Do you have a large wall in your home that you just can’t seem to decorate? No matter what you do, does it still feel bland? The perfect solution to your woes is here in 2022! Bold colors are all the rage this year and accent walls are here to stay. Whether it’s board and batten, brick, or wallpaper, filling a large focus wall in your home is an easy way to elevate your space.
My mom has been dying to upgrade her bedroom and I wanted to surprise her while she was away on a girl’s trip! I knew she was eyeing a beautiful light blue duvet from Pottery Barn and the board and batten walls, so I decided to combine the two for her bedroom refresh. Follow along with me as my dad and I DIY a bold blue accent wall for part one of the bedroom retreat transformation.
I, unfortunately, was so excited to start, I forgot to take a before photo of the room. This old image will have to suffice! The master bedroom started with plain, grey walls and a teal, grey, and white bedding set that my mom always called “a temporary solution.” As pictured above, she had already replaced her wooden sleigh bed for a new rustic, white bed set. Of course, don’t get me started on my feelings about matching bed sets, but I digress.
Overall, the bedroom felt quite washed out with so many cool tones from floor to ceiling, especially now with the white furniture. The wall lacked intrigue and went through several different decorative wall hangings that did not have the proper dimensions to make a statement. Her room didn’t match her outgoing personality and was in desperate need of a change.
After a few dozen inspiration photos and the tiniest bit of convincing, I roped my dad and friend into helping me with the big surprise. We hit the nearest Home Depot for paint and Lowes for wood. I had already looked at color combinations with my mom for her future room, so I knew exactly what color I wanted – Midnight Show by Behr. This rich blue color tended towards grey to blend with the other walls in the room, but also provided the perfect pop of color to make a bold impact!
Home Depot’s wood selection left much to be desired, so we ventured to Lowe’s for a wider variety. The wall in the room was 17-foot wide and 10-foot long, so we decided to grab the 10-foot long planks. We searched for ones that were about 2-2.5 inches, but unfortunately those only came in shorter sizes. We decided to purchase the wider plank and strip the wood down to the right size with a table saw.
We debated back and forth on whether to nail the boards on or paint first, but quickly agreed to paint a fresh coat on the wall first. I spent some time taping the molding and prepping to paint while my anxiety over the color choice grew. Would she like the color? Is it too bold? My nerves finally got the best of me and I rolled a spot on the wall to test it. Now reassured and absolutely in love with the color, I finished the painting prep and went to work.
Pro-tip: Paint a portion of the wall and leave it there to see the color in different lighting. Certain colors will have more variation between natural light and low light that can alter how you feel about that particular paint color.
After a little less than an hour, I painted the entire wall blue. I must admit I called in backup to help me around the trim after partially painting a grey wall blue! I also learned that a damp towel will fix that right up. Again, I found myself questioning my paint color. Was it too dark? Did it close the room off too much? Will she like it? I caution you now, trust the process. I almost turned back here, but after a little encouragement from my dad I forged on.
While I wrapped up the painting inside, the boys painted and cut the wood pieces. One piece of advice my dad gave was measure twice, measure again, then cut once. The precision needed to execute this wall is pretty high, therefore it was important for us to have the plan drawn up, calculated, and planned to the centimeter. I strongly encourage you to measure each wall, window, or outlet to ensure you fit the design appropriately on the wall. Then I recommend drawing it to scale on paper with the appropriate lengths to help keep the process organized.
The magic sparked off during the next step. We framed the wall with the freshly sliced boards to provide a base for our feature wall. With only a smidge of framing, it already elevated the flat blue wall. I did have some concerns surrounding the width of the board lining up with the thinner crown molding, but it honestly worked perfectly (insert sigh of relief).
Next, we added the vertical slats along the wall. Each time we marked the pre-measured distance each piece should be with a pencil and then centered the wood on the mark. We used a nail gun to hold the base of the slat while we ensured each piece was straight with a level. The subsequent nails required a stud finder to ensure we were nailing every section into something sturdy.
The following step required more measurements. We double-checked the spacing we wanted for the horizontal boards and measured the distance between our vertical ones to ensure we stayed true to the measurements. Once again, we marked the proper alignment with a pencil and repeated the same process horizontally.
Finally, the boards were up and the wall looked amazing! I think it was at this exact moment, I knew my mom would love it without a doubt. Refreshed, we retaped the windows and molding in preparation for a second coat. This time around, we had to caulk around the boards and fill the seams and nail holes with wood filler. Once that dried, we rolled the walls with a second coat of paint and hand painted the boards for a smoother finish.
Lastly, time for the finishing touches! I didn’t want to leave you all without an “after” photo but the new bedding we ordered had not arrived. For a temporary fill, I stole pillows and blankets from other rooms in the house to give you a better visual of the final product. We will update the bedding with a mix of light and dark blues to create a luxurious retreat.
I love that we decided to keep the textured walls for the board and batten versus completely smoothing it out. I think it provided an extra element of intrigue giving the room a more luxurious look. The rich blue wall broke up they muted grey and white tones bringing life back into the room. What do you think? Let me know if you love the new feature wall in the comments below.