DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Walls and Ceilings > How to finish plywood walls

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-04-2014, 08:42 AM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default How to finish plywood walls

I started removing fake painted paneling in my new home and have discovered that behind it is thick plywood. It looks pretty sturdy, so I don't think I want to remove it, but I'm wondering how to finish it off when all of the paneling is off. Can it be caulked and painted? Plastered? Wallpapered? I'm trying to go the least expensive route without having ugly walls again. Note: this is not OSB plywood. It looks like wood with a grain. It's kind of rough to the touch though.

Last edited by Pauley; 07-04-2014 at 08:46 AM.
Pauley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 09:13 AM  
Fixer Upper
bud16415's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Erie Pa, Pa
Posts: 3,731
Liked 1202 Times on 926 Posts
Likes Given: 644


If you wanted to go on a budget and like wall paper they sell a tough paper that goes up first called bridging paper. That will hide the voids and let the paper lay smooth.

If you want painted walls it would be best to add a layer of drywall. It might then require moving out the switches and outlets. They sell things to do that. Follow normal drywall instillation.

You could do a different type paneling also.

Trying to smooth and finish the plywood might be more work and not that good of an outcome.

Sent from my iPhone using Home Repair

bud16415 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 09:53 AM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Is plywood a good material to have on walls, in general? I thought I'd have to remove it to put up drywall.
Pauley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 01:25 PM  
Established Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 845
Liked 310 Times on 259 Posts


You may find that the wall was once an exterior wall that had siding over it. Someone remodel? That being said, I think the best and easiest would just cover it with 3/8 sheetrock and be done with it. I can't see any reason to take it off the plywood unless you want to see what's under it. The sheetrock will give you a nice smooth wall. Mount the rock vertically if it's less than an 8 foot wall so you don't have any butt joints to tape and mud, just the tapered edges which are easier to finish smoothly for a DIYer. You may need extension rings for any outlet boxes, but maybe not if you had the paneling.
beachguy005 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-04-2014, 02:29 PM  
Contractor retired
nealtw's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Upper Fraser Valley, British Columbia
Posts: 21,525
Liked 2447 Times on 2154 Posts
Likes Given: 4129


Extra plywood only makes a stronger house. We are in an earthquake zone and are now placing what they call stress walls inside houses, it gets covered with drywall.
nealtw is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 02:33 PM  
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 4
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Thanks. The room is definitely original to the house, but I agree that the plywood makes it stronger. I haven't decided which route I'll take, but I plan to keep the plywood up regardless. Thank you all for responding.
Pauley is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-05-2014, 05:11 PM  
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 154
Liked 3 Times on 3 Posts
Likes Given: 8


Yes you can finish plywood. It would be lots of sanding, you can put trim on the edges or some kind of waiscot, as you like.
bryce is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-06-2014, 07:53 PM  
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 152
Liked 36 Times on 28 Posts
Likes Given: 10


I would attach drywall and finish. Since you have no idea what wiring is behind and where, use drywall screws of length to not pass through the other side of the plywood. Or fasten drywall to areas where you know there is a stud underneath.

- Taping & Finishing Drywall Joints
- Inside & Outside Corner Drywall Joints
- How to Repair Small and Big Holes
- How to Build and Finish Drywall Arches
- How to Apply or Repair Texture
Free Tutorials at
Drywallinfo is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter DIY Home Repair Forum Replies Last Post
Plywood for Bathroom Walls and Floor InTooDeep General Home Improvement Discussion 7 03-21-2014 07:50 AM
BC Plywood vs OSB isola96 Flooring 2 01-16-2012 04:17 PM
How to Finish Garage Walls inkaytown Walls and Ceilings 1 05-16-2010 05:40 PM
plywood sides vs. all plywood box kitchen cabinets? Christian Carpentry and Woodworking 8 03-28-2010 09:11 PM
Plywood walls.. That New Guy Walls and Ceilings 8 11-20-2008 10:05 PM

Newest Threads