How to Build a Plank Wall With Shelving

How to Build a Plank Wall With Shelving


how to build a plank wall with shelving

If you have a house the size of a small planet and your closet has been featured on lifestyles of the rich and famous and you have an entire room in your home devoted to your shoes….

….this is not the post for you.


Definitely not.

Please come back tomorrow.

Because today’s post is all about making the most of every square inch of your room.  It’s about living large on a budget and how to create a wall that only takes 4” of space to add depth and architectural interest and first place in the wall hall of fame.

This wall could party with the best of them.

And here’s how we built it.

(trust me…’s so much easier than it looks).

How to Build a Plank Wall With Shelving


Here’s the wall before.

The wall is 12 feet wide by 8 feet tall.

We primed the wall before we started to reduce the navy blue paint showing through the cracks and we removed the small chair rail at the bottom of the picture and the crown molding.


Step 1:  Nail the 1”x 8” boards

To make it easier (and because we are budget friendly)….we laid the boards in a brick pattern.  We started with a 1”x 8” board on each side and we staggered them down the wall.  This meant fewer cuts and it made the wall so much easier to build.

(best lumber buying tip EVER:  We found the 70% off clearance bin at the home improvement store that was full of 1”x 8”s.  They were a little knicked up….which was fine with us because we wanted character anyway.  The boards ended up being only about $2.75 after the discount.)


Who knew lumber went on clearance?

how to build a wood wall

Don’t stress about how the boards fit together.


Here’s an example of a few gaps in our wall.

No worries.

Gaps = character.

(and there’s always caulk) 

build a plank wall

Step 2:  Repeat step one until the wall is completely covered

Continue on down the wall with the 1”x 8” boards until the wall is covered.  You will want to measure and cut the side pieces to fit.

how to build a plank wall

There was also a small gap at the bottom that needed an extra board.  If this happens with your wall, simply cut one of the 1”x 8”s to fit the gap.

how to build a plank wall with shelving project

Here’s a picture of the finished wall.

I hugged it when it was done.

You could stop here.

I mean….seriously….total character from the clearance bin.  But if you are bold and brave and want to forge ahead….you will need some 1”x 4” boards to continue.

build a wood wall

Step 3:  Frame it out

Using 1”x 4” boards frame out the entire wall.

You can attach the frame to the ceiling and sides of the other walls then attach the bottom piece of the frame last.

The best part?

We bought the boards in 8 foot lengths so there was no need to cut the vertical pieces.

plank wall shelving

Step 4:  Add the shelving

After the frame is finished, we attached three vertical boards to create the sides of the shelving.

Then we cut horizontal boards for the shelving and staggered them and attached them to the vertical boards.

(total aside:  use of the pronoun “we” is a little overstated.  This part of the “we” didn’t put up any boards….it was strictly a supervisory position.)

how to build a plank wall shelving

Here’s the finished wall before we primed and painted it.

cape cod decorating ideas

And here’s the same wall finished and styled.

We only caulked it just a little because we wanted the wall to look like it had always been there.

build a plank wall with shelving

Where the door swings open into the room, we didn’t add any shelving on the wall so the door would fit.

Then we attached hooks for beach bags and towels.

how to build a plank wall with shelving

I would create this project again and again and again.

After it was finished I would walk into the room and smile every time I saw it.  At first I would forget it was there because I was so used to looking at that navy wall.  It made the room feel fresh and full of character and added layers of depth to the wall.

And I wouldn’t trade it for anything…..

….not even a room for my shoes. :)

PS  To see the entire room before and after….click here.

PPS  To make the artwork on the walls….click here.


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