Farmhouse Storage Bed.  Yay for teamwork!

selfie before we paint and do the plank wall

Blurry selfie, ready to conquer the cave room.  

tempered hardboard at Home Depot

*this post contains affiliate links* 

Let's back track a bit and see where my mistake began.  It began with tempered hardboard.  I have read several plank wall tutorials saying they used this material.  But, only one mentioned it wasn't working, and they scrapped it early.  Well, they were the smart ones, I should have done the same, but I am stubborn.  

I figured all the other tutorials worked so I would be fine...after reflecting on it in hindsight...I think the "tutorials that worked with hardboard" had cut smaller (not as wide) planks.  At least that is the only thing that makes since in my mind.

*FYI* Even though I used a material that I DO NOT recommend for you to use, the following process of how I planked my wall is still great, just use 1/4 plywood or Underlayment and you should be good to go!

Cutting 6 inch wide planks at home depot

I measured my wall and figured out that I needed 4 pieces of 4x8 hardboard to cover my wall, with some left over.  I got it for less than $40 and was so excited about the price.

To avoid the boards bending while they were cut I suggested that the Home Depot guy cut two boards at a time so they were more sturdy and to help keep the cuts straight.  It worked.  I had him cut the planks at 6 inches wide. 

Starting the plank wall with the first plank, using a level

I think this is the easiest and fastest way to get your planks up on the wall and have them staggered without you doing any math!  Who wants to do math right?!  

Start with your first 8 foot plank and nail it into the studs.  Make sure you use a level and DO NOT follow the ceiling line which will most likely NOT be level, mine wasn't, even if you can't tell in the photos.

adding the second board on a plank wall

Next, I took a new 8 foot plank and held it against the end of the wall and marked on it where it met the other plank.  You could just measure the space from the end of the plank to the wall and then mark that measurement on your board.  I just used the board and saved myself a step.

Then I cut my plank to fit that space and nailed it on, still checking for level on the first row. You can see my left over piece sitting against the wall.  It will be used for the beginning of the second row.  

using pennies as spacers for a plank wall

In order to perfectly space your plank rows you need to use something really high tech like...pennies.  Or, if you are really rich you could use nickels or quarters.  Apparently I am poor, all I could find in my house was pennies. :)  Place your plank up against the one on the wall then slide it a bit to add your pennies, then slide it back so the pennies don't fall out.  I used two, one for each end of the board I was attaching to the wall. 

easy method for staggering planks on a plank wall

Then you continue in the same pattern...adding one plank at a time, one row at a time.  Some rows will have 2 planks some will have three (or more if your wall is super long).  Grab a plank, measure it to the space on the wall, mark, cut, and install.  Use the left over piece from the same plank to start the next row.  I used a miter saw to make my cuts.  Hopefully you get a better idea of the process from my photo above...  

planking a wall

At this point it was going awesome and I had visions of my plank wall painted and finished by the end of the day.  ha ha 

If I had used 1/4 plywood/Underlayment my vision would have come to pass.  But I didn't, I used hardboard.  I didn't realize that one of my 4x8 pieces of hardboard was warped, they looked perfectly fine in the store.  So when I started planking the wall I noticed that some of the planks were bent...and they wouldn't lay flat.  

The planks pulled away from the wall, nails and all.

removing warped board on a plank wall

I had to remove the warped boards, this is a photo of the first one I noticed.  I even tried using liquid nails on a few to help flatten them and make them stick to the wall...but it didn't work.  Arghhh!

a personal ben and jerry's break

What's a girl to do?  A PB&J was definitely in order...(that is our code for "Personal Ben & Jerry's) Lisel and I had a few scoops.   Ahhh, much better.

I went through my planks and pulled out all the good pieces and set the warped ones to the side...then I finished planking with the straight pieces.  The straight pieces went on great.

cutting bottom plank to fit on plank wall, and notching out for vent and moulding

For my last row I had to use a jig saw to cut my planks in half to fit the space.  Don't worry about your jigsaw cuts being perfect either, just make sure your jigsaw cut ends are against the moulding and you can use caulk to cover up any uneven parts!  I also notched out the pieces to fit the vent and the corner.  

