DIY Wood Accent wall with lighting
This is one of the awesome ideas you can do with your wood wall planks, making it a wall accent with a lighting effect to make it cool.
This post was made with contributions from one of our creative customers. See what you can do when you get creative with the reclaimed wood wall planks.
Measure the dimensions of the bare wall and plan the width of each row accordingly. With the accent lightning behind the wood paneling, there needs to be some room around the edges for the light to shine. We left 2” of space between the edges of the boards and the walls (left and right side), ceiling, and floor. Each row of paneling should have alternating seams so that the edges of the boards do not run straight up and down every row. For my first row (bottom), 3 boards were used: 44”, 48”, and 44”. The next row used 20”, 48”, 48”, and 20” lengths to create an alternating pattern. This was based on the width of my wall so that the seams of the second (and all even rows) were in the middle of the boards of my first row (and all odd rows).
TIP: Don’t “precut” all of your boards. It might save time if everything is perfect, but if some of your supports are off or the wall isn’t perfectly square or flat (in my case both!), then you’ll need to adjust the board lengths as you go. If you’ve already cut all of your boards and you need them to be longer, you’ll have to buy more!
Once you have your design in place, determine where on your wall your vertical supports will go. Place one board near the edge of each row to support the ends of the boards, leaving about 3” of space between the edge of the board and the edge of the vertical support. You’ll also need vertical support where the end of every board will be for each row. Given my design of alternating rows, this required 7 vertical supports. The vertical supports need to be thick enough to hide any electronic equipment behind the boards. Our center support had to be cut around the wall outlet and we needed roughly 1.5” thick boards to offset the planks enough so that our AC adapters would plug into the outlet behind the boards. These boards should be centered where you want the edges of the wood panels to meet so that there is enough room to attach each panel.
Frame the vertical supports with horizontal segments between. This gives you a surface to attach the LED strips onto, otherwise, the LED strips can sag and you’ll get uneven lighting. The framing does not need to be as thick as the vertical supports, only thick enough to attach the LED strip to.
Run the lights! For our wall, it took 3 LED strips to cover the entire perimeter. Starting from the outlet one strip runs along the outside edge to the top. This left about a 3’ gap in the middle along the top edge. To fill this gap, we ran a 3rd LED strip up the wall beside support and along the gap. To avoid this strip shining through the wood panels in the middle, we taped over it to “black it out”. This creates an entire framed lighting, with both of the receivers for the LED strips (they have a remote that allows you to change the color) near the floor in the center of the wall. Doing it this way allows a single remote to hit both receivers at the same time.
Now start placing panels. Stick to the alternating pattern you set on in Step 1, making sure that each board reaches far enough to make it to the next support. Use finishing nails to hold each board in place without having noticeable screws. The panels we used were rough ¼” thick, and each board came cut to a 4’ length. The boards are light and don’t take much to hold them down. Choose your boards to have a theme that matches what you want. We wanted an alternating color look rather than a single flat color for the boards (we also didn’t have enough boards to do a single color).
TIP: If you have a board that is barely making it to vertical support and your finishing nail would be near the edge of the board, drill a small hole through the panel first before nailing. This reduces the likelihood that the board will splinter or break.
BONUS TIP: If you have a board that has a hole or gap in it, tape a piece of black cardboard paper, or just use some black colored tape on the backside of the board to cover the hole. This will make the hole invisible so that you don’t see the original wall behind the wood paneling.
That’s it! Finish nailing the boards in place, making sure to align the edges so that you have a consistent vertical edge along the wall. The LED’s are very low power and don’t produce much heat, with a life expectancy of nearly 50,000 hours in most cases so they should last for some time. The remote allows you to change the colors to whatever your mood desires, and you can have them pulse or change colors on their own. Be careful, however, as if you have to use multiple strips with different controllers they don’t change at the same rate so the sequence can get off over time.