Breakfast Nook Planked Wall Tutorial

You know those spaces in your home that you just don’t like? No matter what, it doesn’t seem to fit. Something just seems off. Or just plain ugly in this case. That’s how I felt about our breakfast nook from the first day we moved in. I never liked it and it always bothered me. We’d been in the house about 3 months when I finally figured out the problem. This space needed shiplap! Yes, lovely shiplap. Or planked walls, if you do it the cheap way like I did. It was fairly simple to do and the results were definitely worth the work. And today I’m excited to share exactly how I did it–and yes, I did it myself. Actually, this was my first time using a saw. Ever. In my life. And I lived to tell about it.

Breakfast Nook Planked Wall Tutorial

Some affiliate links are included in this post for your convenience.

Supplies Needed:

  • circular saw to cut the boards to length
  • jigsaw to cut around outlets or other edges
  • nail gun
  • level
  • hammer
  • two nickels (to evenly separate your planks as you go)
  • liquid nails to secure boards to the wall (although I didn’t use this)
  • stud finder (you’ll want to know exactly where to shoot the nails if you’re lazy and don’t use liquid nails like me!)
  • DryDex Spackling
  • coffee (if you’re into that kind of thing)

Here’s a few shots of the before:

Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial

Not pretty. We all agree.

Moving on.

I used 4×8 underlayment sheets from Lowe’s. If you ask nicely some jolly little fellow will come cut it into 6″ planks. I highly recommend doing this, it will make your life much easier. And it helps if you have an assistant.


The concept is pretty simple: nail the boards to the wall. Easy, I told you. I started at the top of the wall in order to make sure everything was level and even as I worked my way down–plus I wanted a full plank on the top. You could also start from the bottom up, either works. (Side note: I’m not sure why my top plank is missing here. I can’t remember what happened, but it will reappear soon.)

It went pretty fast working down and around the window. Make sure to use two nickels to separate your boards so all the planks are nice and evenly spaced.

Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial

Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial


Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial

Some people use liquid nails to help secure the planks to the walls. But I’m lazy. So instead I used a stud finder to find the studs in the walls, drew a line down the wall, and then used that to guide me as I nailed the planks on the wall.

I used spackle to fill all the nails holes. Make sure you also sand them down after it dries!

Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial

Also be sure to add some corner trim just to polish it off a bit and cover any uneven edges. This gives it a more finished look.

I primed the planks with Zinsser white primer.

Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial

Here it is all primed and ready for paint:

Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial

I used Behr Ultra Paint & Primer in Pure White to paint the planks. I went for the eggshell finish because I didn’t want to be shiny at all. Here’s the finished look, minus a few pieces of pesky trim:

Breakfast Nook Planked Wall DIY Tutorial

Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial Breakfast Nook Planked Walls DIY Tutorial

I love how it brightened up this space and added the perfect farmhouse charm! And honestly, I’m pretty shocked I was able to pull this one off by myself. And if I can do it, so can YOU. So go get yourself some planks and get to work. Let me know what you think in the comments below, I’d love to chat!

Easy and Cheap Planked Wall Tutorial

Leave a Comment

The Comments

  • Pam
    December 14, 2015

    That is amazing n I love the farm house look!

  • Our Christmas Home Tour: Part One
    December 14, 2015

    […] absolutely adore this little nook, especially after we planked the walls. Go here for my […]

  • Terri
    December 26, 2015

    Thanks for the insight, I think we can tackle this????

    • Little Vintage Nest
      > Terri
      December 27, 2015

      Awesome, good luck!

      • Kelly
        > Little Vintage Nest
        September 8, 2016

        Love this. Just one question though- what are you putting between the pallets? Grout or paint? I’m confused on what to use to fill in the gaps between the boards. If you just painted the boards on the wall, how did you avoid getting it on the original wall. Does that make sense? Thanks for the help.

        • Sarah
          > Kelly
          September 8, 2016

          Hi Kelly, I first painted the wall a lighter color so you can’t see it through spaces between the boards, then you want to leave the gaps as they are. It’s fine to paint directly over them, the paint doesn’t really go in between and if it does it isn’t a big deal. Hope that helps!

  • Brittany
    January 5, 2016

    This is exactly the post I needed to find! A friend of mine is dying to put up her own ‘shiplap’ and this alternative is just right. Thanks so much for sharing it with us Sarah 🙂

    • Sarah
      > Brittany
      January 5, 2016

      Awesome, I’m happy this will work for her. And thanks for sharing!

  • bastcilk doptb
    January 29, 2016

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you are talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my website =). We could have a link exchange contract between us!

