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Design with White Pine: DIY Accent Wall

Got an itch to make some changes to your living space? An accent wall makes a dramatic impact, and it’s surprisingly easy to pull off, even if you choose to install some rustic wood planks instead of simply painting it a bright color. 

This weekend DIY project uses either 1×4 or 1×6 pine boards, which you can find at your local lumber retailer or home improvement store. To get just the right worn-in look, many people choose to distress the boards using methods like hammering, chiseling or wire brushing before staining and installing the boards.

At Family Handyman, a DIY project submitted by user P McDermott mixes up different stains for a lovely patchwork effect.

“Some boards received 1 coat, some received two coats, some were wiped off to make them lighter, others received one color followed by a different color. No two boards ended up the same due to variations in the wood grain.

I put 1/4″ underlayment on the drywall first using a few drywall screws through the studs, then glued and nailed the boards to the underlayment. The corner moldings were also homemade using a standard 2×4 ripped in half and using the table saw to cut out the “block” so that only the corners were left. I enjoyed designing the wall and [my wife] loved figuring out what colors to use, how long each board was going to be, and where to place them on the wall.”

Designer Kristin Eldridge took a similar approach, but with darker stains. In their case, doing some of the work and hiring a contractor to complete the rest was the right choice. They used “everything from kitchen utensils to an ax” to distress the wood and set up a workstation in the backyard for staining. 

“Here’s where the contractor comes in…he and Brent cut the boards into various sizes and then he nailed them to the wall with a nail gun.  He used some spacers so that some of the pieces would be lifted and create a less-than-perfect look, which is what we were going for. We also decided to have him wire some sconces on each side.  I went with this sconce from Lowe’s and left off the light shade for a more industrial look.  Later, we installed wire baskets to the wall for night stands.  I ended up changing out my pillows to these kilim ones and made the graphic black and white pillow for contrast.  Oh and the black and white photos are a mix of old photos and instagram photos attached with washi tape.”

Eastern White Pine Wood Plank Wall Eldridge Work station

Of course, there’s always the shiplap wall option, too. Popularized by Chip and Joanna Gaines’ popular HGTV show ‘Fixer Upper,’ shiplap produces a gorgeous rustic effect, and it’s easy to DIY. Check out our tips and tutorials.


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