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DIY Modern Accent Wall

Living room with a white accent wall.

Creating a striking modern accent wall is easy with this step-by-step guide. From planning, to building and finishing, we’ll show you the tools and materials you’ll need and help you to create something beautiful.

Skill Level: Intermediate
  1. Step 1 Sketch your Design and Tape the Wall

    Sketch your Design and Tape the Wall

    Sketch out your design roughly on paper, then use painter’s tape to put your pattern up on the wall. It doesn’t need to be perfect; it’s just meant to help you visualize and estimate the amount of moulding needed. Use a speed square to help keep 45-degree angles as you put up the tape and use a long level for any horizontal or vertical lines.

  2. Step 2 Measure your Distances

    Measure your Distances

    Use a tape measure or laser distance measuring tool to measure all the lengths of the tape pieces. Add all the measurements together and add an extra 10 per cent to make sure that you will have enough moulding to work with.

  3. Step 3 Cut the Mouldings to Fit your Wall

    Cut the Mouldings to Fit your Wall

    Purchase the amount of moulding needed. We used door stop moulding from Alexandria Moulding at Home Depot that was 1 ¼ inches wide. Cut the mouldings to fit your wall. Start with the longest piece in your design. If your moulding piece is not long enough, you can splice to pieces together by cutting mitres on the front of one piece and the back of the next piece. Use wood glue to attach the two pieces of wood together, before nailing the second one in place. All our cuts were done with a mitre saw at a 45-degree angle, or a 90-degree angle, depending on the location of the moulding piece.

  4. Step 4 Check your Angles

    Check your Angles
    Check your Angles

    If the corner of edge of your wall is not 90-degrees, you will need to measure that angle with an angle measuring tool and cut your moulding to fit that angle. It will be a compound cut, with one cut on the face of the moulding, and one on the edge. If you are adding a new colour to the wall, or a dark colour, you may want to do a coat of paint to both the wall and mouldings before you nail anything to the wall. It will still require a second coat after nailing mouldings up. When a piece is ready to place on the wall, check that your angles are correct (you can do this with a speed square for 45-degree or 90-degree angles), and nail the moulding to the wall with a cordless nail gun. Use a stud finder to mark the studs behind the wall and try to get your nails into as many studs as possible while putting up boards. Use drywall compound to fill any nail holes or gaps between mouldings.

  5. Step 5 Use Caulking to Fill Gaps

    Use Caulking to Fill Gaps

    Use caulking to fill any gaps where your mouldings meet a wall or a ceiling. Once the drywall compound is dry, use a sander to sand away any excess putty.

  6. Step 6 Remove Dust and Debris Before Painting

    Remove Dust and Debris Before Painting

    Before you start painting, wipe down your edges to remove any drywall dust or debris. Paint over the mouldings and the wall using a paint brush to get into all the corners and edges, and a roller where appropriate.

This article was published in partnership with Love Create Celebrate.

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