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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.
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?
DIY Plywood Shiplap Plank Wall
My name is Janice Thomas and I blog at
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…
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
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Step 5- Add stain to the edges
Using a small brush, I added stain the edges of each plank.
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!
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!
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!
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,
Until next time,