Plywood Plank Walls

Here’s the thing.  Originally I was going to use the old barn wood somewhere in one of my builds, but after years of being stacked out in the weather it is all too far gone.  Plywood cut into planks (like you see on floors sometimes) seemed like a reasonable substitute, cheap, and easy to use.  Turns out this is all true.  It also turns out that if you use really really low-end plywood, the end result is not the sleek look I was expecting.  Instead, I’ve ended up with a rustic, cottage-y looking effect, which actually looks interesting.  So instead of this look found on

Plywood Plank walls

Smooth and lovely plywood plank walls

we have this:


Interior walls up. The corners will have molding to hide the spaces!

It might be difficult to discern in the picture, but the walls are far from smooth.  Instead, each of the planks show what I like to call “personality”…bowing, sticking out a bit, and different textures.  Visitors and curious bystanders tell me it looks fine, so we’ll go with that.


Caulking the plywood planked walls

A cool thing happened during this part of the build.  Those metal bars that angle up the walls?  In the way the entire time I’ve worked on this place.  I was more than pleased when the planks slid behind them and into the small space between them and the studs perfectly.  As in, I couldn’t have planned it better if I’d actually tried.  Lucky, lucky.


Walls going in behind the metal bars.  And yes, that’s Leo photobombing.

I used 3″ screws to attach each board to the studs.  This house will be bouncing and jouncing on rough roads and tracks, and I don’t want anything popping loose.  I did my best to sink the heads and cover them with a silicone/latex caulk to hide them, but I wasn’t always successful.  Likewise with the ceiling.  Normal caulk like you would use in your normal house, didn’t cut it.  There was too much shrinking and cracking.  The caulk I used works better under these circumstances, and is relatively easy to smooth, and to build layers as needed.  It paints well, too.  Overall, I’m happy with the results.

OK!  Here’s the rub:  I wanted to mirror the colors on my favorite skirt, a lovely combination of oranges, pinks, yellows and greens.  It’s very summery and cheerful.  However, translating those colors to this space is not going as I envisioned, and here is the current look:



Yeah.  not what I was looking for.  Pepto, anyone?  The lightest pale yellow on the ceiling and upper walls just looks like old, yellowed white paint.  Argh!  What to do?

To start with, I’m going to paint over all the yellow with a bright, shiny white.  I realize glossy paints bring up imperfections, but this whole build is one giant imperfection so that really doesn’t matter.  Glossy paint reflects light, and in such a small space, light is very important.  Even that pale, pale yellow has visibly reduced the amount of  light I perceive.  I’ll paint the white down the walls to about 2/3s down, covering much of that pink.  At that point, I’ll start blending in the yellow.  Below that, I’ll blend in the oranges with a touch of red, and blend those down into the pink area.  I’m hoping for a sort of sunrise effect.  We’ll see how that goes!

Feel free to share your painting horror stories if you like in the comments.  We’ll all understand and sympathize.  🙂  I’m off to work some more on the new roof now, so talk at you all later. o/


19 thoughts on “Plywood Plank Walls

  1. Glad you are still working away and getting ready for spring. I think the walls would be best the white color. Then bring in those colors you love in your bedspread, chairs, table and maybe even a small curtain that can be opened all the way and closed at times. That way you will still have your colors but the white walls can be your backdrop for your colors to pop. Use the paints you have for your accessory pieces that way you won’t waste anything. What do you think?

    • “Diane the Designer”, I like that moniker. 😀 I’ve seen your homes and they are lovely.
      A funny thing is that they are far from my favorite colors, which are lavenders and purples/blues and greens. I’m not sure why I’m so set on the bright and bold colors here, other than maybe because they evoke the opposite energy of my past couple years? So dark and dreary they’ve been, much of the time. Anyway, I’m set on trying to create a sunrise/sunset wall thing. If I fail, I’ll go with bright shiny white walls, and do exactly what you suggest. My son says I’m the most stubborn person he knows, so don’t take offense. 🙂 I did change the exterior door trim to use those square rosettes, and it looks MUCH better! I love getting your advice, so please keep it coming!

  2. Perhaps you would like the white more if it were an eggshell. Not such a bright shiny white. It can be over bearing in a small space. You can try the idea with the colors but it is a very small space and I think you would need more height to create that look and probably an air brush. It’s easy to paint over it again if you find you don’t like it so you can try. When you close your eyes can you imagine what it will look like when it is done? If you have a clear picture in your mind it might work. I always say if I can’t see it I don’t do it. Matching the colors somewhat to the color of the truck in softer hues would be nice too. Soft red accents and soft gray and maybe even some silver ceiling tiles just for the fun of it. They make those now in reproduction. Just some ideas for you to throw around in your head and come up with your own twist on it and make it your own. Glad you like my letters I always worry about suggesting things to others.

    • Nah, don’t worry about making suggestions to me, as long as you aren’t upset if I don’t do them. 🙂 It’s funny you should mention the silver tiles, as I love the tin ceiling look, and was pricing the tiles recently. They are way above my budget for now, but it would be easy-peasy to attach them later.

