Vertical Plank Wall Paneling

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. Beautiful!! Question for you — did you remove and then reattach the baseboard as well? Or did you just run the planks right up to the top of the baseboard?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Alexis – I removed the crown molding, but there were not any baseboards where I added the planks. If there were I probably would leave them in place if the vertical panels were the same thickness as the baseboard.

      If the panels were thicker and hung over the top edge of the baseboard and were not flush with it, then I think I would remove them first. Add the planks and then add the baseboard back and caulk.

  2. Hi! Found you via a pinterest search. :) Have you had any trouble with the wood expanding & contracting with temperature and humidity changes? Has the heat from the fireplace softened your liquid nails? Anything you might wish you’d have done differently? Thank you! (PS, love the napping kitty on the ottoman!)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Lenetta –

      The vertical planks have been up for a little over 2 years now. We have not had any issues at all with them, not one. One tip I can give you would be to not skip the step of painting the wall underneath the panels the same color as the panels. When you look closely at the 1/16″ space between each vertical panel, you can see the wall, better to paint it first, at least where you know the spaces will be.

      The only thing I wish I did, and not differently, but done at the same time I installed the panels was to make a faux door of some kind in the wood stacking area next to the fireplace. Right now it is open and becomes a clutter magnet. I hope to make a unique door for this area, maybe using more vertical panels or plywood with wood tree trunk slices attached to it to look like stacked wood. This will hide the junk behind it.

  3. Leilani Warden says:

    Dear Diane,
    I was so happy today to find your blog again! I enjoyed so much perusing it over a month ago but then unfortunately forgot the name of it I couldn’t find it again. I too live on Lake Murray and love life here. We are near the end of Amicks Ferry Road area and am sure we must pass on the water occasionally – and if not there then I’m sure we must pass at one of our small towns 3 grocery stores!! :) Constantly I’m challenging myself with DIY projects and fun things with our 3 young children ( 9, 12, & 13) but none I believe as detailed as the gorgeous DIY projects you’ve tackled and mastered. I get so pumped up seeing other women set out to make their surroundings more beautiful and suitable to themselves and their family. We’ve made a map wall too (I think that’s how I stumbled on your blog through Pinterest maybe) a couple years ago and I’m currently putting up a barn wood wall in one of our rooms. I’ve lived in SC most of my life and in Chapin for the past 6 years and if I can ever help out with you and your husband acclimating yourselves to our beautiful state and great lake then I’d be happy to. In the meantime I’m going to write down the name of your blog so I can refer back more often and enjoy the super inspiration you provide. Thanks for doing the blog – I know it has to be tough but motivating!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Leilani -Thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. I live off of Amicks Ferry also. Not as far down as Timberlake. I just got back from Publix and got caught in the storm. All is good now that I am home again. It sounds like you enjoy DIY as much as I do and even with 3 children you are finding the time to do it. :-) If you don’t want to forget my blog name, you can subscribe and get an email every time I post. I only post 2 – 3 times a week so you won’t get a ton of emails. Maybe we can set up a time and meet somewhere.

      1. Leilani Warden says:

        I’d love that! Our Coffee Shelf is a neat place to meet as well as many other neat places.I can be reached at the email address attached to this and it comes straight to my iPhone. Fun! It would be great motivation for me to get to cracking on my ever-growing Project List. :) Oh, I did subscribe so hopefully I won’t ever lose it again.

        Thats terrible you were out in that storm – it was a rough one with so much wind. Our 2 youngest were on the school bus and only 4 minutes from being dropped off at the house when we got notification that it was a Tornado Warning and buses were being rerouted to the school. We were so scared and just wanted them home! By the time we had all 3 we were counting our blessings for sure. Have a great weekend!

        P.S. Love the glass block doorstop idea too! I usually just “thunk” a thick book down to hold the doors. Glass block would be much prettier.

  4. So cool and so clever! It looks fantastic.

  5. I love your blog because you share so much info in a fun, informative way, I always look forward to your postings. Your lakeside home is coming along nicely.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Rosemary – Thanks so much. I love making my vision come to life. It can be challenging at times, but it keeps it interesting finding ways to make things happen when the budget isn’t there all the time. Thanks for reading. XO

  6. Your lake side home is really coming along! Love to see all the changes you’ve made. Went in today and voted for your fireplace transformation again. Good luck and hope you win!!!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks so much for voting Deanna – I truly appreciate your vote and taking the time out of your day to do it. :-)

  7. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    Have fun in NYC! But I know you surely will.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sheryll – I just arrived. It is a nice day here, a little windy, but clear and good walking around the city weather. I will be taking photos and sharing them on my blog soon. I added the voting link to the post. Thanks again for telling me. XO

  8. Amazing transformation. You and Ed make a great team. Smiles

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thanks Nancy – Ed is a keeper for sure. :-)

  9. Jann from Newton Custom Interiors says:

    Looks great! The planks do give it a “cottagey” feel!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Jann – I forgot to mention in the post that the plywood is very inexpensive, around $15 a sheet. Makes getting the cottage feel very affordable, too.

  10. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    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. Diane Henkler says:

      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.

  11. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    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. Diane Henkler says:

        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.

  12. what a beautiful transformation Diane, you two never cease to amaze me

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Thank you Patrica – As I mentioned to another reader, I love making my style vision happen and seeing it come to life.

  13. Christina in FL says:

    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!!

  14. Terry Moore says:

    Fantastic looking now!