Accent Wall: How To

Accent Wall: How To

Growing up, my dad was always doing millwork around our house. Most weekends he was measuring wood, cutting wood or painting wood to make our home special. But, in my 40 some years, I had never picked up a saw or even measured a piece of wood before taking on this project.

Disclaimer: I am obviously not an expert and I’m sure there are better ways to approach a project like this but I will share the approach I took.


1.5 inch lattice wood from Lowe’s

Half round pine wood from Lowe’s

Caulk for the trim

Brad nails and nail gun

Sliding Mitre Saw

Sherwin Williams Pure White Paint


Step 1: Design

Before you begin you need to sketch out your design. There are so many places to get inspiration... Pinterest, Instagram etc.

For me, I had bits of this design in my head from different hotels I have stayed in. I opted to do five boxes because odd numbers are the cardinal rule of design. Also, I didn't use a fancy tool to create the design. I actually did it in powerpoint!!
Step 2: Prepare the Wall - 4 hours
Prior to applying the wood trim, I prepared the wall by filling in old nail holes. Sanding rough areas. And, painting the entire wall white. I wanted the wall and the trim to both be white and since the existing wall was a light grey I thought it would be easier to already have a coat of white on the wall surface.
Step 3: Cutting the Wood and Nailing to the Wall - 6 hours
Measure measure measure. That’s all I can say!
Make sure you've measured once, twice and even three times if you’re a beginner like me. I ended up cutting about five pieces of wood that were an inch too short because I had my measurements wrong. Good thing the wood wasn’t that expensive.
Once I had the wood cut, I framed out the entire wall with larger boxes. These were straight, easy cuts to make on the saw. Of course, the walls and ceiling weren't perfectly even, but some of those things can be addressed with caulking or shims of wood. Luckily, I was able to address everything with caulking. This step took about 3 hours.
Next, I prepared the wood for the interior boxes. These were a bit more challenging because of the 45 degree angle of the cuts. But the miter saw was a life saver here. I also enlisted my husband to help with this part. Cutting the wood for this part and nailing to wall took about 3 hours.

I then filled in all the nail holes with wood filler. This is a pretty easy step and necessary so you don’t see gaps in the wood when painting


Step 4: Caulking - 6-7 hours

Next up was the caulking. Oh boy is all I can say.

Again, this was new to me. I had never caulked before and I underestimated the amount of time it would take. I think I lost 6 to 7 hours of my life to caulk all of the edges.

All in all, I’m pretty impressed with my caulking ability. It can be fairly messy and you need to be super careful and precise. I used a rag and a pail of water to help keep my lines straight. I know some people use a sponge but I found a rag to be more useful.
Step 5: Painting and Painting and Painting - 7 hours
And finally was painting. I wanted to try a spray painter but having no experience in using one before I opted to paint this wall with a brush. It probably took a little bit longer but I felt with all of the edges and the corners I could be more precise with a brush. It took about three coats to get a full coverage everywhere. To finish it off, I caulked the outside edges again to make sure that I had a nice crisp line.
Note: The website says that the wood is ready to stain or paint. I did sand each piece very slightly in areas where the wood was rough. However, if I was to do it again, I would give each piece of wood a light sanding before painting.


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1 comment

Auntie, The sitting room looks very pretty every time I walk in. I love to hide Julia in the cushions I also love to sit in the big chairs and pretend that I’m the queen! I really love all the furniture and the artwork and I can’t wait till I can come back to your house!!!!!

Emma Ford

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