So maybe you are thinking, "Hey, that wasn't so bad, just make sure to use non warped hardboard, Right?"  WRONG!!!  Read on...

hardboard planks popping off of plank wall, securing with nails

I planked this wall back in April.  I ended up not painting it right away, because I got started on my window and figured I could just paint the wall and the window at the same time.  Turns out it was good I waited because when we started getting buckets of rain look what started happening!!!!  Boards were warping out like crazy.

I know this is a picture of only one board popping off the wall (need I remind you that these were the straight boards that went up) but my whole wall was covered with popping off the wall planks!  WHAT!!!????hardboard warping and popping off plank wall

After frantically shooting a million and one nails into the popping planks and probably destroying my drywall forever.  I had the presence of mind to take a photo.  See all the nail holes?  Completely ridiculous.  One nail didn't do the trick it was more like 5, 6 or 7 nails.

I waited to paint this wall for almost a full month after installing it and I would weekly have to secure more boards.  I wanted to cry, but I wasn't giving up yet, I mean the wall was already filled with holes, taking it down was just more work.

I will NEVER use hardboard again.  I knew from doing my Final touches post in my Master Closet Makeover that the 1/4 plywood works great for a plank wall.  Sadly I realized it would have only been about $20 more to get the 1/4 plywood/underlayment.  Seriously?  Sometimes cheaper is not always better, it would have been worth every penny.

I hope you can learn from my mistake, because the process is very easy and simple, and pretty quick, IF you have the proper materials.

filling nail holes with spackle

I filled all the nail holes with spackle, then I waited about a week and luckily no more boards popped off the wall, even with rain.

plank wall ready for painting

I painted two coats on the wall before I caulked, then finished up with the last coat of paint.  You could caulk first... I just forgot. :)

caulking the edges of the plank wall

I caulked the top, bottom and sides.  You can see the difference the caulk makes, I wouldn't skip this step!  I makes it look crisp, clean, and finished. 

How to install a Plank wall...and how to avoid the biggest mistake EVER!!  MyLove2Create

It took me three coats of Behr Ultra pure white semi-gloss to get it looking nice and white.  I cut in the edges and rolled the paint on with a roller.  I kept a butter knife on hand for getting paint out of the cracks when I accidentally applied too much.  It mostly it went on quickly without going into the slats.

How to install a Plank wall...and how to avoid the biggest mistake EVER!!  MyLove2Create

Sorry for just boring pictures of a plank wall but I am STILL working on my bed, it is getting close.  The end of the school year has really stopped work for me, plus the rain that has been going non stop for a month.  Maybe I should have started my bedroom when I had less going on...oh wait....that would be...never. :)

How to install a Plank wall...and how to avoid the biggest mistake EVER!!  MyLove2Create

We have been sleeping on our bed pushed to the center of the room for over two months it is pathetic.  This is real life DIY at my house folks!  

How to install a Plank wall...and how to avoid the biggest mistake EVER!!  MyLove2Create

There you have it!  I am sooo happy to be done with this part of my room.  It is always a little disheartening when you expect a project to be done in one day and it takes two months, lol!  So think plywood/underlayment people not hardboard, it is so worth the extra dough.

Have you planked a wall before?  If you have any tips I missed please share in the comments, we would all love to hear them!

*UPDATE*  I received a very nice email from the manufacturer of the hardboard I used.  I am coping the information below as it can be very useful and hopefully eliminate any problems for you if you choose to use hardboard.  Good Luck! 

To understand why the planks popped of the wall you first need to understand how it is manufactured.

We start with wood fibers, wash and dry them, add linseed oil, form into a mat and put into a large heated press. The heat and pressure activate the lignin’s in the wood which work as a natural adhesive to bind the fibers together. That’s it, no resins, no formaldehyde, no chemicals. In fact, the EPA uses DPI as an example in their educational materials on Green and Sustainable Manufacturing.