  • Kristi Loertscher
    February 19, 2016


  • A Tribute to Our Nest - Little Vintage Nest
    February 23, 2016

    […] For the first time ever I can see all my visions and dreams come to life. Like the breakfast nook planked wall I did not long after we moved […]

  • Life Giving Breakfast Nook - Little Vintage Nest
    May 10, 2016

    […] I ever did. EVER. It added to much coziness to this spot. You can find the full tutorial for that here. The transformation is amazing and so affordable. If you have never planked a wall in your home I […]

  • Master Bedroom Planked Wall - Little Vintage Nest
    May 17, 2016

    […] quick, I love the way it turned out. For this project I did the the same technique I used in the breakfast nook planked wall post, so be sure to check that out for a little more […]

  • How I Transitioned to Farmhouse Style - Little Vintage Nest
    June 30, 2016

    […] What I’d do today: If we still lived in that home I would have done a shiplap accent wall around that big window. It probably would have taken a full day of work, but the payoff would have been totally worth it. I have a full tutorial on how to get the shiplap look here. […]

  • Megan
    August 23, 2016

    Love this! Are the corners of your walls curved? I’ve been wanting to do this in our ours but we have curved corners and wasn’t sure how it would work.

    • Sarah
      > Megan
      August 23, 2016

      We don’t have curved corners, but I think it would still work. Maybe just don’t go all the way to the end of the wall with the plank and use a piece of quarter round trim to cap it off on the end right before the curve. Good luck!

  • Farmhouse Kitchen & Breakfast Nook Tour - Little Vintage Nest
    September 3, 2016

    […] you’re curious about the shiplap, aka planked wall, head on over to this post where I shared all the step-by-step process. I did it all myself, it was my first time even using a […]

  • Quick Front Entryway Makeover - Little Vintage Nest
    September 9, 2016

    […] what kind of home you have–start with the walls. Adding beadboard, like I did here, or a planked wall is so much easier than most people think. And it’s actually very […]

  • Judi
    January 7, 2017

    Hi there

    First of all can I just say how much I LOVE the look of your planked walls! Although now you’ve got me revved up to create something similar myself. The only problem is that I live in the UK, and don’t really understand what sort of product you are referring to when you say ‘underlayment’, is it plywood timber, mdf??? Thanks so much for the inspiration, and I’m DEFINITELY going to try this project.

    Judi in the UK

  • How I Found My Design Style
    January 27, 2017

    […] 3) Planked Walls. I really wanted to brighten this space up, so I went with my gut and decided to add planked walls to the breakfast nook. This was my very first planked wall, I had no experience going into it. But I figured it out and the whole thing cost less than $100. I shared the tutorial in this post. […]

  • Deborah A Kaker
    February 11, 2017

    We own a manufactured home. I love it, but the walls are all a smooth shiney paneling with ugly pieces running down between the panels. Your kitchen wall idea has given me some ideas as to what I can do to make the house look more country and not as “put together”.

  • Annette
    February 15, 2017

    I absolutely ❤️ the planked walls! What a difference. I would really like to try this on a livingroom wall in my little farmhouse. Your ideas are amazing and I ❤️ Your decorating style!

    • Sarah
      > Annette
      February 15, 2017

      Thank you so much Annette! Give it a try, it’s actually very simple and goes quickly once you get the hang of it. And the difference it makes is well worth the effort!

  • Ann
    February 21, 2017

    Is there a trick to painting the planks? How did you paint without paint filling in the nickel gap between the planks?

    • Sarah
      > Ann
      February 21, 2017

      Hi Ann! For the most part the paint didn’t go in between the planks, but when it did I just ran a toothpick in between and it wiped it out before it dried! Easy peasy.

  • Courtney
    April 25, 2017

    How many 4*8 sheets did you end up needing? Love the look, came out great!

    • Sarah
      > Courtney
      April 25, 2017

      Hi Courtney! I think I needed 4 sheets for this wall.

  • 10 Ways to Get Farmhouse Style in Your Home
    April 30, 2017

    […] If you want a big change, find a way to add beadboard, shiplap, or wainscoting into your home. One thing you’ll notice about a lot of farmhouse style homes it that the walls are full of dimension and texture. In fact, many true farmhouses were full of real, rustic shiplap. Try starting small and consider adding beadboard to the walls in your bathroom, shiplap (or planked walls) in your living room, or maybe wainscoting in your dining room. You all know I love a good planked wall, like this one I recently completed in our breakfast nook. […]

  • Lisa
    June 29, 2017

    Just discovering this blog, and I LOVE your ‘voice’! You have a gift for teaching, and I love the way you write! I sooo want to do this to a couple accent walls in our home…I just want to make sure about the ‘staying power’ of planked walls…I do staging consultation for realtors, and I am always weighing projects to our home against ‘trends’. We don’t plan to stay here longer than 8 years, tops, but I think if I don’t use the glue, it would be easier to fix up if it did seem too passé by then! Thanks for making this look easy!!

    • Sarah
      > Lisa
      June 29, 2017

      Wow, thank you so much Lisa! I really appreciate that and I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying my blog. And I think you’d be ok to do this without glue, as long as you’re putting the nails in studs when putting the boards on the wall. It could easily come down any time!

