DIY Plywood Plank Flooring

Well, I’m finally getting around to showing you our new flooring in the sunroom.  We had water damage this spring to our sunroom carpet and a portion of the subfloor due to a leaky door, so it needed to be replaced.  We were hoping to wait to eventually replace the carpet in there, but the water damage spurred us on to do it sooner rather than later.  We knew that we didn’t want to put carpet back in there, and we also knew that we didn’t want to spend a ton of money.  So we went to the internet for ideas.  And that’s when we found DIY plywood plank flooring.  We used the post by Centsational Girl for inspiration.

So here is how we installed plywood plank flooring for $150!

We bought six sheets of  plywood at $17 each.  Then we had the nice guys at Home Depot cut each board into 6-inch strips – for free.



The worst part of this project was all the sanding.  Imagine that!  Plywood is very rough, so I had to make sure all the boards were as smooth as possible considered there would be a lot of bare tootsies walking on them.

When I got them sanded and laid them out in the sunroom the night before we were going to install them, we realized that the 8-foot long boards looked ridiculous.


So we cut each board in half into 4-foot boards.  That looked much better, since these were going into a smaller room.



The next morning we started installation.  We started in the very corner and worked our way across, cutting the boards at the end of each row to fit.  We used trim nails and put about 10 nails in each board.  They aren’t going anywhere.

Now some have suggested putting some liquid nails on each board to give it extra security, but we are thinking this may be more of a temporary floor for us, so we did want to option of being able to tear it up someday, so we chose to forego the liquid nails.

IMG_3020We started each subsequent row about a third of the way down the board above it, so the boards were staggered equally.



We’ve seen some projects that separate the rows by using the width of a quarter, but we decided we wanted ours butted right up against each other.  The reason being that I really wanted to blog the word “butted”.  No, really, no particular reason.  We just liked that look better.

After all the boards were inserted, then it was time to break out the sander again.  I used 240 grit at this point to try and make it as smooth as possible.

IMG_3034Then it was time for the grey-wash.  I mixed two parts water, two parts white paint, and one part grey paint and then slathered it on.




IMG_3050Sorry about the nighttime photos.  It’s the only time I get things done around here, after the kids go to bed.

So after that was all dry, I made the homemade “poor man’s stain.”

IMG_3056 The turpentine was about $8, and the flat black sample paint was about $2 at Lowe’s.  I mixed 1-2 teaspoons of the black paint to every two cups of turpentine.  This went over the dried whitewash.


I used a foam brush for this part.  You can see up above that it was very thin, and so it would bubble up and show brush marks if I didn’t take my time and go with the grain of every board.  I left the stain on a little thicker on some boards to make them a little darker.

IMG_3067Here it is all done and dried.  Then it was time to add the topcoat.  We chose oil-based polyurethane designed for floors.  The oil-based poly is more durable than the water-based, but the downside is that oil is naturally more yellow, and will continue to yellow with time.   We chose protection over no yellow, so we shall see what time does to the color of this!  We did 3 light coats – one layer for each boy in this house (2-year-old with mad throwing skills, 3-year-old that likes to hit things, and dog with longer-than-should-be nails).


Here’s the final product!



We really like the way it turned out!  Especially because it was CHEAP!

Here’s the final cost breakdown:

Plywood boards: $108

White/gray paint: already had on hand

Turpentine:  $8

Black paint sample: $2

Poly top coat: $30

Total cost of our new floor:  $148!!


I’ll get another update on the complete sunroom makeover soon!



About truthsofablessedlife

Welcome to my blog! I am first and foremost a loved daughter of the Most High. I am a blessed wife to an awesome man who loves the Jesus above all else. I am also a Momma of 3 wild kiddos, who give each day a blessing in a whole new way. And when I have time I also work as a Nurse Practitioner on a casual basis. Our family has a special passion for family time, adoption, food, and thrifty DIY/home improvement projects and would love to share some of it with you! In fact, I love creating so much I have started my own little Etsy business!
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40 Responses to DIY Plywood Plank Flooring

  1. Jessica says:

    I am in love with your floor. We’re gonna do plywood flooring throughout our house soon

  2. Jessica says:

    I am in love with your floor. It looks amazing. We’re gonna do plywood flooring throughout our house soon.

  3. Parker Dutro says:

    Hi! I love the floors! We’ve been considering doing this ourselves but I waiver. We love the look of plywood and the rustic, barn wood feel they create but the concern is with how they wear. We have a 5 month old and pug. How is the clear coat and wood holding up so far? Its been 4 months so I expect they are still fabulous but I’d love to hear an update. Are you still excited about them?


    • Hey, thanks! It’s been about 6 months now since we’ve done the floors, and we still love them! We have two toddler boys as well as a beagle. This is a high-traffic area as the dog goes in and out to the backyard through this room. And the boys are constantly running/tumbling/jumping/”driving trucks” through there. I can say that the topcoat is holding up extremely well. I was leary of the wear as well, but I’m surprised at how well it still looks. What I can say the downer is for us is that the top coat has started to yellow a little in areas. We used an oil-based topcoat because that is more protective than water-based coats, but oil yellows more than water. Especially because this is a sunroom so gets lots of natural light. At this point it really doesn’t bother me, but we’ll see how yellow it gets down the road and maybe I’ll end up resealing it. Overall we love the rustic feel and the outcome! Most of our friends who see it can’t believe that it’s plywood and that we put it in ourselves.
      Good luck to you!