So what does that have to do with your struggles to put in on the wall?  When it comes out of the press it is only at 3 – 7% moisture content. Being stacked in a unit it stays this dry. You then take it home and put it in an environment that may have 50-60% humidity. As the wood fibers absorb this moisture they swell and grow. It is very minimal, but enough to cause problems if not accounted for.

With any of our products we ask that the panels are spread around the room in which they will be installed at least 24 hours before hand. (48 in the case of basements). This allows them to acclimate to the humidity level and become balanced with their new environment.

Next, we recommend using adhesive, not nails to install. Adhesive will give a little as the panels expand and contract. Nails don’t give so as the panel expands the only way it can move is away from the wall. DPI recommends Loctite PowerGrab.

This leads to the final tip. You gapped your planks side to side, this is very good, but you should have also gapped them end to end to allow for the expansion. An 1/8” is all it takes. Fill this gap with a good quality paintable caulk just like you did with joint compound. The caulk will give a little and allow expansion and contraction while the joint compound is too rigid. Now when you paint it will look like one solid plank.

These three simple steps will insure you do not have panels popping of the wall in the future.

Great advise, thanks!!

* I also want to thank everyone for your great comments!  It is wonderful that we can learn together and help each other in our DIY adventures!  I love hearing from you and learning your tips, the are very helpful to me!  THANK YOU for being such great readers!  I recommend reading all the comments below for extra tips and advice! :)

*See how my Plank wall looks in my completed Master Bedroom Here!



I will be linking to these parties and Savvy Southern Style

Tags: caulk DIY hardboard master bedroom paint plank wall plywood spackle Tutorial


This DIY wood accent wall tutorial is so easy! Checkout the tutorial to see how to add a wood wall to any room using tongue and groove boards. It’s easier than you would think.

Wood Accent Wall Shiplap Planks

DIY wood accent wall in a bedroom stained walnut

(Affiliate links are provided below for convenience. For more information see my disclosure, here.)

One of my favorite ways to add warm rich texture to a space is to bring in wood accents. Wood crates, wood picture frames, wood furniture, and yes, even wood WALLS! Building a wood accent wall can be an amazing upgrade for any room!

If you’re looking for a simple way to make a big impact, a DIY wood accent wall is the perfect choice! We added inexpensive shiplap to a wall in our master bedroom and I am 100% obsessed with how it turned out! The entire project was completed in a weekend.

DIY Wood Accent Wall Tutorial

Supplies needed:

Step 1: Mark The Studs

For this accent wall, we chose to use 1″ x 6″ tongue and groove boards. Using tongue and groove makes the installation process fast, simple and cost effective.

Before putting any wood planks up on the wall, the first step is to locate studs inside the wall behind the sheetrock. This magnetic stud finder we always use works great! Make large, easy to see marks on the wall using a pencil or a Sharpie.

In this step, you want to mark every stud from top to bottom along the whole accent wall. This will make it easy to see where to nail when you’re installing the boards.

Tip: find a stud and make a mark at the top of the wall, and then the bottom. Use a long level or a chalk line to connect your two marks!

Step 2: Cutting The Boards

In our home, the wall we chose to cover was just under 12 feet long.   This wall was a great length because we were able to use 12 foot boards.  They did need to be cut down to size, but it allowed us to make a perfect accent wall with no seams. For walls longer than 12 feet, I would recommend using 8 foot boards and staggering the seams.  When the seams between boards are staggered out and not lined, they are less noticeable.  Don’t worry, your wall will look great with, or without seams!

To cut the tongue and groove boards, we used a Bosch 12″ Miter Saw.  The miter saw made it easy to get perfect 90 degree cuts. If you don’t have a power tool obsessed husband like me, a basic circular saw and a speed square will work just fine.

