Modern Slat Wall Design You Can DIY
Whenever I start a new project I always like to draw it up to help me visualize things first. Although I have a pretty good idea of how I want a space to feel, I might not have all the decisions made. That’s just part of the DIY process. In the room makeover I did for my son, I had been thinking about adding a slat wall but was still undecided. It wasn’t until after putting a wallpaper mural on all four walls (and finishing some other things up in the room) I decided a slat wall was the right move. Yes, this meant covering up some pretty wallpaper, but not a lot. If that makes you sad, just wait. The end result was worth it! Here’s a step-by-step on how I made this modern slat wall design, so you can replicate it in your space.
- Early American stain
- Wood conditioner
- 1” x 6” select pine boards
- Brad nailer and nails
- Table saw
Step #1 Make The Slats
To start this project I first needed to make the slats. I decided to make them out of 1” x 6” select pine boards. Before cutting the boards into strips, I first sanded them with my sander. That way I didn’t have to go back and sand each strip individually. I also measured and cut the boards to the length they needed to be to fit on the wall. The slatted design was going to go on the wall behind my son’s trundle bed. The bed was secured to the wall so I didn’t need to make the slats as long. I did play around with the idea of the slats going just partway up the wall but decided that having them go all the way up looked best.
Once the boards were cut and smooth, I then stripped them down into ¾” x ¾” strips with my table saw. If you use this method, just know you’ll be dealing with a LOT of sawdust. I’m talking handfuls and handfuls of sawdust! But it’s worth it, promise.
Step #2 Stain The Wood
After cleaning up my sawdust mess, I could move on to the next step…staining! I went with the color Early American by Minwax, which was no surprise. I use this color all the time and already used it for the shelves and bed in my son’s room. To speed up the staining process, I propped a few slats up on two boards and pushed them together. That way I was able to apply the wood conditioner and stain to a few pieces at once. I do the conditioner first and then go back over the same side with the stain. Once I finished one side, I would flip each piece over and repeat the process. I only needed to stain three of the four sides because the fourth would be up against the wall and never seen.
After applying the stain to all the slats, I let them rest for a bit before bringing them inside. While I waited, I played around with spacing to see how far apart from each other I wanted them to sit.
Step #3 Put It All Together
The spacing I ended up going with was ¾” between each slat, which made things pretty easy when putting things together. First, I brought all the slats and my brad nailer into my son’s room. Then one by one I started nailing the slats to the wall. I used an extra unstained slat to measure spacing and a level to make sure everything was straight. No one wants a crooked slat wall, right? You might think you can just line the pieces up next to the corner wall but unfortunately, not all walls are straight. So I’d recommend starting in the middle of the wall. I should also mention for this room, I did have to account for the beams on the ceiling (that I made). So for any pieces that touched a beam, I had to go back and cut a little shorter so they fit right.
Modern Slat Wall Design Reveal
And just like that, operation slat wall was complete! What do you think? Would you have covered up a little bit of wallpaper with this design? I think it was totally worth it. Want to get the details on other projects I did in this room? See how I made this black beam ceiling here. Head to this blog post to get the details on the trundle bed I DIYed.