      • Scott palmer says:

        You mentioned you butted up the board to one another with no space. Has the floor “buckled” or bowed up at all with the absence of gaps in between boards now that time has passed?

      • I can say that it really hasn’t. A couple of the boards feel a little “bouncy” when we walk on them in the higher traffic areas, but not terrible. We will probably pop down a couple extra nails when we get around to it. The other thing is that you could definitely use liquid nails when you put the boards down to make them more secure. We chose not to do that because we wanted the ability to tear it up down the road. Hope that helps!

  4. Pingback: Wall Experiment | Tiny Cabin On The Move

  5. Tommy says:

    When you mixed the white wash what did you use for measuring?

    • I just used an old glass measuring cup that I had on hand.

      • Tommy says:

        I should ask what part mix…by the cup or something else?

      • Sorry let me clarify. When I measures the turpentine mixture I just used an old measuring glass. The whitewash who’ll just depend on how much flooring you are doing. When I say parts I just used a couple old yogurt containers and did two containers fill of white paint, two containers full of water and one full of gray paint. Mixed all of that in a paint Paul and I was good to go!

      • Tommy says:

        And is it still holding up really well?

      • Funny you should ask that. We had some damage to our old (ugly!), 20-year linoleum in our kitchen which is just adjacent. So we actually ripped up the plywood planks and are actually just in the process of laying nice floating vinyl planks in the sunroom and kitchen. So yes, it was holding up fantastic but we knew it was just temporary until we redid our kitchen. It was in a little over two years and looked pretty much perfect. Just yellowed a bit because I used an oil-based polyurethane to seal. I’d recommend a water-based sealant like polyCRYLIC if you don’t want any yellowing over time.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Just love your floor. We are in the process of laying plywood floors in an extension and I was originally going to do a white-ish floor, but having seen your floor I think I’ll go grey. One question … was the grey paint you used a dark, medium, or light grey? OR, does it not matter as most of the ‘grey’ comes from the stain? Thanks so much for the tutorial, I really enjoyed reading your process.

    • Glad you enjoyed the post! The gray we used I would say was a medium. I don’t remember for sure as I just used what I had on hand at the time. My favorite is Mindful Gray by Sherwin Williams (available at Lowes). But you are right, most of the gray will come out in the stain. Good luck and I’d love to see pictures when it’s done!

  7. Albert says:

    I’m definitely gonna do this now. I believe you just saved me a bunch of money! Thank you so much for sharing.

  8. Janet Parks says:

    NIce job, looks picture perfect. When you applied the black stain with turpentine using the sponge brush did you wipe it after applying or just brush on and leave it to dry.

  9. Sue says:

    Thanks for this post! We’re in the process of doing this type of floor in my 13-y-o son’s room. We have the planks cut and the carpet removed. I have a question about sanding the planks before installing them. What grit sandpaper did you use? You mention that you used 240-grit after the planks were installed. I’m just wondering how to sand them to get a final surface that looks as great as yours!

  10. Cindy says:

    So after u did the turpentine and black paint , you said u left some boards stained longer so u wiped the stuff off ? It does not just sit and dry naturalky then?

  11. kayla says:

    These floors are gorgeous, you did a great job! I am wondering though, did they end up yellowing at all after a couple of years?

    • Thanks! The floors stayed very durable, however yes, they did yellow a bit. We used an oil-based poly on top as we were worried about durability, which naturally yellows over time. Especially since this was in a room with lots of sunlight. If I did it over again I would use several coats of water-based poly which should reduce the yellowing. Hope this helps!

  12. Jessica says:

    What was the size of the room you done?

  13. Hi, what a nice job. Did you use oil paint or latex paint?

  14. Kendra says:

    What type of plywood did you use, and what thickness? Great post!

  15. Diana Deiley says:

    What a beautiful job. I absolutely love how it came out. The color is perfect. You two did an amazing job. All that hard work, time and effort is well worth it all. I was happy to read that you used an oil based polyurethane for the sealer. Keep up the wonderful job. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Lori kelly says:

    I’m getting ready to follow your lead and am ready for paint. You only sanded before painting correct? Do you still recommend the foam brush? Thanks, lori

    • Yep, only sanded before painting. And a foam brush worked great for us!

      • lori kelly says:

        Thank you so much, and thank you also for your inspiration. I will post a picture when I’m done. It is our entire main level. (kitchen, dining room, pantry, front room and game room) so you see why I was looking for a economical solution. I hope mine will turn out as well as yours.
        Thanks again,

  17. I have been looking for the perfect gray floor option and you have nailed it (pun intended!) with this floor! Absolutely beautiful! My husband and I are renovating a farm house (my childhood home) and wanted a gray/white theme. We have used plank floors in our current house but recently did our bathroom floor with plywood planks and were VERY pleased. We plan to do most of the house with plywood. Thank you for describing your process with this floor – easy to follow and understand! The results speak for themselves and I know you are pleased to be able to turn out such beautiful results for so little expenditure.

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