I live in a rental and want to avoid permanently renovating the walls. And I have very little home improvement experience.

I would like to temporarily attach plywood to the interior walls in a way that doesn't damage the paint underneath. The plywood wont be structural.

How would you affix the plywood to the wall and be able to remove it later? And how do you panel the wall evenly so it doesn't look like a jigsaw pattern?

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    What are you using the plywood for? Is there going to be anything attached to it (how heavy?)? – gregmac Feb 17 '12 at 20:14

The short answer is that you can't. Plywood is heavy and you will need to drive a lot of screws through the wood and drywall into studs to properly secure it. You will also find that when you have something sandwiched tightly against paint, often it will pull the paint off when you remove it.

That being said, screw holes in drywall and peeled paint are easy to patch and paint when you are done.

As for avoiding a jigsaw pattern, you will just need to align all of the pieces correctly so that the seams are all in-line with eachother. The chance of the standard-sized sheets of plywood fitting exactly are very unlikely so you will need either a table or circular saw to cut them to size.

I'm not sure what your exact requirements are, but you might also want to consider particle board.

  • Maybe it can't be done today or tomorrow, but possibly the day after tomorrow: Gecko Feet Inspire Amazing Glue That Can Hold 700 Pounds On Smooth Wall sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120216165500.htm – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 17 '12 at 23:59
  • Thanks Steven, I'm going to look into thin raw plywood and like you said screw them into the drywall. I'm sure I can patch and paint, they are white walls. Thanks for your advice. – uriah Feb 18 '12 at 6:44

You can hang the plywood panels with french cleats to minimize damage to the walls. One half of the cleat is screwed to the wall and the other half is screwed to the panel. Then they hook over each other to hold the panel on the wall.

Make sure the cleat is screwed into studs so it can support the weight of the plywood. You can use a strip of wood screwed to the bottom edge of the plywood panel to hold it out from the wall even with the top cleat.

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  • +1: This solves the problems presented above with regard to having to use lots of screws and peeling paint while minimizing patching later. Also, these types of cleats can hold quite a bit of weight. – kwakmunkee May 9 '12 at 6:14

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