  • Phyllis
    July 9, 2017

    What is your 4×8 underlayment? These are not 1×6 boards? Is it like a sheet of thin paneling that you cut to 6″ “boards”?

  • Areeba
    August 7, 2017

    HI Sarah!

    Did you sand the underlayment boards or just used them as is?
    Love your blog!!

    • Sarah
      > Areeba
      August 7, 2017

      I sanded the some of the edges a bit because they can get rough. But other than that I didn’t need to sand anything!

    • Sarah
      > Areeba
      August 7, 2017

      I sanded down the edges that were a little rough, but that’s it!

  • Melissa
    August 22, 2017

    Love this thinking about trying in my tiny living room do u think it would be ok if I done the whole room right now it is paneling and dark thinking this would lighten it up also struggling with where to start my transition to farmhouse style love your blogs

  • Beth Hollis
    September 7, 2017

    I plan to do some of this in our new home we’re moving into at the end of the month. I “cottage-farmhoused” up my Denver area townhome and it drew oohs and aahhs during our showings. YAY! Now, Lexington KY is on the horizon with a lovely, albeit tract home that is a brick traditional. With the shiplap, I plan to look decrepit and flirt (depending upon age of the Lowe’s personnel) to get those planks run thru their saws for the rip down. I am also curious – in reading many Pinterest DIY boards, it seems that some people really have trouble painting shiplap without getting paint in between the laps and losing some of the effect. I think I will play with painting them first – not the full coat, but get those puppies pretty well ‘done’ and then do touch up and a light brush strokes when installed. I am hoping that will give the ‘faux lap” more authenticity and age. I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether or not this could work?? THANKS

    • Sarah
      > Beth Hollis
      September 8, 2017

      I think that could definitely work Beth! And I love your strategy to flirt with the Lowe’s employee to get the boards cut. Ha! I have to do that with my husband to get him to do some of my projects around the house. Sometimes a little sweet talkin’ is all it takes to get it done. 🙂 Good luck with your new home in Kentucky!

  • Updated Farmhouse Style Breakfast Nook
    September 11, 2017

    […] Breakfast Nook Planked Wall Tutorial […]

  • Ticia
    May 14, 2018

    Hi Sarah
    Just wanted to say that your blog is like a breath of fresh air. You offer inspiration, and I enjoy every posts. I do have a question for you. When styling your breakfast nook, do you try to balance each sid? We recently planned a wall in our kitchen, and there is a window in the middle. I’m just not sure what to do! Sometimes I just want to leave it because it makes me smile! My hubby did a fabulous job! However, there are other times when I just want to style! Also, how do you hang things?!! Thanks!

  • Farmhouse Dining Room Inspiration - Shady Meadow Cottage
    May 23, 2018

    […] here we go! What says farmhouse more than shiplap? And what a cute breakfast nook over at Little Vintage Nest. I also love the yellow wall with the bakery sign. Vintage looking signs are another element of […]

  • 7 Ways You Can Add Farmhouse Style To Your Home - Shady Meadow Cottage
    June 24, 2018

    […] home has vintage shiplap that can be painted. If it doesn’t, you can easily add it like Little Vintage Nest has done in their dining […]

  • Toni
    November 12, 2018

    What kind of boards did u use..Original ship lap is tongue and groove but you put nickels in between?
    Where did you purchase the boards?

    • Sarah
      > Toni
      November 13, 2018

      I discussed that in the post–it’s underlayment, which works as an affordable alternative to real ship lap.

  • Jodi
    November 27, 2018

    I would love to do this in my living room around my French doors. I’m going to make the Leap and redo my living room farmhouse style. Inspired by seven pet chickens whom I’ve come to love over the last six months. I’m looking up the underlayment boards now but it looks like they come in all different materials, do you know which one you used? There’s cork (which doesn’t sound right), particleboard, plywood and a bunch of others. Which one do you suggest?

  • Elizabeth WilliamsonI
    August 30, 2019

    I love your planked walls in the breakfast area!

  • Annette Harpell
    November 18, 2019

    I absolutely love what you’ve done with your home! ❤️ I am struggling with decorating my house and I’m thinking it’s the ship lap that I need. I’d love any advice you could offer.

  • Annette Harpell
    November 18, 2019

    I absolutely love what you’ve done with your home! ❤️ The ship lap steals the show! What thickness of underlay did you use?

  • Amanda
    December 24, 2019

    Hi! Thank you so much for the tutorial! Your place looks great, and it makes the shiplap seem a bit less scary. I was hoping to get a little clarification on the nickel spacing. I feel silly asking as it seems like everyone else gets it! Are you making the spacing two nickels thick, your spacing didn’t look that wide from the pictures, or are you making them one nickel thick and using one nickel at each end of the board when placing it? Probably should be obvious, but I don’t want to mess up spacing with a wrong assumption! Thank you so much!!

  • Mary Coakley
    October 30, 2020

    You did a.wonderful.job a great difference well done you