Wood can add beautiful warmth and texture to any space. When used thoughtfully on a focal wall, wood makes for an incredibly inviting design element. There are many different ways to incorporate wood into your home to create an eye-catching display.

Selecting the Right Type of Wood

When choosing wood for your wall, consider the overall look and feel you want to achieve. Here are some popular wood wall options:

  • Reclaimed wood – Made from recycled barn beams, factory remnant boards, or other repurposed wood. Reclaimed wood has a rustic, imperfect look.
  • Weathered wood – Wood planks that are intentionally distressed to look worn and aged. Often has a grayish drifted look.
  • Barn wood – Salvaged from old barns, stables, and sheds. Has a rustic, rural feel with natural imperfections.
  • Heartwood planks – The innermost part of the tree with beautiful grain patterns. More expensive but has an elegant look.
  • Pine or cedar – Affordable softwoods that can be stained, whitewashed, or left natural. Easy to install.
  • Wood paneling – Prefabricated boards with grooves, available in sheets for quick installation. Classic look.

Consider the color tone you want as well – light, medium, or dark wood. Visit home improvement stores to view wood samples in person.

Preparing the Wall Surface

Start with a blank canvas – remove any existing wallpaper or wall materials. The wall surface should be as smooth and clean as possible to allow the wood planks to mount flush.

Fill any cracks or holes with spackle and sand smooth. Prime the wall with a quality primer/sealer so the wood has a neutral base to adhere to. Allow the primer coat to fully dry before installing wood.

Optional – paint the wall a coordinating color if you want some of the background to show through between boards.

Planning the Layout

Decide on the overall look you want to achieve – uniform and smooth, random and rustic, geometric pattern, etc. Sketch ideas so you can visualize the final design.

Measure the wall space carefully, accounting for doors, windows, and any outlets/switches. Map out board placement using your measurements so you buy enough material.

For a professional look, use a level to ensure the first row is perfectly straight. Snap chalk lines as guides for board rows.

Leave 1/8″ gap between boards and 1/4″ gap along the edges for wood expansion. Include spacers during installation.

Mix boards from multiple packs during installation for a blended, natural look. Avoid boards that are too perfectly uniform.

Installing the Wood

Option 1 – Nail or staple gun

Use finish nails or narrow crown staples. Pre-drill holes to avoid splitting. Nail/staple every 6-8 inches along the board edges.

Option 2 – Construction adhesive

Specifically made for wood installation. Apply adhesive to wall in a zigzag pattern, press boards into place. Add brads for extra support.

Option 3 – Z-clip system

Screws mount Z-clips to the wall, interlocking grooves on back of boards clip onto clips. Allows easy removal.

Apply steady, even pressure when mounting boards to ensure flush contact with the wall. Use shims if any boards gap.

Finishing Touches

  • Fill any cracks with wood filler, allow to dry fully, then sand smooth
  • Finish with desired stain, sealer, whitewash, etc. Allow finishes to cure.
  • Add optional details – trim along edges, sconces, shelves
  • Style the wall with plants, art, shelves to complement the wood

With the right prep work, thoughtful design, and proper installation, a wood wall can make a gorgeous focal point in any room. Take time to choose your materials, customize the look, and care for the wood properly. A wood feature wall is sure to provide eye-catching style for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Wood Walls

What type of wood is best for an accent wall?

Reclaimed barn wood and heartwood planks add beautiful natural texture. More affordable options like pine and cedar can also look great stained or whitewashed. Choose a wood type that fits your budget and the visual style you want.

What is the best way to mount wood boards on a wall?

Construction adhesive provides a super secure bond. Nail guns or Z-clip systems also work well. Make sure boards are properly spaced and shimmed to lie flush with the wall.

Should I finish or seal my wood accent wall?

It’s highly recommended to apply some kind of sealer or finish to protect the wood from moisture, stains, and UV damage over time. Polyurethane is a popular durable choice.

How do I clean and care for my wood wall?

Use a lightly dampened microfiber cloth to gently wipe any dust or dirt. Do not use abrasive cleaners or excessive moisture. Reapply protective finish periodically. Address scratches or damage promptly.

What can I do with the space around my wood wall?

Decorate the surrounding walls or ceiling with a complementary color. Add trim, plants, artwork, or shelves next the wood focal point to accentuate the feature wall.


Installing an eye-catching wood wall in your home can significantly upgrade your space with natural texture and cozy appeal. To do it right, carefully select your wood materials, prep the wall properly, map out an intentional design, and use the best mounting techniques. Sealing the wood will help it maintain its beauty. With creativity and care, your wood feature wall will bring lasting style to any room.