Laundry Room: Planked Walls

The walls of our basement laundry room are the poured cement foundation. The “finished” part of the walls has a thick layer of plaster texture. The unfinished part was the raw cement, painted on parts, badly textured by a previous owner on others. Needless to say, something needed to be done to cover up the multiple textures of the dungeon-esque walls. Drywall is great, but I have been wanting to do a planked wall and the laundry room walls gave me a perfect chance to try it.

Planked wall

The planks are 1/4″ plywood underlayment cut into 6″ strips. They are nailed into studs on one wall, and furring strips on the exterior wall with the windows.

planked wall

We nailed the planks up with our brad nailer (aka the best $30 I have ever spent). I then primed and painted them white (Popcorn by Martha Stewart). I caulked the gap where the planks meet the wall and in the corners, to give a seamless look.

Once the plank walls were up, we were able to frame out the window. We are really lucky that our basement windows are completely above ground; actually poured into the foundation. The two sides and the bottom are concrete and there is no true top. The original wood windows sat flush with the interior wall  leaving a ledge on the exterior of the house. When we replaced the rotten originals, we chose to have the window flush with the exterior and the ledge on the interior.

Craftsman window

We framed the new interior box out with 1/2″ MDF painted on both sides. Since the windows are above ground dampness shouldn’t be an issue, but I like to be extra careful.

The actual window frame, or trim, is 1×4 pine left over from when we made our bed. I wanted the trim to be similar to the rest of the house, which is a simple craftsman style. I used this tutorial from The Family Handyman for installing craftsman style trim.

The trim part was much easier than I thought it would be. Caulking all the tiny gaps and nail holes was harder than the trim itself.

We now have to replicate the planks and the window trim on the other side of the room. Hopefully it will go quick since we already have some practice at it.


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