I must admit that I tend to prioritize in my mind renovations in areas of the house that people see the most. However, our master bedroom has been weighing heavily on my mind since we moved in. We didn’t do ANY updates to it after moving, not even paint or light fixtures like the rest of the house! We even used the dilapidated curtain rods the previous owners left (think dark faux wood with finials shaped like a leaf…one of them even randomly fell off in the middle of the night a while ago and scared me half to death….).
Anyways, we decided to tackle the master bedroom during the quarantine back in March and I am SO glad we did. What was once a drab, loose collection of furniture is now a beautiful and peaceful place where we all want to snuggle up for family movie night. RJ even remarked that it has a spa-like feeling, so mission accomplished, amiright?! My inspiration came from the gorgeous grid accent walls by Angela Rose, Our Faux Farmhouse, and House of Hanes in their bedrooms.
This was our first major trim work project in our house. It was a pretty straightforward project that just requires good planning and math beforehand based on how you want the grid pattern to look.
Here are the materials we used:
- 1x3s from Home Depot to frame out the right, left, and top of the wall and for the grid pattern in between.
- 1x8s from Home Depot for the bottom of the accent wall.
- Nail gun
- Miter saw
- Caulk (my favorite here)
- Behr Ultra in matte finish, Black Evergreen
Here’s the before pics:
Since every wall is different, there’s no right or wrong way to lay out a grid pattern, but here are some tips and tricks that I learned from this project:
Decide up front how much money and time you want to spend on your boards. We used common boards because this project took place during the quarantine in Ohio in April, so I had extra time to sand them down with my orbital sander before we started the project. They are also cheaper than pre-primed boards, but if I was doing this project now, I would definitely use pre-primed boards. Pre-primed boards are smoother and in better condition than common boards. Like I mentioned, though, if you want to save on cost and have the time to sand down the common boards before using them, then common boards are a great economical option.
Frame out the wall first. Start with the bottom board and then do the left, right, and top. And there’s one step here that makes a huge difference: we removed the baseboard and used the 1x8s as the bottom of the frame for the accent wall, then put the baseboard back on the 1x8s. Before we put the baseboard back on, we did have to shave a little bit off of the baseboards on the right and left walls so that the baseboard fits nicely back onto the wall and joins evenly with the mitered corners at the right and left walls. Here’s a diagram to show you, because this is so important for a professional look!
The black lines represent the accent wall (top) and left and right walls of the room. The pink lines are the existing baseboards. The green line is the 1×8 as the bottom frame for the accent wall. As you can see, you take off the baseboard and attach the 1×8 and then put the baseboard back on. The gray circles show you the intersection with the existing baseboards on the right and left walls (pink) and you can see how you need to cut them back slightly to make the previously mitered joints line up again.
The purpose of using a 1×8 (or whatever size you choose based off the height of your baseboard) is so that the 1×8 sticks up above the baseboard (but behind the baseboard) and it looks like the baseboard and accent wall are all completely integrated for a clean professional look. Here’s one more diagram showing the layers if you took a cross section of the accent wall- black is the accent wall, green is the 1×8, and pink is the baseboard. This shows you the layers and you can see how the 1×8 sticks up above the baseboard and actually looks like it’s a 1×3 that’s part of the accent wall!
Before we did this project, I couldn’t find any good resource explaining all of that, so I thought I’d share!
Paint the wall where your accent wall will be as the first step. Before we even started building the grid pattern, I painted the wall in Behr Black Evergreen. Then when it came to painting the grid pattern, I only had to roll one light coat in each square to touch up the paint and I could focus on painting the 1x3s.
Don’t skip the caulk! My wall wasn’t perfectly flat, so there were gaps between the wall and the 1x3s. Taking the time to caulk all of the grid squares and THEN paint made a huge difference in the final look.
The tenor of the room is so different now. When I work from home, you can find me in the chair near the window, and on the weekends we watch movies as a family here. It’s amazing what some wood and paint can do. I know everyone likes a good before and after so I hope you like this project!