Have you always wanted to pick up a power tool and create something unique in your home? I finally did this with my first ever DIY project! I created an accent wall using vertical wall molding, some white paint, and a gallery wall with black frames. Today I am going to share step by step how I completed this entire project from start to finish (and you can too!)
Before this, I had never used a saw or nail gun in my life. I kept seeing other women on Instagram and Pinterest create these amazing looking and unique spaces and thought, why can’t I do that?!
I have had a blank wall in my house right when you walk in my front door since I moved in 5 years ago. I kept saying that I needed to do something with it to dress it up but couldn’t really decide what would look good. Proof below — me and my empty sad looking wall!
I decided that this was the perfect spot to try and create a unique accent wall that would fit my space perfectly. I started searching through tutorials online, planning out what supplies I needed, and got to work. All in all, this DIY accent wall turned out great! There are a few imperfections — but for my first time using a miter saw and a nail gun, I call this a success.
Now, let me take you through, step by step on how to install wall molding and create a classy accent wall — with a gallery wall of black picture frames!
- Step 1: Look for inspiration for your DIY accent wall
- Step 2: Take measurements and draw everything out
- Step 3: Put together a material and supply list (and buy them)
- Step 4: Cut your wood to size and install on the wall
- Step 5: Caulk in between moulding and the wall
- Step 6: Sand (if needed)
- Step 7: Paint
- Step 8: Hang picture frames
- Download my FREE supply list (with links)
Step 1: Look for inspiration for your DIY accent wall
There are so many places to look for inspiration… Google searches, Pinterest, or Instagram are 3 of my favorite. I like to find images that catch my eye for whatever project I’m trying to do… in this case, a unique wall molding installation.
I wanted to go for somewhat of a coastal looking theme since I gravitate towards that type of look and feel. I always wanted to find something on the easy side since I am a beginner at all of this. There are also other DIY home decor projects that don’t require power tools.
I landed on doing some double vertical pieces of molding on the entire wall. My inspiration came directly from House of Hood’s Board and Batten Wall Project – pictured below! (If you ever see this, thank you!!)
Step 2: Take measurements and draw everything out
This step is very important to make sure your molding is laid out evenly and will create the best look aesthetically.
First, I measured the entire wall length and width.
Next, I decided how many sections of vertical wall wood I wanted.
I decided on 5 – so I divided the entire length of the wall by 5. This would be where the middle point for each double vertical piece of wood would go.
You’ll also need to take the height of the wall so that you know what size wood to add to your supply list.
Step 3: Put together a material and supply list (and buy them)
Since this was my first DIY project that required a lot of these tools, I purchased everything to get me started. I knew that I would want to start doing more projects in the future so I bit the bullet and just spent the money.
You may already have some or all of these, which will help with the total cost!
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For this DIY wall molding project, here is what I used:
- Metabo HPT 10-Inch Compound Miter Saw
- CRAFTSMAN Cordless Brad Nail Gun (with 2 inch brad nails)
- BLACK+DECKER MOUSE 1.2 Amp Electric Detail Sander
- 1 x 2 x 8 unfinished pine boards
- Make sure to get extra for waste or mistakes
- I ended up buying 16 of these
- Perfect bead caulk finisher
- Caulking gun
- Paintable caulk
- MAKE SURE you get the paintable kind! This was one of the newbie mistakes that I made. I used silicone caulk the first time around and I was unable to paint it. I had to remove it and re-caulk with paintable caulk… it was a pain 🙂
- A Level
- Paint rollers and brush
- Tape measure
- Construction adhesive
- Black picture frames
Step 4: Cut your wood to size and install on the wall
Cutting the 1 x 2 x 8 pieces for your DIY accent wall
I started with the border – the top, bottom, and sides – so that I would have a frame to work off of.
First, use a tape measure to mark where your cuts should be. Draw a light line with a pencil where you need to make the cut.
The top and bottom pieces were longer than 8 feet so I had to use two pieces to cover the entire length.
Note: You can choose to paint the boards prior to putting them on the wall. I decided to wait and paint the entire wall at the same time.