Measure, and then cut the boards to fit the length of your wall. Plan to leave a 1/8″ inch gap on both sides.  This will help the board to fit properly, and prevent scuffing the other walls during installation. Try to make all measurements and cuts very precise. Clean cuts and straight lines will help to make this wood accent wall look amazing!

Related:How To Create A DIY Distressed Wood Beam Mantel On The Cheap

Bosch Miter Saw after cutting boards for a DIY Wood Plank Accent Wall

Step 3: Installing Tongue and Groove Boards

Before you start the wood accent wall installation, remove any baseboards.  Start on the bottom of the wall and place the first board directly on the floor. The ‘tongue’ side of the board should be facing up, with ‘grooves’ side facing down.

Make sure the bottom board is straight and sitting firmly on the floor.  It’s important that the bottom board be perfectly straight, because it will affect all of the boards on top of it!  Once you have the first board in place, use a nail gun to fasten it to the wall.  The stud lines you marked on wall previously will make it easy hit the studs. Install three nails into each stud along the length of the board.

When you add the second board, make sure that the tongue is once again up, and the grooves are down.  Set the board down into the tongue of the fist board.  Press down firmly until the grooves have slid all the way into place. The tongue and grooves should fit tightly together with no gap.  If you notice an uneven gap, you may need to use a hammer to tap the board down into place.

A Man Installing A Board For A DIY Wood Plank Accent Wall

a man installing a DIY wood plank accent wall

A man using a nail gun on a DIY wood accent wall

A DIY Wood Plank Accent Wall

Step 4: Install Around Electrical Outlets

Repeat the previous step, adding boards and working your way up the wall. If there are any electrical outlets or electrical switches, you will need to make cutouts. Cutting in electrical outlets can be a little scary at first, but don’t be intimidated!

Once you’ve reached an electrical box, measure carefully to see where on the board you need to make a cutout.  Measure and cut a board BEFORE you install it onto the wall.  This will make the process much easier, and safer. A Jigsaw is a good choice for these smaller cutouts.

If an electrical box falls between two boards, the process is similar.  Cut the bottom half of the electrical outlet into the first board in the same way.  Once you’ve installed that board on the wall, you can then cut the next board to make the top half of the cutout.

Step 5: The Top Trim Board

When you reach the top of the wall and cannot add another full board, in most cases you will need to rip a board down to size to fill in the top gap.  If you get really lucky and the last full board fits perfectly with no gap, then don’t worry about this step.

The last board can be a little tricky, especially if you live in an older home where the walls and ceilings aren’t perfectly plumb and straight!  Measure the gap between the top board, and the ceiling.  Measure  this distance at several locations along the accent wall.  Ideally, if all the measurements are within about 1/4″ then you can rip the board to size using a table saw.

If your measurements are more than 1/4″ different, then you will need to cut the top board at a slight angle to make it fit.  This can be accomplished by marking the board with your custom angles using a chalk line, and then cutting along the mark.

To add a nice finished look, we installed a 1″ x 4″ trim board at the top of the accent wall.

A DIY Wood Plank Accent Wall

Pay no attention to the lovely unmade bed in the middle of the room – getting good photos mid-project is tough!

Step 6: Apply Stain

The next step was to apply stain to the wood accent wall. This part was my favorite! The rustic look I was going for started coming together in this step.  I could now almost envision the finished product!

You can apply the stain before or after installing the wood accent wall – I chose to do it afterward.  I chose to do it this way mostly because we did this project during the winter and I didn’t want to be working in a freezing cold garage! Although, if I could do it again, I would have braved the cold to avoid the strong odor in our bedroom! It took DAYS to air out. We ended up having to sleep in our guest room for a few nights while the smell was dissipating.

We used Miniwax Dark Walnut stain, but any color will work.  This is your chance to get creative, so use whatever color you like best! Dark walnut is the same stain we used to finish our DIY distressed wood beam mantle.

