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Feature Wall for the Moody

Updated: Oct 18, 2019

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First off... hello, all! It has been a MINUTE. I have enjoyed taking some time off this summer to enjoy all things summer, but I am back with a vengeance and have quite a few tricks up my diy sleeves that are ready to rock for you. I have to say that I have been itching to start a new project, and the latest one DID NOT DISAPPOINT. I've been called quite a few things in my day, and moody is definitely one of them. In most cases, I might take offense to a ridiculous claim like that, but in this case, I'll embrace it. I'll embrace it, and I'll be downright proud of it, because my latest project was definitely moody. Moody and dark and bold... and wonderful.

I have been seeing dark feature walls all over the place lately, and I am so very here for it. I have always loved the look of a classic board and batten wall, but to take it one step further and create a feature wall that's black?! Well, it's not exactly something that I knew I would love. But I do. Oh, I really, really do. After seeing these pop up everywhere, I felt like I NEEDED some black paint in my life. In my house. Somewhere. I hemmed and hawed about where exactly it could go, and I decided on the perfect spot- right in my son's bedroom. It was perfect because his room already had some black decor. Now, you don't have to make your own feature wall black. You can make it whatever color you choose. Just don't expect me to sit here and pretend that I don't want you to paint it black, though, because truth be told, I do want you to, and I don't think you will regret it.

The Project

Feature wall. To elaborate, a feature wall is a popular design trend that often involves adding wood to a wall. This particular feature wall is a great starter for someone (like myself) who has never actually ATTEMPTED, much less completed a project like this before. It is way less involved than a traditional board and batten wall (but don't go thinking I'm not going to attempt one of those bad boys too). The reason that this is an easier project is because with traditional board and batten, removing the trim at the bottom of the wall is often times necessary. In this case, the featured boards do not go all the way from top to bottom, so you don't even need to worry about that.


Any wall

1 x 2 boards (I used select pine)


Finishing Nailer

First step- and this is IMPORTANT: PAINT THE WALL BEFORE YOU HANG THE BOARDS. Although this step is not 100% necessary, it will make your life immensely easier to have the wall painted the final color before the boards are up. You won't have to worry about painting in between the boards, and it will give you a much cleaner look in the end.

Wall painted- check! Onto the fun stuff.

The nice thing about this project is that you can really use your creativity and make it what you want it to be. Or, you can screw the creativity and do exactly what I did. No judgement here. Regarding the number of boards to use, I chose to do a geometric, angled pattern, and I chose to use 5 boards in each section... for no particular reason, really. I liked the spacing that came along with the 5 boards, and I like odd numbers. So, reeealll technical over here, folks. I would, however, recommend being a smidge technical when it comes to the spacing, just so that everything looks all nice and tidy at the end. I leaned boards against the wall to get an idea of what I wanted to begin with. In order to ensure that I had the exact same spacing between, I used "Liz's DIY Hack no. 8,476," and used a piece of painter's tape throughout the project. My husband looked at me like I was a literal crazy person when he saw me doing this, because he couldn't for the life of him understand why I wouldn't just measure. Well, I'll tell you EXACTLY why I won't measure. Measuring leaves room for error, especially if your name happens to be Liz Hartmann. The same piece of painter's tape used throughout does not. DUH.

My super technical way of making sure the boards are spaced evenly throughout

Once you've got your spacing figured out, and provided you don't need to make any cuts, you are ready to rock with the hanging of the boards. For my first section, I didn't need to make any cuts, because I purchased 6 foot boards, and my wall was taller than that. How convenient. So, all I had to do there was make sure that the boards were level with themselves and the floor and nail them in. I used a Finish Nailer so that I wouldn't have to worry about seeing the nails after the project was done. I kind of think that it's the only way to go with this sort of project. Besides, using a nail gun makes me feel super tough, so there's that. If you don't have one, but want one, we got ours at Home Depot, and if you click here you can get free shipping. Score!

After that, the sections get a little more involved, but nothing that can't be figured out with a measuring tape. Nope, didn't use that once. Again, I used painter's tape to measure out the desired distance of the boards, and then placed said painter's tape on my board to be cut. For the angled pieces, I either made them all one length and spaced them appropriately (see pic), or I cut the longest one of the bunch and then measured down, board by board, leaving the same amount of length off of each prior board. For example, if I wanted my longest board in the bunch to be 18 inches long, I cut the remaining 4 boards to be 15 inches, 12 inches, 9 inches, and 6 inches (ok, I lied, I used the measuring tape a little bit). For the record, I found that 3 inches of difference between board lengths was a good amount for my particular wall, but you do you. Not every wall is created equal. The main objective is to get the boards to be evenly spaced, so however you want to do that is totally your call.

Wood filler... annoying, yet necessary

Once you get your boards cut and hung appropriately, the hardest part of the project is over! All that then remains is to fill in the nail holes with wood filler (so annoying, but yes, very necessary) and caulk the gaps. Don't worry, nail filler for those small holes dries incredibly fast, so this step won't set you back too far. After the nail holes are filled, dried, and sanded, you will want to caulk the edges between the wood boards and the wall. UNLESS YOU ARE ME AND YOU DECIDE TO PAINT YOUR WALL BLACK. If you choose to paint your boards and your wall black, it really is not necessary to fill the gaps. First of all, the gaps are incredibly small. Secondly, the only reason people fill these kinds of gaps with caulk is because a shadow will show up on lighter colors. But guess what? Shadows are black, and so they don't show up on black paint. BOOM. Another reason why you might want to consider painting that wall black. But alas, if you do in fact choose another color, I would highly recommend caulking the gaps (with paintable caulk). Once the caulk is dry, you are good to go ahead and paint the boards. I would recommend using pine select boards, because they paint pretty well. I did have to do two coats, but let's be honest, two coats is kind of always necessary if you don't want previous color to show through. So go the extra mile and add a second coat. You can thank me later.

Finally, a little while later, once your paint is all dry, you can just sit back and marvel at your amazing new custom feature. This entire project took me about 4 hours, including drying time for wood filler. I definitely sense more of these walls in my future.

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Aug 20, 2019

Thank you so much!


Turned out awesome!

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