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DIY Wood Accent Wall

We have been in our house for over 3 years now and this large wall in our dining room has been a spot I could never decide what to do with. Everything I came up with or was going to try just never seemed like the right fit. When we decided to overhaul our dining space and thought about doing  wood accent wall I knew it was finally going to be something we loved!

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The design

Before we began we had to figure out what kind of design we wanted on the wall. Jesse wanted a very geometric pattern while I just wanted basic vertical pieces. We knew we had to figure out a comprise. We went about doing this by using painters tape and laying out a few different designs. It was about finding a design that fitted best in the space and not about certain spacing or angles. Once we found what we loved we left it up for awhile to make sure it was what we wanted. A little reminder that painters tape is not the exact width we used and of course it’s a different look than the finished one. This is just for reference. Leave the taped pieces up until you are about to attach the boards.

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Wood accent wall details

First we removed the old base board and replaced it with a board that was more square to match the style of the rest of the wall. We took a 1 x 10 board and cut it to 3 1/4 to match the height of the old baseboard. To make all the pieces for the design we took 1 x 10 boards and cut them to 1.5 inch wide pieces. We started by putting them on both sides and top of the wall to somewhat frame it out. To adhere all the boards we used both construction adhesive and an air nailer to secure them. While we tried to hit studs where we could (we used 2.5 inch nails) using the construction adhesive is important to help totally secure the boards since you don’t always hit studs.

Next, we began working on the design with the large angled piece in the center and then the smaller pieces from there. The best way to describe the process is that we took each piece we were working on and placed it on top of its spot where the tape was. Take a pencil underneath the board where it intersects into the pieces at the top and bottom.  Draw a line on your board where they meet. That is where you will make your cuts. Also make a small pencil mark on the wall to make the location of the painters tape so you can remove it. Make the cuts using a miter box and then remove your painters tape and attach the piece using construction adhesive and an air nailer (also sometimes called a brad nailer or finish nailer). Continue doing this for each piece until everything is attached. Check to make sure there are no spots of glue on the sides of the boards that needs to be wiped away. If it hardens it’s very difficult to remove.

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Finishing touches

We left everything for a day so the glue would dry. Then lightly sanded all the edges and sides of the boards. Next we went through and filled any nail holes with painters putty and caulked all the edges where the board meets the wall.

That took another day to dry and then we started painting. We chose to use a flat (or matte) black paint. Specifically Sherwin Williams Tricorn Black is the color. Then there was not any sheen and you are able to see the design and I personally feel like it makes it seem less intense. For the open wall spaces we used a roller and a brush to go over the wood. Around the edges we taped with Frog tape to cut in. Sometimes we free hand this but with such a stark contrast the tape is key! The first coat of paint we did a really thorough coat. Once that was dry we did a second touch up coat. That was it! Using good quality paint makes a big difference for this kind of project.

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I absolutely love the way it turned out! I encourage you to give a wood accent wall a try. Overall it was a lot quicker and easier than we had anticipated. It just takes a little bit of a patience but once you get going its fun. 

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