Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a DIY Wood Slat Accent Wall

If you want to create a striking design element in your home, a DIY wood slat accent wall might be just the project for you. These textured walls have recently gained popularity in contemporary interiors, and they’re a great way to infuse any room with personality and warmth.

Here’s a detailed, step-by-step guide to help you bring this creative DIY project to your interior space—at a fraction of the cost of professional installation.

Measure Twice, Cut Once

The first step to executing a perfect DIY wood slat accent wall is meticulous planning. Measure the surface area of your wall to determine how much wood you’ll need. Measure your wall at intervals, as not all ceilings are perfectly level.

You’ll also need to know the width of the strips you’ll use and the amount of space you want between them. You’ll have many options, from fluted wall paneling (which can be gorgeous but quite pricey) to the humble furring strip, which delivers a similar look at a substantial bargain.

Tools and Safety Precautions

It’s worth noting that you’ll need some basic tools for this project. While you can get by with hand tools, power tools will make the work go faster and can usually be rented at your local hardware store or DIY center.

As with any DIY project, don’t forget to wear the proper safety equipment. Always wear eye protection, and if you’re running power tools like a sander or miter saw, don’t forget to protect your hearing.

Prep and Painting

Once you’ve determined how much of the wall you’ll be covering in slats, you’ll want to paint it a dark or contrasting shade. Make sure the wall is clean, dry, and ready to paint before continuing. Matte or eggshell finishes are your best bet here, as they’ll reduce reflection and give your slat wall a more polished look. Plan on two coats for even coverage.

Cutting and Staining Your Wood Slats

While you wait for your wall to dry, cut the wooden slats to the required lengths with a miter saw. Double-check your measurements, and for the best results, measure and number each slat for a perfect-fit installation. Next, sand each slat individually to remove any splinters or imperfections (remember to wear safety goggles and gloves).

Once your slats are cut and sanded, apply the wood stain or treatment of your choice to get the desired finish. Consider using a distressed or antiquing lye treatment if you want a more rustic or aged appearance. It’s a great idea to test a few different finish types before deciding on your final look. Remember to stain the front and sides of the slats and give them plenty of time to dry.

Installing the Slats

Start installing your wood slats from one corner of the wall you’ve prepared and work your way across one slat at a time. Use a level to be sure the first slat is aligned straight, then affix it to the wall with a brad nailer or other small finishing nails. Afterward, use a spacer of the desired width between each following slat. A wood scrap of uniform thickness is generally all you’ll need.

Finishing Touches and Ongoing Maintenance

Now that your slats are all in place go over your wall section by section to be sure they’re all firmly secured to the wall and that there aren’t any spacing issues. Maintenance for a DIY wooden slat wall is minimal, but to keep it looking its best, give it a light cleaning once a week or so with WOCA Natural Soap Spray.

Wood slat accent wall

Fashionable, Feasible, and Affordable

With a little preparation, the right materials, and tools, creating your own wood slat wall shouldn’t take more than a day or two. A DIY slat wall not only offers a unique and modern aesthetic but also provides a sense of accomplishment when you can step back, admire the results of your handiwork, and think to yourself, “I did that!”

For more information on current interior design trends, sustainable living, and proper care and maintenance of every wooden surface in or outside your home,  visit our blog today.

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