I’ve been wanting to do a slat feature wall and this office renovation is the perfect place for a unique take on a slat wall. Here’s a walk through my design and installation process!
The first design details I needed to figure out were the dimensions of the individual slats and the height of the wainscoting. I found 1/2″ x 3/4″ square slats at Lowe’s and Menards but they were $3- $5 each for 6′ boards. With the wall being 129″ long, I knew I would need at least 129 slats. Even if cut the 6′ pieces in half, that would still be pretty expensive. My solution was to buy 1″ x 2″ boards in 6′ sections for $2.44 each and rip them in half with the table saw and then cut them into four total slats. Much more affordable way to do this slat feature wall!
We ripped the boards in half and then I stained them with my favorite stain- Minwax solid color stain tinted to Aged Oak. This stain is not finicky like other stains- the color is accurate, even on different types of wood, and it gives wood a nice rich color while minimizing the grain.
I painted the wall so that the color would show through the gap in the slats and decided on a 1/2″ gap, which is just large enough to show the wall color behind the slats but small enough to hide the return air vent on the wall. We removed the cover for the vent and planned to hide the vent behind the slats while still leaving room for air flow between the slats:
As you can see above, I installed a 1×6 baseboard and then we installed the top rail of the wainscoting. The top rail sits at 1/3rd of the height of the room.
Then I started with the slats closest to the built ins- starting from the most visible point and ending behind the door to the office (the least visible point!). See my spacer above? I taped two 1/4″ scrap pieces of wood together to use as my spacer between the slats to achieve a uniform look.
Moment of honesty: I thought installation of the slats would be a breeze (why do I always think this about every project?!). None of the million blogs I read about installing slats talked about how much of a time consuming process this is! I spent about 8 hours installing the slats. Part of the reason for this amount of time was that I had to account for my wonky walls. I needed to add shims behind the slats to ensure that they were flush with the baseboard and top rail. I had leftover painted 1x2s from making face frames for the built in cabinets and bookshelf, so I cut very thin slices with the miter saw to create shims that matched the color of the wall! See how the shim disappears when I put it behind the slat?
These shims made the slats fit nice and flush with the baseboard and cap! Overall, the installation was straightforward, just time consuming. As you can see above, I put the spacer up against a slat and then put the next slat tight against the spacer, sandwiching the spacer between the two slats. Then I used a nail gun to nail to secure the slats to the wall.
What do you think? This wall is going to be such a unique feature when we install the brick from the top of the wainscoting to the ceiling!
Up next, I have an amazing collaboration for lighting in the office and I will be adding shiplap to the back of the desk area. See you next week here on the blog and be sure to follow @LoveLivingHere on Instagram to see all of the behind the scenes!