How to Build a Pegboard Wall
Learn how to build a pegboard wall - including adding a frame and extending electrical outlets! Full photo and video tutorial shows you exactly what to do!
Confession time: two years ago, I attempted to close up a doorway between my laundry room and kitchen. I did a terrible job. DIY isn't always the way to go. That project was one of those times I probably should have hired out.
So for the past two years, I've stared at this giant bump in the wall every time I went to do laundry. I pretended it wasn't there. But now it's time to sell the house, and this just isn't going to fly anymore.
Solution: cover the wall with pegboard. Laundry room pegboard walls are a thing, right?
DIY Pegboard Wall Overview
The general process for building a pegboard wall goes like this:
- Hang furring strips on the wall to bump the pegboard out from the wall and allow room for pegs behind pegboard. Make sure the furring strips are screwed into studs.
- Hang pegboard on furring strips.
- Extend any light switches or electrical outlets.
- Make and install frame.
- Caulk all seams and edges, and paint if desired.
It is very helpful to have a friend, particularly when hanging the pegboard, but it's not impossible to do by yourself - I managed!
Before I started, I did a significant amount of planning so that I knew exactly how I wanted Home Depot to cut my pegboard pieces. I planned for my pegboard wall to be 72" wide and 90" tall, aka, 6 feet wide and 7 1/2 feet tall. I took into account:
- The size of the space.
- Any light switches or electrical outlets. I chose to extend the pegboard past them, and bump the switches out to rest on top of the pegboard, but you may make a different choice.
- Transporting the pegboard. I have a trailer that is almost able to fit 4'x8' sheets of plywood - the length is fine, but the internal width of my trailer is only 46" across. I didn't want to mess with transporting the pegboard at an angle, so I had Home Depot trim each piece down to 45" wide, hence the 90" height.
The materials listed below are what I used for my 72" x 90" pegboard.
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- Pegboard - I used 3/16" white pegboard purchased from Home Depot. Both Home Depot and Lowes can cut your pegboard for you (Midwestern chain Menards cannot,) and I recommend having them do so, if for no other reason than ease of transport.
- (15) 1"x 2" Furring Strips - Seven of these will support the pegboard on the wall, while the other eight will form the frame.
- Electrical Extenders - You have two options here, a gang box extender, or electrical spacers that bump out the outlet. I recommend the gang box extender - it's easier to use, and is sturdier for applications like this that require a pretty large bump out. That said, I used the spacers since the the gang box extender didn't fit in my old-house electrical boxes.
- Long Level
- Construction Adhesive
- Wood Screws and Brad Nails
How to Build a Pegboard Wall
Step 1: Determine and Mark Furring Strip Locations
I actually purchased 6 furring strips that I planned to mount horizontally on the wall to support the pegboard, but I recommend purchasing 7. Then you can put three on the top half of the pegboard, three on the bottom half of the pegboard, and one right in the middle where the first pegboard ends and second pegboard starts.
The fact that I had six furring strips means that I had three on the bottom, one in the middle, and two on the top. The furring strips on the top are therefore more widely spaced, and the pegboard is a little wobbly between them. Use seven furring strips, friends.
Regardless, determine where your furring strips will go, and mark those locations with a pencil.
Step 2: Determine and Mark Stud Locations
The furring strips need to be secured into wall studs in order to create a stable mount for your pegboard. In my case, this was super easy, since I hadn't painted the doorway I could see the nails in the wall and knew exactly where three studs were.
If you need to actually find studs through drywall, I highly recommend this stud finder. It's simple, cheap, and accurately finds nails in your drywall (aka, stud locations.) While it doesn't work on plaster walls, it was a life saver back when I lived in a house with drywall.
Step 3: Mount Furring Strips
Put a line of construction adhesive on the back of a furring strip, then place the furring strip on the wall in the place you've marked.
Since my wall was so uneven, there were gaps in spots between my furring strip and the wall. I cut little pieces of wood to go in these spots to make everything level.
Given you're working with a normal wall, you probably won't need to do this. If your wall is even, any gaps you see are probably caused by warpage in your furring strip. In that case, I wouldn't worry about adding these shim pieces - when you screw the furring strip to the wall, it'll un-warp and align itself.
Using a level similar in length to your furring strip, check that your furring strip is level. Double check this. Triple check this. I didn't (which I'll discuss a bit later) and had some issues because of it later.
Finally, screw your furring strip to the wall in the locations where you've identified studs. Since the screws need to go through A) a furring strip, B) drywall/plaster, and C) into the stud, you'll need pretty long screws here - I think I used 2 1/2" screws.
Step 4: Mount Pegboard
Note: I used a Dremel to cut my outlet holes after I'd mounted the pegboard. However, if you don't have a Dremel and would prefer to use a jigsaw, cut these holes prior to mounting the pegboard.
I used 1" screws to secure the pegboard to the furring strips. I thought about using construction adhesive as well, but considering I was struggling to lift and secure the pegboard already (I was working alone,) I decided not to add something messy into the mix.
I started with the top pegboard, and put screws along the top furring strip every 12 holes. Then I added screws on either end of the pegboard at each furring strip.
Finally, I added brad nails in the middle of the pegboard to secure the center to the furring strips and make it less wobbly.
I mentioned I did this alone. It was a bit of a struggle in the beginning, but then I had a brilliant idea. I took a bit of scrap wood, and mounted it to the center of the bottom furring strip right where I wanted the pegboard to end.
Then I could rest the pegboard on this piece while I made sure things were level and added the first few screws. Once I was done, I just pulled the piece out with pliers, and it was like it was never there.
