How to make a feature wall using wood panels

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Boring bit of wall? Not anymore! Using wood panel lengths as a feature creates a focal point and a designer look to an otherwise dull space – and it’s so simple!

Tools and materials

Brad nails

Brad nail gun

Caulking gun

Dust mask

Eye protection


Hand saw


Liquid nails

Measuring tape


Primed pine timber lengths

Sandpaper (180-grit)



Step ladder

Wood filler

How to make a feature wall using wood panels

1. Measure up

Before you get started, take out your tape measure and figure out where you’d like to place your timber lengths on the wall you’ve chosen, how they’ll sit and how long they need to be. We recommend drawing your design on paper beforehand, this will help you visualise how it will look and also give you something to reference later on. 

For our project, we ran some pieces of timber straight and some on an angle, so we had our square on hand, set to a 45 degree angle. Mark up where you’ll need to cut each of your pieces and also mark and measure the wall so you know how long each piece will need to be.

How to make a feature wall using wood panels

2. Cut your lengths

Once you’ve figured out how you want your lengths to run, you’re ready to cut. Remember to wear safety gear for this bit. When sawing, use long strokes with your elbow tucked in, and angle your saw about 45 degrees from the wood. Avoid pressing down on the timber – let your saw do all the hard work. It’s better to saw a bit less off than a bit more off as you can easily sand excess down to size. And remember – this project is completely customisable, so get creative, adding as many pieces of timber as you like.

How to make a feature wall using wood panels

3. Dry fit to your wall

Once you’ve got all your pieces cut, do a ‘dry fit’ to your wall, lining up everything against your surface to make sure it fits. Trust us – you don’t want to be affixing anything if it’s not quite right. If one piece of timber is even slightly off, it won’t look right – and liquid nails dries fast, so this bit’s important. Grab a friend to help you if you need to.

4. Glue the back of your panelling

Grab your caulking gun and Liquid Nails and apply it to the back of your timber pieces. The best way to apply Liquid Nails is with a squiggly line. Use your marks on the wall to line everything up, and then press firmly into place.

How to make a feature wall using wood panels

5. Nail your panelling in

After you’ve glued everything on, reinforce your timber with real nails too. We used a nail gun for this bit (if you don’t have one you can hire one from your local hire supply company, or through AirTasker), but you can also use a good old-fashioned hammer!

How to make a feature wall using wood panels

6. Fill any gaps

Once you’ve hammered or nail-gunned your nails in you’ll need to go back and fill any holes – use Spakfilla (or wood filler) for this. Just dab a bit onto your finger and smooth over the hole. Fill your joins too – it makes everything a lot smoother once it comes time to paint.

How to make a feature wall using wood panels

7. Paint your feature wall

Once your timber lengths are in place and the wood filler has dried, you’re ready to paint! Dark colours look particularly good with intricate designs, drawing the eye to your room’s new decorative feature.

How to make a feature wall using wood panels

8. A simple feature wall with big impact

How easy was that? All it took was some wood lengths, a little imagination and a tiny bit of hard work… and your boring old wall has a new lease of life!

Watch more from the series

Watch the full episode and more D.I.Y. projects from Make It Yours Episode 4: Lounge Makeover by Rachel-Lee and Rachel Aust.


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