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Vertical Plank Wall Paneling

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How to cover brick or a plain wall with vertical shiplap or planking. I thought about just painting the wall, but wanted something that had more of a cottage feel to it. Installing budget-friendly DIY vertical shiplap or vertical plank wall paneling was the answer.

How-to-cover-a-brick-fireplace-wall with vertical plank wall paneling

I know that horizontal shiplap planks are all the rage right now, but as much as I like it, I think it makes a room look closed in.  Not a feeling I want, so I opted to go vertically with the planks instead.

No more brick, hello white and bright lake house with a cottage feel :-)

How to install vertical wood wall planks over an interior brick wall

This is how the wall looked right before we started the transformation.

How to Cover a Brick Wall with Vertical Plank Wall Paneling

supplies needed:

  • 1/4″ Subfloor Plywood
  • Liquid Nails and caulk gun
  • Paint and paint brush
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Painter’s tape
  • Bubble level
Ship-lap planks-cut-at-Lowes

The first thing you need to do is go to the home improvement store and have them do the hard work… cutting the planks. The 1/4″ plywood sub-flooring comes in 4′ x 8′ sheets. It has one side that is a little bit red. I liked this plywood the best, since it was the thinnest and also the smoothest. You can have the plywood cut to any size planks you need or want. We had the guy cut the plywood into 8″ wide planks. 6 planks per each sheet of plywood. We needed 14 cut planks to cover the brick wall.

how-to-use-plywood-to-make-wall-shiplap style planks

Once we got the planks home, Ed cut them to the height needed and I sanded all the edges of each plank to make sure they were smooth.

How to cover a brick wall with plank paneling

Ed removed the crown molding along the top of the wall and placed is aside so we could put it back up after the planks were in place.

DIY-vertical-plank wall paneling

When installing horizontal planks to resemble shiplap, you use nickels or quarters to space the gap between each plank. When installing the planks vertically, the nickel method doesn’t work since there is nothing to hold it up. Instead I eyeballed it and used a bubble level to make sure I placed the first plank straight.


I started by painting the brick where two planks met thinking you would see the brick through the gap, but I found it was not necessary since I was placing the planks very close together.

How to attach wood plank panels to a brick wall

To attach the planks over the brick wall, I used Liquid Nails. I ran the beads evenly over the back of each plank and then attached it to the brick.

Brick fireplace wall makeover using vertical wood planking

I started from the center and worked out to each side. The last plank on each side had to be cut narrower to fit the wall. I used painter’s tape to help hold the planks in place while the Liquid Nails dried.

We let them dry overnight and then replaced the crown molding over the top edge of the vertical planks.

Instead of horizontal shiplap planks, why not install the planks vertically especially if you want the room to appear taller. East budget DIY decorating . Tip: Get the planks cut at the home improvement store to save you time. | In My Own Style

I used basic door frame casing to finish off the opening in the wall for firewood. Right now I have my outdoor pillows in it since they are out of the way, but easy to get when I want to use them outside.

Adding the planks and painting them white has made a HUGE difference in the room. Having the planks cut at the home improvement store made the project very easy.

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  1. Oh gosh Diane, I just LOVE love love it! :-) I too like the vertical planking…it’s such a refreshing change from what we see on blogs where they used horizontal placement.

    I do have a question…. Did you consider painting the inside of the wood storage area white? It’s lovely as is of course and I realize that when the wood gets placed in there the paint might be scratched up from time to time. But if it was white, wouldn’t the attention be more on the fireplace opening/mantel (the center area) itself? Of course, you may have a surprise for us in store about why you left the brick interior unpainted. ;-)

    Your home is becoming very much an inspiration for a water-side home if ever I have one ;-) Of course your style could certainly be used ‘inland’ too! It’s just absolutely lovely!

    Since I often get questions about how to change up a dark brick fireplace wall, I’m going to share your post with my own readers. It’s such a great way to cover the old, dark brick for those who are afraid to paint. ;-)

    1. Hi Connie – You always have great ideas. I left the wood storage area alone since I think I want to make a cover for it. Maybe a panel with wood slices on it. I figured I can always paint it in the future if I don’t end up doing the removeable panel or door.

  2. I think you need to add the link to vote cause it took a few clicks to get to vote just now. I want to do this, but I never seem to have the money and with my Corolla, scared to try to get it home.

    1. If you go to Lowes and get a Lowes business account, you get 5% off each purchase made with the card and get free home delivery. It’s not a credit card but a business account you pay off each month. That will solve getting long boards home problem.

      1. Hi Patricia – WOW! I did not know that. I used to live near Lowes and had a Jeep so I could bring just about anything home. Now I live 26 mins away from Lowes and have a teeny little car. Everything big has to be delivered.I will be opening one of these accts. Thanks for taking the time to tell me about it. I am sure many readers will benefit too.

  3. Oooo lah lah! I love that you let the store cut the “planks” for you! SOO smart! :) And, speaking of smart, your room is stunning! I love brick but the planked walls are a show stopper. Thanks for all the details and I am thrilled with and for you and Ed. :) Rock on!!