      • Parker I wanted to make sure you understood that I was not suggesting the soft red or the grey for wall color. I was just saying it could be used as a color scheme inside. Stainless steel counter top soft red cabinets or grey. I am not there to see it or I could tell you better. There is a company that makes those silver ceiling tiles. I have that info somewhere here. How many would you need to do the ceiling? How big of a space is it? I am struggling myself right now after recovering from two car accidents in 4 years and trying to finish everything here on my Estate. But maybe I could do that at some time later like you suggested they could be done anytime.

  3. I like the rough plank look, you should see our ceiling. Planks straight from the saw mill screwed up to the joists (plaster board first as a fire break and dust stopper) then panted matt white. All screws exposed, rough edges, bowed blanks…….it looks good:)
    As for colours, white is the only way to go in my mind.

  4. Hmmm. Your ceiling sounds lovely and textured. Thanks for that comparison, Eddy, I like it. 🙂
    I appreciate suggestions from you and Diane (above) and any others as it gets my mind out of the ruts it falls into.

  5. Saw mills do have those planer things that they can send the wood through to take it down a bit and make it look a little better. That might work. Ask around and see.

  6. Hey one more thing I can’t get to the October contribute link as it only shows as far as December. Fix it for me please.

    • I did notice the other day that the archives are only showing through a certain date, and I can’t fix that. So I moved them to the other side of the page, and they seem to now all be showing. Sorry about that! 🙂

  7. Diane, thank you thank you thank you! It’s the end of the month, I’m out of $, and I have so many things to do and buy to get the interior whipped into shape…I’m definitely running out of time, as foreclosure proceedings have now started. A huge hug for you. 🙂
    I’ll pay it forward when I can, too. Helping others is good karma, and you’ve certainly done your part. I won’t forget when it’s my turn!

    • Foreclosure?? You did try to sell your Mom’s home didn’t you? Get it sold. You go girl. Lots of predators out there that will give you bad advice just to help themselves with a quick house in a short sale. I will be praying that someone comes along that can help you.

      • Unfortunately I can’t sell what isn’t mine. My mother didn’t leave a will, and refinanced the property so many times that the amount owed is MORE than it’s worth. There was never any chance of my being able to salvage the situation, and trust me, I consulted an attorney. Just a bad situation all around.

      • What do the court probate people say? If you are the only relative alive and you are her daughter you are naturally entitled to her Estate. Ask the courts what to do if there is any recourse. It’s free to ask at the court house. Good luck and I hope you find some better answers. The Real Estate market is good and you can find out for free from a realtor what the property is worth.

  8. The house is completely upside down, and probate costs $ I don’t have, so I consulted a lawyer and after a good discussion it was clear I needed to walk away. The fact is, my mother was terrible with money management, and with paperwork. The house was also badly abused, and needs a lot of work to make right. Just… a sad situation. Or, it was, until I was able to make peace with it.
    I know it’s hard to believe, but she left things in terrible shape and there is no way for me to salvage it.

    • Glad you turned over every stone and at least asked the important questions. Life is going to look up for you now. If you could just get a good doctor who can help you with the right medications. Please make a daily chart of your feelings and moods and inability to function and give him the calendar of your Month of ups and downs. That is extremely helpful to them so they can see patterns and make the proper adjustments. They need to earn their money and make them work for it. Show them 30 days of mood charting. Morning noon and evening. You live in a rainy state which is not helping either. Sunshine is important for brain function. You are doing so well on your house and I am so proud of you. I will keep sending deposits for materials as I can here. I know others will too and I thank them for caring for you as you go through this difficult time after your Mom’s passing.

      • Thank you Diane, for all of your support. It’s an amazingly good feeling to think there’s a person out there who doesn’t even know me, but wishes me well. I don’t want you to hurt yourself financially, though!
        You’re right about needing to monitor my moods and probably also the side effects of the medications. I haven’t been seeing a therapist for a few years due to funds, but I hope to be able to swing it after things calm down. I know it’s important. I do have a wonderful doctor though, who is very supportive and interested in my well-being. She keeps encouraging me to see a specialist, but knows the situation so doesn’t push. I plan on traveling to a sunnier climate in the housetruck to see how that affects my mood…I suspect it will be positive. 🙂 But, it’s not SAD, so it probably won’t be a magic bullet. Still, it might help. I’ve been know to sleep through entire summers, so that doesn’t bode well either….
        But anyway. Thank you!

      • Parker can your Doctor write you a referral for an actual psychiatrist so they can give you the right medication for your depression issues? I do not like to see a general practice physician writing scripts. You need someone that understands the brain and the way it functions. Not just a General Practice Doctor. You should certainly quality for government assistance. Fill out the papers and get the care you need. I am reading a book now called ” It’s My Life Now”. I recommend it to women who have left abusive men. It helps with the feelings of worthlessness that overcomes us when we finally get free and try desperately to regain our self esteem and courage to go on. It took me 8 years to heal and it would have been much speedier if I had this book. But like you I tore out walls and built things and it helped me cope with what I had been through in my life.I would buy it and have it sent to a store in your area so you can pick it up from them. I think they would do that for you. Just let me know. Never put your address online of course you know that.

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