DIY Paneled Wall | DIY Wainscoting

I am so thrilled to introduce a new contributor to you today! Alicia, from A Burst of Beautiful, is so wonderfully talented and has the most beautiful blog and style. She is just as sweet as she is talented and I am so excited to have her here! Today she will be sharing a GORGEOUS DIY Wainscoting in her Master bedroom. I have been wanting to do this in my room forever, and she might just have convinced me to take the leap! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I am so excited to be joining you today as part of the Ella Claire creative team. I’ve always adored Kristen’s style and I was beyond thrilled when she asked me to be a contributor. My husband and I chronicle our journey renovating our home, creating DIY projects and experimenting with recipes on our blog A Burst of Beautiful. And we are so happy to share a little bit of this adventure with Ella Claire readers.
DIY_Paneled Wall_4 A few months ago we participated in Calling it Home’s One Room Challenge. Designers and bloggers were challenged to makeover one room in just six short weeks. We (or should I say I) decided our bedroom was the perfect room to tackle. We made a few small updates to our bedroom when we moved in to our home three years ago, but I was getting restless and ready for another change. And this challenge was exactly what we needed to kick start our bedroom makeover.

You can check out our progress week by week to see how we pulled it off.

I’ve always been drawn to farmhouse style. And let’s face it, the farmhouse trend has become a bit of an obsession for many of us right now. I love that cozy, worn-in feeling and I wanted our bedroom to reflect that. I dreamt of a bedroom that conveyed that vintage farmhouse feel, with a little bit of romance thrown in. I knew I’d have to do a bit of convincing to get my husband on board, but he eventually agreed to  help make my vision a reality.

DIY_Panel Wall_REV
A big part of that vision was adding some much needed interest and character to our bedroom. It’s a huge room and it lacked any type of architectural elements to help it feel cozy and welcoming. When we started I had three distinct ideas floating around my head. First, I thought about adding trim to the walls to create a picture rail. Secondly, I considered adding a plank wall behind our bed (I couldn’t get shiplap out of my head after too many episodes of Fixer Upper). And lastly, I thought about building a paneled wall behind our bed and painting it a creamy white. I loved all of these ideas, but I finally decided on the paneled wall. I thought it was a timeless choice and I knew it would transition well with whatever future changes we made to our room.

DIY_Paneled Wall_2 One of the updates we had made to our bedroom prior to this makeover was painting horizontal stripes on the wall behind our bed. I loved these stripes for a long time, so it was with a heavy heart that the Mr. covered over the stripes he had lovingly (and painstakingly) painted for me three years ago. I have to admit, I was a little sad to see those stripes go, but I’m so happy with the end result.

DIY_Panel Wall_1_REV
This is one of my favourite projects we’ve completed so far. It was relatively inexpensive (it cost us about $100 for supplies), and it adds such an impact. There are a few different ways you can create a panel wall, but we decided to go with five squares along the top with five large rectangles underneath each square. We considered creating the wall solely out of squares, but I thought it might look too busy. I like the simplicity that the rectangles add.


  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Nail Gun
  • Filler
  • Caulking
  • Paint


First, measure the width of your wall.  Our wall was 132″ so we needed 11′ of wood for the top of the wall, along the ceiling line.  You can also do this at the bottom of your wall if you don’t already have trim.  In our case, you couldn’t see the bottom of the wall behind the furniture so we decided to save the money.
Next, we determined how many panels would fit across our wall. In our case we wanted five panels on our wall. You will need to determine how many vertical pieces of wood you will require (it will be the number of panels + 1 for the leading edge). We had five panels, so technically we required six vertical pieces. However, our headboard mounts flush on the wall and we wanted to make sure it laid flat, so opted to cut one of the pieces in half to accomplish this.
DIY Panel Wall_Step By Step Next, take the number of vertical pieces of wood and multiply it by the width of the pieces you are using. We used 6 x 4″ width pieces, so our total was 24″.

Subtract the total width of the pieces from the overall length of the wall. For example, the length of our wall is 132″ (132″ – 24″ = 108″). And then divide that number by the number of panels you are creating (108″ / 5 = 21.6″). This will give you how many inches are needed between each piece of wood you add (vertically). Here’s a handy little calculator we made for you to use as a guide – CALCULATOR

We made one square panel at the top of each rectangle panel to add a little extra depth. For this we just made it into a perfect square 21.6″ x 21.6″.

Once you have determined the placement of each panel, secure the pieces of wood on the wall with a nail gun. Fill the holes with filler and any spaces with caulking and allow to dry before sanding.

DIY Panel Wall_Step By Step_2 Finally, give your new paneled wall a few coats of fresh paint and your project is complete!

DIY Paneled Wall_Pinterest_REV I hope you enjoyed our tutorial for this easy DIY Paneled Wall and I can’t wait to share our next project with you!

We’d love for you join us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

If you liked our DIY Paneled Wall, you might also enjoy these posts:

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  1. Heather C says

    Really great job, I had forgotten it was you I copied and painted horizontal stripes, which I still love. But who knows somewhere down the line I may put in a paneled wall.

  2. says

    This is lovely! You did a wonderful job transforming the look of the space. Great instructions, too! Thanks for sharing on Snickerdoodle Sunday.

    • says

      Thank you April! You should be able to add this wainscoting to textured walls. The only issue you may run into is the panels will not lay flat against the wall (depending on the type of texture), but if that doesn’t bother you it will work just fine.

  3. says

    This is so gorgeous!!! I love that you can do it yourself. I have always loved wainscoting. I would really like to do this in my master bedroom. Thanks for sharing at Motivational Monday Link Party. I can’t wait to see what you share tomorrow.

  4. says

    I’m loving this! Pinned and tweeted! I always love your creations, thanks for sharing this with us at our party! I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm, we love seeing what you have been working on! Lou Lou Girls

  5. DIsa says

    Came out great and it’s something I plan to try as well. I’m skittish about nailing the boards to the walls though. That’s a LOT of holes, most of which would not be against a stud. Any other options one might use?

    • says

      Thank you, we love how it turned out! If you use 1″ x 4″ MDF boards you should be fine. MDF is fairly light compared to hardwood trim. You can optionally add some construction adhesive to the back of the boards to make it more secure if you are not nailing into studs. We only used a nail gun to secure the boards and it’s been one year and not one board has even showed signs of coming off of the wall. Good luck!

  6. Chelsea says

    This looks great! Do we need to nail our wood panel strips into studs? Also, what type of wood did you use? Thanks :)

    • says

      Thank you Chelsea! We used pre-primed 1″ x 4″ MDF strips from The Home Depot. It is not necessary to nail them into the studs since the wood is fairly light and you won’t be applying any weight to it. You can use some adhesive on the back of the boards if you’d like, however, if you ever decide to remove the wainscoting there will likely be some wall damage.

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