When I started the process of finally giving our front living room the attention it deserved, I knew the main wall needed something fun. I wanted it to flow with the rest of our home but make it something unique at the same time. I realized in that moment that plywood was about to become my DIY side kick to create one show-stopping wall. Here’s what I came up with:
Not only was this budget friendly, but it was a quick project with a huge impact on this space. Using a 1/4″ piece of plywood, a jig saw and command strips, this wall certainly came to life. Here’s exactly what I did so you can try the same in your home. Keep in mind, you can make this as large as mine or create it on a smaller scale.
4 x 8 – 1/4″ piece of birch plywood
Straight edge (I used a large level)
Orbital sander + 120 grit sandpaper
Command Picture Hanging Strips
Optional: Shipping paper to create your layout
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The very first thing you’ll want to decide is the size of of your overall plywood accent (or gallery) wall. I knew I wanted to use my entire 4 x 8 sheet of plywood so it was just deciding the placement and sizes of my boards. The easiest way for me to do this, was to cut out pieces of shipping paper in the sizes I wanted to try and tape them to the wall.
The first attempt was a fail for me. I went with an organic gallery wall (kind of placing the pieces where I liked them) and it just seemed really off to me. So back to the drawing board I went.
My second attempt I decided that I wanted more of a streamlined and clean look. To do this, I took into consideration of the size of my overall piece of plywood. Each row is the same width overall and the pieces in each row are all the same height for most of them. There were a few that I had fun with and made them shorter. If you’re a visual person like me, it might help to draw out your design first and include the measurements. I’m sharing my exact measurements further down!
I also made sure to create the same space between each row. To make sure that I liked this design before cutting my plywood, I turned to my shipping paper once again. Once I had it all up on the wall, I knew this is the direction I wanted to go. I LOVED it!
To help keep it visually the same, I used painter’s tape to create the border and the rows. This did a couple things. First, it helped me center the over all design from left to right. Also confirmed if I liked where I placed the top and bottom of the design. Secondly, using painter’s tape to measure out the rows ensures that all the pieces will start and end at the same spot and will be straight.
Once I had my cut outs all on the wall, I knew this is the direction I wanted to go. I LOVED it! Tip: Keep them up there until you replace them with the piece of plywood. Makes it go very smooth and quick!
Using a straight edge and a marker, I was able to measure out and draw all the squares and rectangles on my sheet of plywood. I did cut my 4 x 8 sheet on plywood in half (long ways) to make it easier for me draw and cut out the pieces.
If you’re planning to do a full sheet of plywood and want to create my same pattern, here are the measurements for each piece:
Once all of the pieces are cut out, sand down the edges using 120 grit sandpaper followed by 220 grit sandpaper. You can do this with a block sander or an orbital sander (which is quicker). If your boards are really rough along the edges, do 80, 120, 220. This will give you a very smooth and finished looking edge.
Now, it’s time to hang! At first I was going to hang these with saw tooth hangers but it gave me a headache just thinking about it. Instead, I used Command picture hanging strips where one set can hold at least 5 pounds. My goal as to place a command strip on each corner but I didn’t buy enough like I thought. Instead, I placed 2 command trips along the sides at the top for the smaller pieces and 3-4 on the large pieces hitting all the sides.
Once you have them in all in place and secured, carefully pull off the painter’s tape and your plywood accent wall is done! The hardest part about this project is just figuring out the size and placement of the plywood pieces.
Want to take it one step further? Try painting or staining the plywood pieces. For me personally, I wanted the natural wood look. But it would also be fun to try a bold, pop of color with them. This is also a great project for those that are renting! By using the command strips, you can also create this accent wall without causing any damage to the wall.
Ava | HIREtrades says
This plywood accent wall is something new and beautiful. Love the idea! You can add photos in there too.
Thank you so much!