D.I.Y. room divider


Project Overview

Bunnings magazine, July 2019

Unassuming at first glance, dressed timber battens can be the basis for room-changing projects. Try this dividing screen if you have an open-plan space.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Make the slats and rails
2 Position the slats
3 Drill holes into the slats
4 Secure to the top and base rail
5 Centre and secure a middle rail
6 Fill, sand and paint
7 Lock it in
  • Step 1. Make the slats and rails

    To make the vertical slats, measure and mark eight lengths of 65mm dressed oak to 2.1m, cutting to length with a mitre saw. To make the top and base horizontal rails, cut the remaining 65mm piece into two 751mm lengths. For the middle horizontal rails, cut the 40mm dressed oak into three lengths of 751mm.

    Tip: While you could make the cuts using a mitre box with a hand saw, a mitre saw will result in much faster, more accurate assembly.

  • Step 2. Position the slats

    Position a length of painter's masking tape along the top, base and middle rails to mark out the position of the slats, measuring along the top rail first, marking 65mm from the edge, then 33mm, and repeating to the end. Transfer the measurements to the other rails using the combination square.

    Tip: The room divider is designed to be 2.1m high and exactly 751mm wide, which allows for the vertical slats to be placed 33mm apart.

  • Step 3. Drill holes into the slats

    Mark a centre line along the top and base rails (32.5mm from the edges), and along the middle rails (20mm from the edges). Use a 2.5mm bit to drill pilot holes along the lines, evenly spacing two holes into each slat.

  • Step 4. Secure to the top and base rail

    Working on a large, flat surface, set out the slats under the top and base rails, lining them up with the marks. Begin at one end, checking the first slat is flush and square with the top rail, and secure with two 20mm screws using a drill with a driver bit. Check the slat is flush with the base rail and secure, then repeat with the remaining rails.

  • Step 5. Centre and secure a middle rail

    On the slats at either end, measure and mark 1050mm from the base to centre a middle rail, securing with screws. Mark the end slats 40mm either side of the first middle rail and secure remaining rails.

  • Step 6. Fill, sand and paint

    Use a spatula to fill screw heads with timber filler, leave to dry. Sand all over, wipe with a damp cloth, then finish with primer and two coats of paint using a mini roller, leaving to dry between coats.

    Tip:To hide the brackets, spray-paint them in a matching colour before attaching.

  • Step 7. Lock it in

    Mark out where the divider will stand. Position one bracket on the floor against the wall, secure into both with anchors and screws. At the top, attach a bracket so one arm is against the wall and the other is over the top of the divider, secure with screws. Secure a third bracket halfway up the divider, against the wall. Attach the fourth bracket to the floor with one arm facing upwards so the divider sits inside it, securing from the outside with a screw.

Tools and Materials


  • Safety equipment
  • Measuring tape
  • Marker pen
  • Mitre saw
  • Combination square
  • Cordless drill
  • Mini roller and tray
  • 50mm stainless steel angle (L) brackets (pack of four)


  • 2.5mm drill bit
  • Driver bit
  • Nine 2.4m lengths 65mm x 12mm dressed oak
  • 2.4m length 40mm x 12mm dressed oak
  • 6G x 20-25mm timber screws
  • Timber filler and spatula
  • Sanding block with 180-grit abrasive paper
  • Painter's masking tape
  • 500ml 3 in 1 primer sealer undercoat
  • Interior low sheen paint
  • Wall anchors for your wall type

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