Are you loving the accent wall trend as much as I am right now? Accent walls can quickly elevate the style of any room, and they are easier to add than you may think. Let me show you how to install a wood trim accent wall.
When we moved into our new home a year and a half ago, we knew we had our work cut out for us. The house was in good shape structurally, which was fantastic. Unfortunately, though, the previous owners neglected to do much maintenance on it, and most of the house hadn’t been updated in decades.
The master bedroom was no exception. When we moved in, the walls of the master were gold, the trim was a cream color, and even the ceiling was a pale yellow. There were plantation shutters hung on all the windows, which blocked a lot of natural light. It was not a very pretty sight.
I hated it so much that the only “before” photos I have are a couple of quick iPhone photos I snapped after we had cleared the room out and started painting the ceiling.
We have been slowly working on making it over the past few months. And while we still have a couple of projects left, it is coming along quite nicely and doesn’t even look like the same space anymore.
A few weeks ago, I showed you how we added window film to an exterior door in the bedroom for privacy. And this week, I am going to show you how to install a wood trim accent wall, which we did behind our bed.
We went into this project without much research and were just kind of winging it. Unfortunately, we made some mistakes because of this that could have made the project a bit easier. But….now we know better for next time, and I can help keep you from making the same mistakes.
Plus, this week, I am teaming up with some blogger friends to bring you a whole variety of different build projects. Be sure to check all of them out at the end of this post!
How to Install a Wood Trim Accent Wall
(This post contains affiliate links. To see my full disclosure, go here.)
- Wood trim
- Miter Saw
- Nail gun
- Painter’s Caulk
- Nail Set
- Painters Putty
- Paint Brush
Step 1 – Measure and Gather Supplies
The first thing you want to do is measure your space, in order to determine how much wood you will need. Since we went with a simple, symmetrical design, measuring was fairly simple.
Once we knew how much we needed, it was time to collect supplies. Unfortunately, the longest board we could find in the size I wanted was 4 feet long. I would recommend getting longer boards (8′ long) if possible, as you won’t have as many seams to cover.
I really wanted wood that was only 1/2″ thick, so that it would lay fairly flat to the wall. 4′ length was our only option in that size, so we just made it work. These are .5″ x 1.5″ poplar boards.
Step 2 – Find the Studs
This was our first mistake. We didn’t make it a point to find or mark the studs in the wall, which will help when you get ready to start nailing boards. The studs are going to hold your nails, and therefore, your trim, much more securely to the wall than the drywall will. So, you should try to hit a stud as often as possible.
We didn’t do this, and probably ended up using more nails than we needed to because many of our pieces were nailed into drywall only.
Step 3 – Cut Pieces for the Outline
The first thing we did, was outline the whole wall space with trim.
I would recommend cutting as you go, as many walls are not perfectly square, and you may have to make slight adjustments to your measurements along the way.
We placed our outlining boards right next to the trim that was already in place – crown molding, window frames, and baseboard.
Step 4 – Install the Horizontal Lines
This was where we made mistake number two. We actually started by installing our vertical lines first.
The problem with this is, walls can be far from flat, and we had a number of mild bows in our wall. This will make laying short boards really difficult, as the shorter the board, the less flexibility there is in it. So, you want to use your long boards across the horizontal plane of the wall, which will make molding it to any uneven spots a bit easier.
You typically won’t find as many bows running along a wall vertically, since the studs run vertically, so it shouldn’t be as much of an issue to place short boards running vertically.
So, just remember when installing your own accent wall that you want any longer boards running horizontally.
Keep in mind, the method we used can be applied whether you start with vertical lines or horizontal.
We divided our wall into four equal sections and marked where each line of trim needed to go. We used a level to make sure our boards were straight before nailing them to the wall.
As with the outline, we cut pieces as we went.
Step 5 – Finish Design Installation
Once you have all of your boards running one way, start cutting boards to fill in the rest of the design.
Same method as step 4. We divided the space into four equal parts. We cut as we went and were careful to make sure boards were even and level before nailing to the wall.
Step 6 – Sink and Fill Nail Holes
Let that dry overnight, then sand the excess off for a nice, smooth surface.
Step 7 – Caulk
You will also need to caulk all of the seams. This is somewhat time intensive, but it makes a huge difference in the final appearance. Run a line of caulk along any place where board meets board, as well as wherever board meets wall. Wipe off excess as you go, and let dry.
Step 8 – Paint
The final step is painting. We chose to paint the wood trim the same color as the wall, which made this part very easy.
I am loving the way it turned out. I do want to get a headboard for the bed someday, as well as new furniture for the room. But for now, this wood trim accent wall provides some interest in lieu of a headboard. And it’s obviously a favorite spot for the furry creatures that live here. 😉
Be sure to pin this for later, and follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration!
Also, don’t forget to check out the other amazing build projects that my friends have shared.
Building a Hallway and Closet into a Storage Room from Grandma’s House DIY
Easy Heavy Duty DIY Garage Shelf from Chas’ Crazy Creations
DIY Outdoor Bench from Life at Bella Terra
DIY Farmhouse Coffee Cup Stand from The House on Silverado
DIY Corner Desk from Design Morsels
How to Make a Faux Fireplace Mantel Surround from Shiplap and Shells
How to Build a Birdhouse from Kippi at Home