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A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a plain wall around a fireplace a little character, especially if you don’t have a mantel. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. Keep reading and I promise you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a modern fireplace a touch of character. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

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DIY Modern Fireplace Plywood Surround

Materials Needed
  • 1/4″ Plywood ripped into 6″ planks
  • Nail Gun (or hammer and finish nails)
  • Miter Saw (or hand saw to cut planks, or have them cut at the store like I did!)
  • Level
  • Wood stud finder
  • Stain Colors of Choice

Step 1:

Rip 1/4″ plywood into 6″ planks. I had the guys at Lowe’s do this for me.

A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a modern fireplace a touch of character. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

Step 2:

Stain the planks to your liking. For mine, I used a dark brown stain, a medium brown stain, a grey stain and a white wash (white paint diluted with water). I stained them in the backyard and let them dry.

A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a modern fireplace a touch of character. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

Step 3:

While the planks dry, use a stud finder to mark the studs on the wall. When I marked mine, I drew a long vertical line lining the studs.

To install, I started with a long plank along the bottom and nailed it to the studs. I -sort of- came up with a pattern on the fly as I went up, but it was nothing fancy. As long as you don’t repeat colors, it’ll look good. Using pennies as spacers as you move up makes it so your planks are evenly spaced. And don’t forget to use the level to make sure you keep the planks…well …. leveled… all the way up 🙂

A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a modern fireplace a touch of character. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

There were a couple pieces above and below the fireplace that I had to trim. I used a jig saw to trim the pieces.


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(I’m going nuts adding plywood all over my house)

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Step 4:

To finish it off, I added a piece of 1×4 trim at the top. That helped avoid cutting a narrow piece of plywood for the top piece against the ceiling. Not too bad eh?

A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a modern fireplace a touch of character. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

The cool thing about this treatment, is that it is totally removable when I get tired of it (and believe me, I will!). All I’ll need to do when that happens  is fill in a few small holes, and paint, so no big deal 🙂

Here are a few pics of the finished wall! Do you have a place in mind for this? Let me know in the comment section!

A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a modern fireplace a touch of character. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

It added a lot of character to an otherwise plain family room! Don’t you think?

Also, using pennies as spacers as you move up makes it so your planks are evenly spaced. And don't forget to use the level as you attach each plank. 

If you like this look and you don’t want to bother with nails, check out my nail-free version of this wall, And if you like the blanket ladder, you can find the tutorial here.

Pin this project for later, eh?

If you like what you see be sure and join my list of VIPs who receive a monthly newsletter and access to plans and printables! I promise I won’t spam you!

A fireplace plywood surround is an inexpensive way to give a modern fireplace a touch of character. These planks are made from ripped plywood and stained in a variety of colors. You will be amazed at how easy it is to create this look!

Here’s a video that summarizes the process. I filmed this when I did my basement bathroom but it’s the same process for any other wall with inside corners. Enjoy!


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Janice| Sawdust Sisters

Novice woodworker and serial Popcorn eater, Janice Thomas writes detailed tutorials that motivate others to "dare to try". Originally from Puerto Rico, Janice is fluent in Spanish and dreams of owning a beach house on the island someday! Janice currently lives in Utah with her husband and children, where she works as a university professor.

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