Make your cuts with a miter saw. I did one at a time to make sure I was getting the correct length.
This photo below is not me, sorry haha… I was doing this project by myself and forgot to take a photo of me making the moulding cuts!
For anyone that has never used a saw before… ME EITHER! Full disclosure, I didn’t even know how to unbox and put together my miter saw. But how hard can it be, right?! I found an easy to follow YouTube video for the specific saw that I bought.
How to install wall molding…
To secure the pieces of molding to the wall, make sure your wall is clean and not full of dirt or dust before you start.
Another newbie oversight…. I have textured walls in my house. I later found out that I probably should have smoothed them out or put some kind of board over them to create a smooth surface. Anyway, I am still happy with the finished product.
You are going to want to use a construction adhesive on the back of the wood to secure it to the wall. I used Liquid Nails – which is a heavy duty adhesive. You can easily throw one of these into your caulk gun to apply to the back of the wood.
Once you secure each piece to the wall with the liquid nails, you should also use your nail gun in multiple spots throughout the piece of molding.
Make sure that the piece you’re hanging is level before moving onto the next step.
Using both liquid nails and a nail gun will ensure that nothing is going to move or shift.
Once you get the hang of the first few pieces, it should start to move quickly.
You can repeat these steps for each piece. Now you know how to install wall molding for every project in the future!
Measure, cut, hang on the wall. It starts coming together pretty quickly!
Here is how my DIY wall moulding looked before I moved on to caulking and painting. It was starting to come to life.
I did everything up until point in a few hours. Between unboxing the saw, getting myself familiar with all of the tools, cutting the wood, and hanging it on the wall, it was about 4 hours for me to start this DIY accent wall.
Step 5: Caulk in between moulding and the wall
If your wall is completely flat and the wood is 100% flush to the wall, you may be able to skip this step.
Since my house is old, it isn’t level… and I was also working with textured walls, this step is critical.
Caulking in between the molding and the wall will create a smooth surface for you to paint.
TIP: Make sure to get paintable caulk. I mentioned this earlier, but I used silicone caulk the first time and it was an epic FAIL as a beginner. At least I’ve learned and I will never make the same mistake again.
Step 6: Sand (if needed)
My walls had a bunch of spots on them with big pieces of texture. I decided to sand them down to make the orange peel texture a little less noticeable.
If your pieces of molding that you got require sanding, this is where you’ll want to do that! Before you paint.
One other thing that I would probably do different in the future is to use primed wood boards. This would eliminate the need to sand them and the paint would go on easier. I did have a bit of a hard time when I got to the painting portion of this project.
I bought a mouse sander for this project because I had other projects in mind where I would also use it!
You can also just use sand paper.
Step 7: Paint
I went back and forth on what color to use for my diy accent wall. You might be able to tell in the background of some of these photos, my other walls are an ocean blue color.
I decided to use a plain white so that it was clean and crisp. Since the previous color was darker than I was painting it with the white, I did have to use 2 – 3 coats in some places.
You can always change the color later too if you need another change!
I have painted many walls in my life but for some reason this wall with the vertical moulding took foreverrrr! Maybe I should have primed it beforehand.
Step 8: Hang picture frames
If you’ve made it here, you are nearing the finish line! You can really decorate your wall with whatever you choose.
I decided to go for gallery wall black frames from Amazon. They are clean and pop really nicely against the white wall.
To stick with my beachy decor, I added some colorful photos to the frames.
Download my FREE supply list (with links)
Project Complete: DIY Accent Wall With Black Gallery Frames
And here is the finished project! I had a few challenges along the way but I’m really happy with how it turned out.
Things I learned during this project as a beginner DIY’er:
- How to install wall molding
- Make sure to use paintable caulk if you’re painting after caulking
- How to use a miter saw
- How to use a nail gun
- And what size nails to get! (hint, I bought the wrong ones at first, they were too short)
- How to use a caulk gun for construction adhesive and caulk
Materials and tools I used during this project:
Here is a little view of the before and after of my diy wall molding project.
Thank you for checking out my first ever DIY project using power tools. I hope this was a little inspiration for you to get your own project started! On to the next…