Fence Board Planked Wall How To

Fence Board Planked Wall How To

Our latest update here at the cottage has been to add a planked wall treatment. With a Fox Hollow Cottage twist.

Our planked wall has a slightly different vibe then you get with the smooth boards and very tight joints lots of folks are using. A bit rougher… it’s got a little more… “barn wood, farmhouse, rustic flavor”. 

Low Cost Wood Plank Wall Treatment DIY Home Improvement

Since budget is always a factor and we try to keep our costs down, we went the least expensive route. After doing some material cost research that turned out to be 1 x 6 pre stained Douglas Fir fence boards.

Do I like the color? No. – Does it matter? No.

I knew it was getting painted, so I didn’t care one bit. Plus, it was super cheap.

The entire walls worth of wood cost us only $28.00 – WIN!

So if cheap and easy is your thing.. keep reading!

Using fence boards means less cutting and less measuring.. both of which will make your project go faster. We only had to make our length cuts. The boards were already the perfect width. So zip-zip and on you get to move on to the next step.

I meant to share this much sooner. I don’t know where my days fly away too?  If you find them, send them back this way would you!?

Jim and I have been hard at work giving our combination powder bath and laundry room a makeover. You can see where we started here.

And get a little peek of our progress while I share our new planked wall!

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall - DIY Tutorial

*As with about every project we undertake here at the cottage, we had a problem. Our wall is solid concrete. Yay. So fun. So instead of being able to use a nail gun.. and a construction adhesive. We had to depend on an adhesive alone. It just makes it a bit more challenging. If you can install yours with nails. Lucky you!! This should be even easier!


  • 1 x 6 Fence Boards
  • Saw (Chop Saw, Miter Saw, Table Saw or even a Radial Saw will work)
  • Sanding Block
  • Construction Adhesive (you’ll need what is beat suited to your particular walls)
  • Spacers (we used quarters, they worked perfect)
  • Paint and Paint Brush
  • Trim

Optional: If you have electrical outlets, you’ll have to address those.

You’ll need new boxes or extension boxes to pull the outlet out and make it flush with the new wall. If you do not have electrical knowledge, please consult a professional. 

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall - Outlet Instalation

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall - New Outlet Instalation

TIP: Paint your wall before you install your boards. Whatever color you use can/may show though your spacing so you’ll want that uniform. I used white. I knew I would be using white paint to finish my wall so this made sense for us.

TIP: Start with a smooth, uniform wall. We had to do some repair to ours before we started to accomplish this. Again, old house. So much fun. (we’re used to it)

  • Measure your wall and assess your material needs.
  • Gather supplies.
  • Plan out your pattern, this will dictate your cuts.
  • Make your cuts.
  • If you plan to paint and want a finished look… Paint it now, BEFORE you install it.

Knock Off Rough Edges with a Sanding Block

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall 3

I gave ours a soft, slightly rounded finish.

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall

  • We installed our wall with a running bond pattern. That means your pattern runs 2 – 3 – 2. One row with two boards, the next with three, the next with two, repeat. Seams meeting up every other row.
  • Use a level to ensure a straight line across your wall and start your first course working off that.
  • Start applying your boards to the wall at the bottom. We began with a two board run for our first course.

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall Project

  • We placed our adhesive on the back of the boards in a long, wavy S pattern.
  • Firm even pressure and a little wiggle as you push it onto the wall should do the trick.
  • If you can, use a nail gun to further anchor your boards to the wall.
  • Place your spacers.

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall Tutorial

  • Install your next run, checking for level.
  • Place spacers, install next board, repeat.
  • When you reach the ceiling line. You are done with your wall!
  • Trim to taste.

Rustic Wood Fence Board Plank Wall - During

TIP: We knew our wall was not level (big surprise!) so we planned to end our last course, and cover it with our trim.

There was so much to do in this room that we simply painted this particular wall, and hung a giant mirror when we moved in. We were busy dealing with the window to nowhere. Crazy, CRAZY scabbed in wall.. an exposed hot water heater.. the floor.. oh, and the rest of the house too.

You can see why it didn’t make the top-ten back then!

Before bathroom diy makeover reno

Back to the wall at present. Sorry! Memory lane sidetracked me there for a second.

