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Wooden Feature Accent Wall

I've had so many people asking me about our wooden accent wall, I figured it was time to get this up and ready so you all could have a tutorial to get started on your wall updates! The goal was to have this post up before baby boy was born, but since he arrived early, obviously other priorities took place. :)

I'll give hubs 99% of the credit as he was the mastermind behind it. After finding a similar design, I showed hubs and he put the miter saw to work!

Side note, if you want hubs to be crafty and he shows interest, then buy him a miter saw. I promise this will encourage him to get started. I bought him the DEWALT DWS780 12-Inch Double Bevel Sliding Compound Miter Saw, and if you are feeling really nice you can add in the DEWALT Miter Saw Stand, Heavy Duty. You could also do this yourself as I'm all about empowering women with power tools, but I had too many other projects to work on at this time to get everything ready for baby's arrival, so delegated the calculations and sawing to hubs!

This budget-friendly feature wall transforms any room in the house and creates quite the statement with a dark moody color. Whether it's a nursery, master bedroom, dining room, stairway, entryway, or living room, this wall will make quite the impact. We knew we wanted to create a fun, unique accent wall to feature in our home, so when we found out the news of baby boy being born into this world, we knew just the space!

We were able to complete this project in one weekend, even with the help of a very active and busy toddler... If we can do it, YOU can do it!

Before we get started with the tutorial, know that there are 2 different ways to paint the accent wall. You can either do what we did, which was build the wall completely and then paint it after it had been created. Or, the other option is to paint the plain wall first, then after you cut the wooden boards to the desired lengths, spray the boards with a Paint Sprayer before you nail them to the wall. This would create a smoother, more professional look, but since our paint sprayer was currently not in a functioning state, we went with the previous route.

Now let's get to the good stuff. It's hubs time to shine!

Below is our essential tool list that we used to help us create the wooden feature wall:


NOTE: You could also use 1/2″ MDF boards cut into 1″ strips instead of our pre-cut pine wood, but this just adds an extra step to the process.

OPTIONAL TOOLS (If you want to make the project go faster or for a large wall):

Here is the blank wall that we started with before it was transformed.


1.) CREATE THE SKETCH. First, sketch the design you'd like on a piece of paper. You can be as creative and detailed as you'd like, or keep it simple with a minimalist approach. We created an abstract design after finding a similar one we liked online.

2.) REPLICATE YOUR FINISHED SKETCH ONTO THE WALL. Start drawing the lines on the wall with a pencil. You may end up drawing multiple lines before you are satisfied with the design. We started with the longest line first and used the 12" Rafter Square to measure the first angle, but after this, we didn't need to measure the angles.

a.) DRAW THE LONGEST LINE. To do this, begin by drawing the longest line that includes a 45 degree angle from the ceiling. Using the 12" Rafter Square against the wall and ceiling will give you the exact 45 degree angle so you can start the line there and then use the 6 ft. level (or any long level or yard stick) to draw the remainder of the straight line. This will be your base piece that other lines will be built from. I've circled the diagonal line below in red to show you which line we started with.

b.) DRAW PERPENDICULAR LINE. Next, we drew an adjoining line under the first base line that was perpendicular to the base diagonal line (so it made a 90 degree angle). Using the 12" Rafter Square, we made certain it was exactly 90 degrees. See the red line below for clarity.

c.) DRAW VERTICAL LINE. Then we drew the vertical line that connected to the last line we drew. Again, using the 12" Rafter Square, we made sure it was exactly 90 degrees. See the red line below.

From these 3 lines, we were able to work off of them to create the remaining lines from the design sketch.

d.) DRAW REMAINING LINES. To draw the remaining lines, just eyeball where you want the next line to be (example 3 feet above the diagonal line) and make a mark. Then measure the distance and make a few more marks of the same distance up the wall where the line will be. Then use your 12" Rafter Square to start drawing the line to ensure the angle is accurate. Then finish drawing the line with the 6 ft. level to connect the marks and ensure the line is straight and even. Remember this is just a rough estimate, as when you cut the boards using the Miter Saw, you will set the Miter Saw cut to exactly 45 degrees or 90 degrees. This is the joy of doing an abstract wall, there is room to wiggle with.

To make any of the horizontal lines in the design, just use a Smaller Level to ensure that the lines are parallel to the floor with the spacing that you desire.

e.) TAPE OUT LINES. Using Painter's Tape, tape over the pencil lines on the wall to see the design more clearly. This is not a necessary step, but one we used to visualize the final product and make any adjustments prior to cutting the wood.

3.) MEASURE AND BUY WOOD. Using a Laser Distance Measurer, measure each wood line on the wall and add up the total amount of footage for the wood boards needed. You can also use a Measuring Tape, but we found the Laser Distance Measurer to be faster in adding up the total amount of wood needed. We ended up needing around 72' of wood total which equated to buying 9 8-foot boards. This cost us around $90. When purchasing your wood boards, make sure to get an ample supply over what you think you might need to allow for cutting and measuring mistakes. Some recommend getting 10% more than what you need for a project. This will also allow freedom to change your design or add as you go along. You can always return the uncut boards.

