Saturday, December 5, 2015

Retail Space Walls Planked (or is it Tiled?)

I have been working on the walls of my retail space, which is a former bedroom and front hallway in the new house that I'm turning into my workshop.  Although I purchased the flooring a few months ago, I felt it best to do the walls first so that I wouldn't drip paint on the new floors. As any of you DIYers know, it's better to do things in the correct order.

At first I thought I would just paint my walls in the space that will house my products, but for two reasons I decided against that.  Firstly, the walls were not in good condition due to the fact that I removed a wall, closet and door in order to make the two areas into one.  (...and anyone reading this blog for a time will know that I don't really enjoy patching and mudding drywall).  Secondly, I will need to put a lot of nails or screws (and maybe even shelving) in this room, in order to display my signs and other things I make.  I felt that hanging something off of drywall would not be as good (solid) as having some type of thicker material to "grab" the fasteners.  Initially I thought of horizontal boards spaced about a foot apart to help with that problem. Then, I started seeing quite a few bloggers who "planked" walls in their houses, and I liked the look, so decided to try that!

So, for a recap, this is the area I'm working on and this is how it looked when we bought the place:
(standing in the front hallway, the door goes into the bedroom)

This is after I removed the wall and door:

And, here is after I took out the flooring:

Okay, so what I did was get ten sheets of 1/4" plywood underlayment at the lumber store.  It comes in 4' x 8' sheets which I had the store cut to 4' x 4'.  This is much easier for me to handle and I did not want to put up any 8' lengths of boards anyway, so the maximum length of my boards will be 4'. I primed all twenty sheets, which was made easier by having a basically empty workshop, and then cut the 4' sections into strips of just over 5 7/8" wide on my tablesaw.  This gave me 8 strips per 4' length, or 16 strips from each 4' x 8' sheet. For anyone not doing the math, this is 160 strips!!

I proceeded to find the studs on all the walls (I use a strong magnet) and had all strips end and begin on studs. The studs were not at the usual 16" apart, but this is a very old home, and this front section was added on at some point, so it didn't surprise me. The ceiling is not at all level, so that was also something I had to deal with (and also wasn't surprising!)

I started on the end wall, using my nailing gun to put nails wherever I found studs.  I used pennies to horizontally space out the strips (do not ask me how many times I had to pick up pennies that fell out of the slots, I lost count after 427) and I also staggered the boards from end to end, like tiling, with a space between the end of one board and the beginning of the next. (Most people butt them up together, but I wanted the visual look of the spaces both horizontally and vertically)

Here are some progress photos (this took quite a few days of work):

Now it's time to paint the walls!


  1. I look forward to each of your posts to see the progress, changes, new ideas. Thank you for the photo journey getting the house to turn into your workshop/showroom.

  2. I think that's a great idea for imperfect walls, and a room that used to be 2 rooms is really hard to get smooth with drywall. Another great thing about these walls is that you can hang your stuff anywhere, plus it looks good.

  3. LOVE it Julie. Perfect for your space. :)

    ohhh can't wait to see it all come together.


  4. That looks awesome! The boards are a great look and you are right that they should be much better to display items.

  5. Your walls look amazing Julie!! I love how you left the space vertically and horizontally! Awesome!!

  6. That's going to be amazing! And what a great background to display your work.

  7. I find the room beautiful; the lighting seems perfect. Your walls are amazing, too. The move to take care of the imperfect walls is great and will ensure you get the most out of your repairs. I hope you’ll share more on the progress of your workshop. I always like your posts; keep on and let us know how your new workshop does.

    Nicholas Taylor @ Vancouver Business Brokers


I appreciate all your comments, they keep me blogging! I like to personally reply to each comment I receive but many of you are "no-reply commenters" which means your email address is not connected to your comment. If that is the case I cannot directly reply, sorry.