With the less than perfect finish of our boards, I was not shooting for a smooth, polished look. I let the finish of the wood set the tone and decided to do a white wash.

I used my paint at full strength and applied with a brush. I worked some into the seams, but did not go for full coverage.  With the pre-stained finish I suggest a primer coat first to seal and prevent bleed through. Then paint to taste. 

I applied three coats of my white wall color and called it good. I like the less than perfect look. It’s got a good feel to it. I debated leaving it natural, but this room has no windows, so it was a short-lived thought. 

DIY Plank Wall with Fence Boards

This is a weekend project.

We got it done in two days total work time. With Jimmy cutting and me sanding the boards, to the install, new outlet, me painting and popping some trim in. Not counting our special situation waiting for the adhesive to dry. If we had nailed in, I could have painted right away. Waiting was smart though, I sure didn’t want any boards falling off the wall! So far so good. It’s been up for weeks now and everything is staying put beautifully. 

As always, thanks for stopping in to see what we are up to.  We are so happy to say goodbye to that ugly wall we inherited. I hope this was a helpful post that might work for a room in your home as well!!


Want to see the full room reveal?

Click Here!

Nautical Bathroom Luandry Room Makeover - Before and After

Want to see another easy wood project?

Click Here!

How-to Make Pallet Wood into a Round Circle Shape. Simple beginner friendly DIY tutorial at foxhollowcottage


Want to see more Before & After projects?

Click Here!

Before and After Projects at www.foxhollowcottage

Please note: I am not a professional contractor. This is what worked for us, in our home.

I am simply sharing our personal results.


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  1. Dillon says

    The wall looks awesome painted! Just one comment/ tip for those using fasteners (nails or screws): those boards are pressure treated for the outdoors, so the chemicals in them will rot normal nails/ screws. You have to used galvanized fasteners to avoid that issue and then it will hold up forever without any issues. Keep up the great work!

    • says

      Hi Dillon, Pretty sure since the product is being used indoors, where is won’t be getting wet, there won’t be any reaction from the pressure treating. For outdoor use, totally correct. Thanks for information!! Appreciate you sharing that :)

  2. Ally says

    Could you do this in an apt or in a rental home? If not is there anything that you could think of that could hold that to the wall without excess damage?

    • says

      Gosh Ally, I’m not sure how you could? Maybe doing the smaller pieces on a plywood backing, and putting that up in sections.. but not sure how you would attach that to the wall safely and securely without damage? It might be possible to put a few heavy anchors into the studs? And have minimal filling when it’s time to move. That might work. If it was a private rental, you might talk to the owner, maybe they might not mind if you were doing the labor and material for free 😉 Much luck to you!! (oh, and google “temporary wall ideas” and such, I know there is removable wall paper now!)

  3. Beth says

    I saw this posted on buzzfeed and stumbled onto your site! I totally want to to do this to my bathroom….thanks for motivation!

    • says

      I did not David, because it’s only a powder bath, no shower or tub. We do have wood walls in our upper bath and I have painted them with an enamel paint. No problems in the 10+ years we have lived here. The shower top is boxed in and has a strong exhaust fan.

  4. Margo says

    Can you tell me where you got your pre-stained fence boards? Also, how long were they when you purchased them? Thank You and Have a Blessed Day :)

  5. Alan says

    Do you have a shower in that bathroom? If you do, you’ll want to remove the wood. The moisture and steam from the shower is going to get in the wood and rot it. It will create a lot of mildew and spell disaster for your bathroom.

  6. Chelsea says

    I love that paint color! I am going to see if it looks good in our master bedroom!

  7. says

    Wow, your wall looks amazing! Can’t believe the price too, looks like it would be expensive to do.
    Hope you are having a great week so far!

  8. says

    This is what we are going to do in the other guest bathroom later. Can’t wait to get it done. Working on the other bathroom first. One project at a time. Yours looks great!!

    • says

      Oh I’m glad you liked it! You know almost everyone can get fence boards, and you don’t have to have a fancy saw to cut them so it’s pretty doable for anyone. I’m happy to share the cheaper version (:

  9. says

    Just showed this to the Mr. Shannon. Funny, we were doing this yesterday and today, making plank walls in the sun room. It’s a work in progress though, no where done as yet.
    LUV the peek you shared. Awaiting the reveal tomorrow.
    HUGS, Gee