Step 5: Cut Holes for Outlets and Switches
The cool thing about pegboard is that it has holes in it, which means if you shine a flashlight into those holes, you can see exactly where the outlets and light switches are. Using this idea, I traced an outline on my pegboard where my switches and outlets were.
Then I used a cutting attachment on my Dremel tool to cut the holes.
This was way easier than the measuring and guess and check methods I've used in the past. Plus, I didn't have to find a place to lay the giant pegboard in order to cut it with a jigsaw!
Then I pulled out the switch, and added extenders between the wall and the switch. I re-screwed the screws into the wall, reattached the cover plate, and was good to go!
Step 6: Make Frame Pieces
I used two furring strips for each side of the frame - one which covers the gap between the wall and the pegboard, and another that overlaps the pegboard. I started by attaching these together with wood glue and brad nails.
Then I caulked the seam between them, and added wood filler to any knots holes or dents. Once the wood filler was dry, I sanded down the piece with my orbital sander.
Finally, I put two coats of white paint on each frame piece.
Step 7: Mount Frame Pieces
I attached these to the pegboard using construction adhesive and brad nails, making sure the brad nails were placed such that they went through the furring strips.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
Finally, I caulked the seam between the two pegboard pieces, as well as any gaps between the frame and the pegboard. Then my pegboard wall was done!
Tips and Tricks
There are a couple of things I'd do differently next time, and I thought I'd let you know exactly what those were!
1. Cut the Wall Furring Strips a Little Short
I cut my furring strips for the wall exactly the length of the pegboard. This meant if I didn't get all the furring strips perfectly vertically aligned, the furring strips would stick out one one side. Guess what? I didn't get the furring strips perfectly aligned.
If the furring strips were just a little shorter, this wouldn't have been an issue. I covered it up with the frame, so it's not visible in my final product, but things would have been better if that wasn't an issue.
2. Double Check the Furring Strips are Level
I thought I'd checked that the furring strips were level. Apparently sometime between my last level check and when those furring strips got attached to the wall, some of them became un-level. That created this:
Once again I covered it up with the frame. If I was doing this again, I'd double check my furring strip was still level after I drove in the screws.
3. Use an Odd Number of Furring Strips
While I told you in the instructions to use seven furring strips, I actually used six. I wrote this up to be seven, because I wish I'd used seven. In using seven furring strips, I could have had three furring strips supporting each piece of pegboard, and one strip in the middle to secure the seam between the two pieces.
This is a really budget-friendly way to add storage to a small space. Given that you're a DIY-er who has an assortment of tools on hand, it can be done for under $60. Here's my cost cost breakdown:
Gang Box Extender*
*I didn't actually use the gang box extender since it didn't fit - but since I already had the spacers, I left it in there anyway so you had a good idea of the total cost.
Will this damage my wall?
The method as described above will put holes in your wall wherever there are screws, as well as stick construction adhesive to your wall at each of the furring strips. It is intended to be permenant.
If you think you might want to remove the pegboard at some point, don't use construction adhesive between the furring strips and the wall. The screws alone are enough to hold the furring strips and pegboard in place.
The construction adhesive is honestly overkill, but I used it since it caused the furring strip to stick to the wall while I was mounting it, which made things easier for me since nobody was holding the furring strips in place. This is a non-issue if you have a friend to help you hold them up.
How much weight will this pegboard hold?
Great question! Unfortunately I don't have an exact number for you - I couldn't find a reliable source on the weight capacity of 3/16" pegboard. That said, if you're planning to hang really heavy things and are worried, there are a couple things you can do to make sure your pegboard holds:
- Purchase Thicker Pegboard - Hardboard pegboard, which is what you'll find at most Home Improvement stores, generally comes in 3 sizes, the thinnest, 1/8"; medium thickness, 3/16"; and the thickest size, 1/4." The thicker the pegboard, the more weight it can hold. Additionally, metal pegboard exists and has higher weight capacities.
- Add Rail Strips - This isn't something I've ever personally done, so I'm going to refrain from telling you too much, but I know metal rail strips can be purchased and installed at the top of pegboards for extra heavy items.
Does it matter if I mount my furring strips vertically or horizontally?
The short answer is no, not really, but my personal preference is for horizontally. The reason? When you mount horizontally, each screw goes into a different stud. If one screw misses a stud, it's no big deal; the other screws hit studs, so it's fine.
But if you mount vertically, all the screws on a single furring strip go into the same stud. If your screw misses a stud, all the screws probably missed studs. Theoretically, you'd notice and move your furring strip one way or another, but either way it's a nuisance, and just easier to mount horizontally in the first place.
What pegboard accessories did you use?
I grabbed this package at Harbor Freight. The advertised "32-piece" description is a little misleading; 12 of the pieces are screws and spacers for mounting the pegboard. Regardless, I still thought it was a good value, and am more than happy with the assortment and variety included in the pack.
I'm so happy with how the DIY Pegboard Wall turned out - much better than the bump that was there before!
I also love that some things that needed permanent homes found them on this pegboard! My laundry baskets tended to just get left wherever they were last used... no more, now that they have a real home!
And I had struggled to find a home near an outlet for my handheld vacuum. This is the perfect place!
I absolutely love my new pegboard wall! If you like it too, or plan on building your own, be sure to save this post to Pinterest so that you can find it again later! And if you're looking for more creative wall ideas, be sure to check out my DIY Burlap Walls - I figured they'd look good, but I was absolutely shocked by how great they turned out!