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Industrial accent wall with wood slats

Published on May 4, 2023

Do it yourself

How to Install Wood Slats on a Wall

Learn how to install wood slats on a wall. This DIY guide helps you to create vertical wood slat accent walls with minimum tools and experience. In this project, we combine wood slats with concrete-style panels to create an industrial look. Follow our step-by-step guide to create yours!

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Duration: 2 days
Before You Start
We opted for a centred wood slat pattern over an area 4’ in width. However, you can feel free to personalize your design to your liking. Whether you desire an asymmetrical appearance, a headboard, or a frame for your TV, the possibilities are endless. Let your imagination run wild!

1
Identify the Studs

  • 1.1Clean the wall and ensure it is sound.
  • 1.2Locate the studs using a stud finder and mark them.
  • 1.3Take the mouldings off.

2
Outline the Work Area

  • 2.1Measure the wall to locate and mark the centre.
  • 2.2Draw an outline of the area where the wood slats will be installed.
  • 2.3Apply masking tape to mark the floor as well.
Man painting a wall

3
Paint the Work Area

  • 3.1Paint within the lines of the marked area.
  • 3.2Apply additional coats as needed.
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Pro Tip

Taping the edges is unnecessary since the panels will conceal them. When it comes to the paint, your colour choice should complement the wood and enhance its appearance. Top options include warm hues (yellow, orange, or red), natural tones (green, grey, or brown), pastel, or black.

Man cutting wood slats with a table saw

4
Cut the Wood Slats

  • 4.1Determine the number of slats necessary to cover the outlined section by factoring in the width of the slats and the desired distance between them.
  • 4.2Use a table saw to cut the slats you need.
  • 4.3Create a template to follow and ensure consistent slat spacing. A longer template will make the installation easier.
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Pro Tip

For this project, you can use painted MDF panels or pre-cut mouldings. We chose laminated pine slats with 1” spacing.

Man staining wood slats

5
Finish the Slats

  • 5.1Paint or stain the 3 visible sides of the slats. The back can be left unfinished as it will be against the wall.
  • 5.2Allow the plank to dry and apply a varnish.
  • 5.3Lightly sand the plank using 320-grit sandpaper, then apply another varnish coat.
Man applying adhesive onto wood slatsMan installing wood slats on a wall

6
Install the Slats

Begin installing the slats, gluing and nailing as you go and making sure to use your spacing template.
Man applying construction adhesive on a wall panelMan nailing a wall panel onto a wall

7
Install Panel #1

  • 7.1Use a table saw to cut the wall panels to size, if necessary.
  • 7.2Apply a few drops of construction adhesive to the panel back.
  • 7.3Install the first panel starting in a bottom corner. Use a bubble level to ensure it is straight.
  • 7.4Use finishing nails and a nail gun to secure the panel to the wall, into the studs.
Man cutting a hole in a wall panel

8
Install the Rest of the Panels

  • 8.1Follow these steps if you need to install the panels around an outlet.
    • Cut off the power supply to the outlet.
    • Remove the cover of the outlet and pull it out slightly.
    • Trace the measurements of the opening on the panel.
    • Cut the opening into the panel using an oscillating tool.
  • 8.2Take measurements of the remaining installation space and use a table saw to cut the rest of the panels to size.
  • 8.3Follow the steps above to install the remaining panels.

Disclaimer

These DIY projects are provided for informational purposes only. The information contained in RONA’s DIYs is intended to provide general guidelines to simplify jobs around the house. Because tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes, and local regulations are continually changing, RONA inc. assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained herein and disclaims any liability for the omissions, errors, or outcome of any project. RONA inc. makes no representation on the feasibility of any project and the viewer bears all risks coming with the realization of the projects. It is the responsibility of the viewer to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes, and regulations for a project. The viewer must always take proper safety precautions and exercise caution when taking on any project. If there is any doubt in regard to any element of a project, please consult a licensed professional. 

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