Plywood finishing barn interior

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Forum topic by Thorator posted 03-06-2017 03:20 AM 616 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 595 days

03-06-2017 03:20 AM

My barn has old low-grade plywood walls in the interior aisle way and I would like to dress it up. The barn is used for horses and does not need to be prestien but it is looking a bit dried out and warn. I could just seal and move on, but I thought there might be a way to dress it up without a huge additional effort. There are areas of slight damage and some popped surface knots, so unless I use a lot of sanding compound and fully sanding everything the walls will not be perfect: they don’t need to be perfect. Walls are 10’ tall and 150’ long. Suggestions for easy prep and finish are appreciated.

4 replies so far

View Lazyman's profile


2528 posts in 1535 days

#1 posted 03-06-2017 03:44 AM

Perhaps use a power washer to clean off the surface grime and once it is dry apply a paint or stain? If you cannot use a power washer on it because you are afraid it will cause the plywood to delaminate or warp, you may have to use a wire brush or an angle grinder with wire wheel to get it clean. If you go with a semi-transparent stain it may help to cover some of the wear and tear without much work. If you go with a paint, it may be necessary to prime it if it has never been painted.

If by dress it up you want to embellish the flat walls, you put some wood strips to frame around each section and/or make a X shape like a barn door? If you do that you could make the strips a different color than the plywood.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Thorator's profile


3 posts in 595 days

#2 posted 03-06-2017 05:04 PM

Thanks Nathan. I’m thinking along the same lines. I am concerned with power washing: it would need to be a low pressure. Maybe a hose with a cleaning compound? The barn has Dutch doors and the same for the stalls, so that detail is already included. I am considering beadboard for the lower portion with paint above but I am not sure that I want the expense or upkeep. The barn has an addition that double the size but is built slightly differently: stall doors are topped by a 16” header instead of fully framed (so they are a couple inches shorter) and the plywood grain runs vertical instead of horizontal like the old section. That seems to cry for paint.

View JCamp's profile


819 posts in 699 days

#3 posted 03-06-2017 05:56 PM

You could always get some 2 bys cut them into 3/4 inch thick strips then nail them to the walls every 8 to 12 inches. It would give the appearance of board and batten siding….

-- Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy might

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3 posts in 595 days

#4 posted 03-08-2017 05:30 AM

Good idea JCamp – less expensive than my thought but similar visual.

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