Rustic Wood Accent Wall Tutorial

Once I had made a decision on the theme for my son’s room, I wanted to create an accent wall that would be the center piece for the room. A Rustic Wood Accent Wall would be a perfect tie in to the rustic/modern look I was looking for.

To start, I bought about thirty 1×3 (straight) boards from Home Depot. These boards are very cheap. Many of them are bowed and damaged. Make sure you pick through them and don’t just grab a handful of boards.

woodaccentwall1Next, I set up a work area where I could finish the boards. Since I was going for a rustic look I started by distressing each board.

woodaccentwall5To distress them I used a common hammer I had in the house. I hit the wood using both the front and the back of the hammer to give it an aged appearance.

Once the boards were aged, I started to stain the boards. I wanted a variety of tones and colors for this project. In the picture above, you can see that some of the boards are darker and some are lighter. To achieve the different stain colors, using the same stain, I simply squirted down some of the boards with water before I applied the stain to keep the stain from soaking into the wood as deeply. The darkest ones were stained normal with no water added. I did this to experiment with variation.

woodwallaccent15To increase the color and variation even more, I also took some of the boards and painted them different colors using some acrylic craft paint that I had at home. I was trying to make it look as rustic as possible. I slapped the paint on, let it dry, sanded some off so it would look warn and then I stained over the top of the paint. I set the colored boards to the side and pieced them in, sporadically on the wall. I did about 2 full 8 ft. boards of every color (I did 4 colors Red, Blue, Yellow, and White). Three of the four you can see above. woodaccentwall10The picture above shows a darker red painted board. In the end I had multiple different colored boards including: colored, dark stained, light stained, sanded and not sanded boards.


Once I had my different boards I began installation. First, I framed out the entire wall with the boards. This gave the wall more of a finished look on the edges. Next, I cut the boards into various lengths and attached them to the wall on top of the sheetrock. I used nails to attach the boards. I used a finish nail gun to do this which makes the job so much easier. I tried to line the boards up so I could nail into the studs, but it didn’t always work out that way and since the weight of the boards are minimal it didn’t pose a risk to miss some.


I made sure to pull off the base board, so I could attach it back on top of the wood. It will need to be altered at that point.  I also pulled off the board (trim) under the windowsill so that I could reattach it on top of the wood. The rest of the window frame I left and just butted the wood right up to it, so as to keep the window look the same.

There was one outlet on the wall I had to deal with. I treated it the same way one would if you were doing a backsplash. I removed the outlet and inserted an outlet extender. They are typically a few dollars from your local hardware store.


Make sure to take a step back every now and then to make sure you like the flow of the wood. I’m referring to variation in color of wood and painted boards. Treat the whole thing like a work of art or canvas. Make sure to mix it up and don’t put all dark boards together, light boards together, etc. Watch it come together.


To finish off the wall I added some new curtains, made by a good friend. I attached them to the wall using 1/2″ black steel pipe. You will need 2 floor flange pieces (about $5 each), 2 Elbow 90 degree pieces (about $2 each) , and I used a 4ft piece pre cut (about $12). You can also have it cut to a custom length, in store, for free. You will need this amount for each window in the room.


Lastly I added a simple barn photo and voila.

I loved the way the wall turned out in the end. I realize that there are lots of different ways to construct a wooden wall like this now, but the way I installed it was easy and durable. Thanks for reading and happy decorating.

One Comment on “Rustic Wood Accent Wall Tutorial

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: