The thing I love most about this paneled wall project for the room I just finished in my mother’s house?

It solved a problem.

Sometimes the best ideas come from trying to find a solution for a challenge.

See that ceiling?

It wraps around the room. There are two walls like this on either side of the room that have a flat surface of approximately 7 feet. And then? There’s an additional 15″ that wrap up to the ceiling. This is a challenge to decorate with. Where does the wall stop and the ceiling start? Is the angled wall part of the ceiling? Is the angled wall part of the wall?

Instead of decorating around the angle?

I decided to embrace it.

And that made all the difference.

Here’s how to build a paneled accent wall.

(And a few questions from you I’m answering along the way).

Q: How did you know which wall should be your accent wall?

That is a great question. I think this is just like the question, “which wall does the bed go on?” Someone wise once told me that you should always see the foot of the bed when you walk into a room. This is one of the principles that has worked for me when I’m designing a room and it’s never let me down yet.

I try and put the accent wall (and the bed) on the wall that faces me when I enter a room.

It only made sense with this room because we had a wall of windows on one side and a closet and door on the other side of the room.

Q: How long did it take to build the paneled wall?

It only took about an afternoon.

We started at about 1:00 pm and we were finished by 5:00 pm.

It took another couple of hours the next day to caulk and paint.

And then another couple of hours to paint two coats of paint on the wall.

Q: What paint colors did you use in this room?

Here’s the wall on the other side of the room so you can see the slant here, too.

We painted this side of the room Shoji White SW 7042.

The paneled wall was painted the Sherwin-Williams Color of the Year Urbane Bronze SW 7048.

And the trim was painted Extra White SW 7006.

Q: What is the purpose of an accent wall?

An accent wall is a perfect place to go BOLD. It’s the perfect place to put the color that you want to embrace.

It gives the room focus.

And adding a raised paneled accent wall? It gives an ordinary builder’s grade room architectural interest.

You can all a lot of design to the space without spending a lot of money or time.

Q: How much does a paneled accent wall like this cost?

It’s surprisingly inexpensive.

We used 1″ x 4″ x 8′  boards for this wall. Each board cost about $6 and we used ten boards for the room.

So according to the math?

You can create the entire wall for about $60.

how to build a paneled accent wall

Step 1: Repair any holes

This room at my mother’s home has popcorn ceiling (which we’ll address later).

There was also some old water damage near the top of the ceiling.

My husband repaired that with tape and drywall mud.

Then we wiped down the edges for dust and we were ready to add the panels to the walls.

Step 2: Install the horizontal boards

We used 1″ x 4″ x 8′ boards for this wall. Each board cost about $6 and we used ten boards for the room.

We measured the wall and knew that we would be installing 5 horizontal boards 15″ a part.

If you notice, the bottom section of the wall is actually slightly larger than the rest of the room because originally we were going to add a big piece of paneled molding to the bottom, but it looked out of place, so we just have a slightly larger section at the base of the wall.

We started at the top of the ceiling and installed the horizontal boards going down.

We used finish nails and attached the boards to the vertical studs.

Step 3: Installing the vertical boards

Next, we cut vertical boards and installed them in between the vertical boards every 20″.

My husband measured each of the spaces individually and cut the boards to fit so they would fit snugly.

Then, those boards were nailed into place as well.

Step 4: Caulk and prime

There were several gaps in the horizontal boards that were installed across the width of the room.

Those spaces needed wood filler.

We added wood filler, let it dry and then sanded the surface down smooth.

Next, we primed the pine boards.

Step 5: Paint

Then it was time to paint the walls.

We used an angled brush to get in the corners of the individual panels and then used a roller for the flat spaces.

It took two coats of paint for the accent wall.

And here’s the finished wall in the space.

You can see the before and after of the entire finished room here and all the sources for the room here.

I’m so happy that we got to makeover this room for my mother.

She deserved every square inch.

She’s amazing.

And wonderful.

And generous and kind.

And mysteriously, incredibly, positively….

…always right. 🙂

PS Here’s another paneled wall we built for my office several years ago.

And one more accent wall with oversized diamonds.

You can see the room here.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Leonie Morris Leonie Morris

    I have an old apartment that I bought which has no insulation can you give me any suggestions of how I can block out the neighbours sounds from below? Thank you

  2. Image for Marlene Stephenson Marlene Stephenson

    I love what you did, i pinned it so i can try it on a wall, when i decide which one, thanks and have a blessed day.

  3. Image for Jenny Jenny

    Love it! Just curious if you think it would have been easier or more difficult to paint the wall the Urbane Bronze color first?

  4. Image for Kris Kris

    I always wonder if you Super Decorators out there can totally "see" the end project or if you revise as you go. I'm definitely in the "revise as I go" camp but wish I had better overall vision to develop and execute a project. Well done, KariAnne.

  5. Image for Kim T. Kim T.

    I love this project of yours, Karianne, and I never would have thought to use the Sherwin-Williams Urbane Bronze. The before and after of this room is STUNNING! I just love it! Did you use the shift button when you put the length of the board at 8", instead of 8' ? I know next to nothing about how lumber is sold, so I asked someone who works with it a lot. In the old days ;) a piece of wood that was sold as a 1" x 4" really was a one inch thickness by a four inch width. But not anymore! Nowadays, the stated one inch, (and the first number is the THICKNESS for people like me who are not familiar with the order of the numbers), is really UNDER one inch. So, NOWADAYS that same board would be around 3/4 of an inch thick. Also, NOWADAYS the width of a stated four inch WIDTH turns out to be around three and 1/2 of an inch wide. The stated length is pretty much on target and sometimes sold around 1/4 inch longer on the much longer boards, like 12 feet or more.. This is probably news to nobody but me, but just in case, measure, measure, measure!! (I hope this is not an obnoxious comment and I hope I was given correct information. Anyone can correct me, if I am mistaken!) And again, what a great and fabulous project and so cool to see the variations, also!


    KariAnne, that feature wall that you and your dear hubby did in your Mom's Guest Room is just beautiful! I love the color. You always do such a great job with everything you do. How nice to be able to redo this room for your precious Mom! Have a great week!

  7. Image for Jayne Jayne

    That paint colour is stunning! I love how this project is so affordable that anyone could do it. I have a wall like this in my bedroom and just showed my husband your beautiful wall. He said , maybe we can do this too - whoohoo!

  8. Image for Elle Youngblood Elle Youngblood

    I would love to do this I'm my office at home but wondered if I would have to put something on the wall to make it smooth first since our walls are textured. Are your walls completely flat or are they textured and you just can't tell in the pictures? Also what gloss paint did you use?

  9. Image for Kim Waldorf Kim Waldorf

    I just love this room! We are doing a similar treatment in my son's remodel. We have the same walls in our bedrooms upstairs. Your office is beautiful, too! The wall color is stunning!

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