When we were deciding on the board width, we debated between 1/2" pieces to 2" pieces. We finally decided on 1 1/4" width pieces as we wanted the design to stand out and pop but didn't want the boards to be too skinny or too wide. 1 1/4" was our happy medium sweet spot and looked perfect!

We also debated on using MDF boards and cutting them into 1" or 1 1/2" strips, but after we found the pre-cut Pine Stop Wood Moulding Boards, this seemed like a simpler solution and eliminated an extra step. See the picture below for what we used.

4.) CUT THE WOOD. When you are ready to cut the wood boards, start with the first 3 lines we discussed earlier (the long diagonal line, the perpendicular line, and the vertical line). Starting with the first diagonal line, use a Measuring Tape to measure its length and cut it with the Miter Saw. The top of this board will have the 45 degree angle cut so that it lines up with the ceiling, and the bottom of the board will be a straight cut.

  • NOTE: The key to using the Miter Saw was that all cuts were done at either a 45 degree angle or 90 degree angle (straight cut) to keep things simple.

You can cut all the boards at once or cut them piece by piece. We measured and cut each board as we went along and then nailed it to the wall, piece by piece to ensure there was a proper fit in case we decided to move the boards around slightly. This gave us freedom to change the design slightly as we went along.

For any of the horizontal pieces, just hold up one of the uncut boards against the pieces already on the wall, and draw pencil marks for where the top and bottom of the cuts will be. This eliminates the need to measure angles since they are straight cuts.

  • Expert Tip: If you have a line that is longer than the board length (example longer than the 8 ft boards if that's what you used), you will have to turn the boards on their side to cut two boards at 45 degree angles so that when you merge them together on the wall, it creates a smooth, seamless transition. Just use Gorilla Wood Glue to join the two boards together and then a nail through the joint so it holds everything together.

5.) NAIL THE BOARDS TO THE WALL. We just used a hammer and 1.5" Finish Nails to adhere the boards to the wall, but if you have a large wall or want to expedite the process, use a Nail Gun. Either way will get the job done! When you are ready to nail the wood boards to the wall, start with the first 3 lines we discussed earlier (the long diagonal line, the perpendicular line, and the vertical line). Then nail the remaining adjoining boards.

Just hold up the board and wedge it with the wood piece (already on the wall) and with the other wall or ceiling to make sure they are flush. Using a Smaller Level on top of the board will ensure it is straight.

  • Expert Tip: When nailing the boards to the wall, locate studs with a Stud Finder to maximize strength and hold, and nail the boards into the studs.

6.) FILL HOLES WITH WOOD FILLER AND SAND TOUCH-UP SPOTS. Next, fill in the nail holes and seams of the wood and finish by sanding. I filled in the nail holes with Wood Filler and also caulked all of the seams of the wood with Wood Filler. I then sanded these touched up spots with a Sanding Sponge to ensure it gave a smooth finish. This enabled me to create a flawless finish without seeing any of the nail holes or gaps in the wood.

7.) PAINT THE WALL AND BOARDS. If you haven't already painted the wall and boards, then now is the time to get your painting clothes out! First use Painter's Tape to tape around the wall, ceiling, windows, and baseboard to keep the paint lines clean and neat.

We used a standard wall painting set that included Paint Rollers, Brushes, and Tray. The paint rollers worked great for the walls, and the paint brushes were perfect for the wood and areas near the wood.

After testing multiple colors on the wall in the blue slate grey palette, we went with the color NYPD in Behr Premium Plus Ultra finish. This is the 4th sample color from the top in the picture below.

We fell in love with this color as it made a dramatic statement while still coordinating well with our nursery decor. It also was a pop of color that I felt would be suitable later on after we transition the nursery into a big boy bedroom.

When mystery paint footprints appear on your carpet, you can easily find the culprit by looking at the feet of all those wearing footed onesies... this ruled out all adults and all remaining signs pointed to our curious toddler who didn't look guilty at all...

This wall refresh project was completed within a weekend as we knew we only had limited time before baby arrived. It was surprisingly much easier and quicker than I anticipated. I love how this little feature wall completely transformed the room. This Evolur™ Waverly 5-in-1 Convertible Crib in Weathered White was the perfect touch for my coastal adventure themed nursery. You can find the crib either at BuyBuy Baby or on Amazon!

Check out the 'before' and 'after' of the room. Here is what the room looked like before (when we moved into our home) and what it looks like now with the wooden statement wall. 

The wall's finishing touch was this adorable custom sign from Gobble Grove - check them out on Facebook! We couldn't be happier with it and how well it ties everything together!

Thanks for reading and good luck on your project! Send me a picture of your final project - I would love to see your beautiful feature wall! Check out more coastal and adventure themed nursery decor in my post, Baby Boy's Adventure Nursery. Stay tuned and keep coming back for more new posts!


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This lifestyle blog is a sampling of my many passions and interests that are a reflection of my soul essence.
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