Building your own kids climbing wall

Lil Boulder kids climbing wall being made


  • Paint & varnish rollers
  • Drill
  • 1 x 7/16th spaded wood drillbit
  • Hammer
  • Painting tape 
  • Sand paper or sander


  1. Start with two 4ft x 4ft plywood panels. Lay them down with the sanded side facing up. Ensure they came from the same 8ft x 4ft sheet and the cut edge matches up perfectly.
    Sanding DIY kids climbing wall
  2. Using the 7/8th spaded wood drill bit, drill a 6 x 6 grid of holes in each piece of plywood (36 total). Be sure to start drilling on the sanded side of the board.
    Drilling DIY kids climbing wall
  3. When one board is flipped, and placed on top of the other, a wall with an even grid of 72 holes is formed.
  4. Sand around the holes on the face up side (pre-sanded side) to ensure it’s smooth. Clean up any chips or sharp edges on the backside of the plywood. 
  5. Flip the plywood panels over so that the sanded side is facing down. Hammer in a T-nut into each hole (72 total). Be sure to hammer them in straight and until they are flush against the board. 
  6. Flip each plywood panel back over so the sanded side is face up (t-nut side face down).
  7. Cut planks of 2x4 lumber to create a frame for each panel. Make sure to use additional pieces to support the interior as well, ensuring that the framing does not cover any of the 72 holes.
  8. Place one plywood panel, face up, on top of the frame. Then fasten the frame to panel using 20 x #8 1-3/4in flat head wood screws (or similar). Screw from the face up side of the plywood, down into the 2x4s. Repeat until both panels are framed.
  9. Apply white primer to the sanded side of both boards as well as the 3/4in rim around the board.
  10. Wait to dry.
    Priming DIY kids climbing wall
  11. Use painter’s tape to create a mountain design, then roll on paint. Apply 2-3 coats per colour (until each colour looks even). Ensure the rim around the board is painted as well.
    Painting DIY kids climbing wall
  12. Using a clean foam roller, apply thin coats of varnish to the entire wall. Use a consistent and down pattern to avoid brush marks. Diligently roll out any bubbles.
  13. Let the wall sit and dry for 48 hours.
    Complete DIY kids climbing wall
  14. Install, following the installation guide here.
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