This DIY plywood panel wall is easy to build, and it’s very cost-efficient.
Shannon Ingle of Coffee Paint Repeat built this on-trend accent wall in her home. She shows us exactly how she did it in this step-by-step tutorial.
Easy DIY Plywood Wall Panels on a Budget
I love to design big statements for my home that don’t require a big budget! During the process of any project I am always thinking, “How can I make this simple and not spend very much money?”
When The Home Depot asked me to collaborate on a fun wall treatment using plywood I was beyond excited! It wasn’t long before a plan was made to turn a large, boring wall in my master bedroom into my own idea of mid-century modern / farmhouse chic!
The best part is ANYONE can build this plywood panel wall! I made every step of this DIY project as simple as possible.
Start with a clean, smooth surface. Above is the before photo of my wall. You can see why it needed a little excitement in it’s life. So boring, right?!
The first step is to measure your wall.
The sheets of plywood are 4 x 8 so you can simply calculate how many of them you will need to cover your area.
My wall was 14 ft. ¾ in. wide, so I purchased four panels. Three were cut into 2-ft. panels, and one was cut to 2 ft. ¾ in. wide. Two inches was taken off the end of each panel to fit my wall height of 7 ft. 10 in.
I had these cuts all made at my local Home Depot store. When I got the plywood home it fit perfectly. I used ¼-in. pre-sanded sheets. No sanding required and the wood grain was gorgeous!
When you measure for the moulding detail, you will need the width of your wall multiplied by the number of horizontal rows, plus the height of your wall, multiplied by the number of vertical rows.
My wall required eight pieces of trim that were 7 ft. 10 in. long and four pieces of trim that were 14 ft. ¾ in. long.
I made the cuts myself right in the Home Depot store at the cutting cart they keep in the trim aisle. That way you only pay for what you need.
I decided to use a Pine Screen Moulding because it was flat, thin and affordable.
Before you start to assemble the wall you should paint all the moulding. This way it will be dry when you get to the point of attaching it to the plywood. I used Behr “Ink Black” to create a bold contrast with the plywood.
Now for the easy part! Simply line your plywood sections to be hung. I used a small brad nailer to attach them to the studs and simply worked my way down the wall. I did this myself, but if you have someone to help hold the panels up it would be a lot easier!
Once all the plywood panels are secure you can attach the painted trim.
Start with the vertical pieces. These were my 7 ft. 10 in. strips.
My decision as to where to place these was simple. I used them to cover all the seams where the panels met on the wall since they were all 2 ft. apart.
Be sure to use a level before you nail them in place so you have straight lines going down the wall.
At this point it will look a little like your parents old wood paneling…..which is definitely making a comeback, but isn’t the look I was going for!
Time to add the horizontal pieces of moulding.
When I was planning this project I initially thought I would cut each horizontal piece to fit in between the vertical rows. However, once I counted how many times I would have to measure and cut to make all those pieces I decided to rethink that plan. (Again, remember, I am always looking for the simple way to accomplish these projects!) Then It occurred to me! Why couldn’t I just run the entire 14 ft. ¾ in. piece straight across the top of the vertical pieces and nail them where they would meet? So that’s exactly what I did!
Because the screen moulding is so thin and narrow, it is also super lightweight. Nailing it at the intersection of all eight vertical pieces was more than enough to secure each horizontal piece of trim to the wall.
Don’t forget to use your level to attach these pieces also. You want perfect squares when you are finished.
At this point you no longer have the look of paneling but instead have a trendy accent wall that is perfect with any type of décor. Mid-century modern, modern farmhouse or eclectic styles would all look great! You could add this look to any room of the house that needed a bit more character.
I had leftover Behr paint from the trim, so I used that to update the old white fireplace shell you saw in the “before” photo. Since the wall is now it’s own piece of art I only added a Fiddle Leaf Fig from the Home Depot garden center and a really cool longhorn photograph a friend of mine took.
I really hope you will try this easy DIY!
Project time from start to finish was one day and the total cost was less than $200 for a wall my size. That’s proof that you can create a big look with a small budget!