I remember a time when I had decorative towels in my bathroom that my kids were never allowed to use. Ever. They hung nicely on the towel bar collecting dust.
What towels did they use, you ask?
The old one ones that didn’t match and were piled on a hook behind the bathroom door. Sometimes there were four or five towels on one hook, while the decorative ones sat there…on their towel bar throne, unused.
Using hooks instead of a towel bar is not a new trend, but it sure is a smarter way to make usable towels look pretty! And has eliminated the need for decorative towels in a bathroom that is used every day, by teenagers and occasional house guests!.
You can get the look of shiplap using plywood. This faux shiplap wall and looks so much prettier than a towel bar. Don’t you agree?
How to Get the Look of Shiplap Using Plywood
This faux shiplap wall is so easy, you can pull it off in one afternoon. It gives your bathroom wall some character on a budget, and keeps usable towels hanging nicely.
To give you some perspective, let me show what my basement bathroom towel wall looked like…
The towel bar actually fell off a while back and I never bothered replacing it, because I just knew there was something better I could do!
DIY Faux Shiplap Wall Tutorial
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- Plywood-1/4″ thick, cut into 6″ strips. I had the nice guy at Lowe’s rip a 4’x8’sheet for me and used the saw at home to cut them to the width of the wall.
- MDF Casing cut to the width of the wall
- A piece of 1×2 for the top
- Stud Finder
- Wood Glue
- Wood Putty
- Brad Nail Gun, with 1″ and 2″ brad nails. (Or a hammer and finish nails)
- Petroleum Jelly (aka. vaseline)
- Paint of choice and painting supplies (I chose some white paint I had on hand)
- Dark Walnut Stain
- Sand Paper
- Metal hooks
Step 1: Find the studs
Using a Stud Finder I marked all of the studs on the wall. My bathroom wall is just over 5 feet wide so I had four studs to mark. I used a level to draw a straight line on the wall where each stud was located. I stopped just above where the wall would end.
Step 2: Nail the planks
After the studs where all marked, I started nailing the planks from the bottom up. I used a cordless brad nail gun and shot a couple of nails into the studs. You can use a hammer and nails but you will definitely need an extra hand!
I used the level as I went, to make sure my planks were straight before I shot 2″ nails in. I did not use glue on the planks because I am fickle, and I want to be able to pull these planks out easily (without too much damage to the wall) when I decide I want to do something else.
I used pennies as spacers to keep the planks at equal distance from each other.
Pretty soon I was up to the half way point!
Step 3: Add casing
Once all of the planks were nailed on, I cut a piece of MDF Casing the width of the wall. I put wood glue on the back and placed it on the top plank, flush with the top edge. I held it there for a few seconds, then I shot a few nails into the studs to secure it.
Step 4- Add Wood Ledge
I used a a piece of 1×2 for the top ledge. I didn’t want the ledge to stick out to far, but if you have more room, using a wider board would look pretty, and allow you to place cute accessories on the ledge. I did something similar on my entry way plank wall.
The ledge was secured on with wood glue and I also shot some nails from the top down into the casing. I used 1″ nails for this part.
Step 5- Add stain to the edges
Using a small brush, I added Dark Walnut Stain the edges of each plank.
Step 6- Add Petroleum Jelly
Once they stain dried, it was time to add a little Petroleum Jelly in random places. Once you sand, the places where you added vaseline will make the paint fall off easily, making the dark walnut show through. This gives it a farmhouse, distressed look!
Hindsight moment: Make sure you don’t put vaseline on the lighter colored areas if you don’t want them to show through.
Step 7: Paint and Sand
Once the stain is dry, I gave the wall two coats of white latex paint. After the paint dried, I used light sand paper to go over the entire wall to get the farmhouse, distressed look!
Step 8: Add the hooks and admire your work!
I drilled the Metal hooks on the studs. Sadly, I only had room for three hooks or else the door got in my way. But, maybe you could do more hooks on your wall!
Here are some pictures of the finished wall. Isn’t the chippy look kind of fun?
I hope you liked it!! Now go get yourself some plywood!
Don’t forget to pin!
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Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials for novice woodworkers and DIYers. She also works as a university professor in the health care industry. Have a question for Janice? Feel free to send her a message here!