Using a paint brush, apply stain to your brand new wood accent wall. Make sure to let it sit for a few minutes to let the wood soak up the stain.  Once it has soaked into the wood, wipe off any excess.  An old T-shirt or rag works great for this.

RELATED: Easy DIY Blanket Ladder Step-By-Step Guide

Can of Minwax Wood Stain in Dark Walnut 2716

Step 7: Sealing The Wood

After your stain is dry, go back and apply 1 – 2 coats of sealant to protect the wood. I used Miniwax Wipe-on Poly Finish Clear and ended up doing two coats, just to be safe!

Once the sealant dries, you can stand back and admire your brand new beautiful wood accent wall!

A DIY a Wood Plank Accent Wall Stained Walnut

A DIY a Wood Plank Accent Wall Stained Walnut


Decorated bedroom with a walnut stained DIY wood accent wall made of shiplap planks

Wood accent wall in a decorated master bedroom

A Decorated bedroom with a walnut stained DIY wood plank accent wall

Related: How to Style a Modern Farmhouse Guest Bedroom

There you have it! This wood plank accent wall project was so simple, yet made a BIG impact! Checkout the full reveal of our rustic master bedroom for all the decor sources!

To see how these wood planks look when painted white, head over to our budget kitchen makeover reveal next!

a wood accent wall with text overlay "DIY WOOD PLANK WALL TUTORIAL"

Affordable Wood Accent Wall

How to DIY a Wood Plank Accent Wall
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Wood Plank Accent Wall:

Blunder #3 Warping

One of the biggest pains when it comes to installing a plank wall is warping. Hardboard can start to warp—to the point of popping out the nails—before you’ve even finished putting up all the planks. Wood has the same problem but at a much slower rate. If you live in a humid area, you can count on your plank wall changing over time as it responds to the moisture in the air.


Tile eliminates the fear of warping. If you install the tile properly, it will not move or warp. Check with a professional tile installer to ensure the tile is installed properly.


Blunder #4 Discounting the Finish Work

With wood, it’s very likely that you will have to caulk, nail holes or fill gaps with drywall mud to have a smooth, finished surface. Additionally, you’ll need to sand it then possibly paint it – and as it ages, you’ll have to take those steps again to keep wood looking its best.


Since tile is a finished product, there is no sanding or painting involved. Though you’ll still need to grout the tile, once it’s complete your plank wall will continue to add beauty to your home for years to come with little maintenance.


DIY Rustic Wood Wall Under $40

Do you ? barn wood? This is 100% naturally weathered reclaimed wood made in the USA. This wood is full of character with knotholes, nail holes, dents, and dings that make it stand apart from anything you can buy in the big box stores!


✔️ 100% reclaimed wood, naturally weathered, Unique Barn Wood character & patina

✔️ Easy to install, use construction adhesive and/or trim nails

✔️ Calculate square footage by multiplying height (in feet) x width (in feet) If you need help with this, just drop us a line!

✔️ Tools needed: level, tape measure, hand saw or miter saw, hammer & nails or trim nailer

✔️ This is NOT new wood made to look old! These boards are beautiful and naturally aged – giving your wall a much more authentic barn wood look.

✔️Each box will have color variations of naturally weathered grey tones that have aged in the elements over time. Each piece of wood has aged individually, and we cannot guarantee the color will match the picture, but it will be similar.

✔️Each plank is 1/4″ thick, 3.5″ wide. Boxes will have a mix of 2 foot and 4 foot long boards so you can create a staggered effect. They all have a beautiful weathered patina

✔️To measure square feet: measure height (in feet) x width (in feet.) Allow at least 5% extra to allow for cuts needed. If you need help calculating, let us know

✔️We are a family ran business and We pride ourselves on customer service. If you have any problems at all, we will answer any of your questions via email or phone. You can even text us!

SKU: N/ACategories: All Products, Featured product, Reclaimed Barn Wood PanelingTags: accent wall planks, barn wood paneling planks, reclaimed wood paneling planks, wood wall planks


Wall planks accent




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