How to Make an Affordable Slat Wall

7 Materials
3 Days

I absolutely love the look of a slat wall! The contrast of the wood against a painted wall really caught my eye. After pricing out a slat wall using pieces of pre-cut wood, I decided to find a different way to create it without spending so much money. That's when I decided to use plywood instead! Here is how I created a slat wall with just two 4'x8' pieces of plywood.

STEP 1: Rip Plywood into 1" Strips

I ran the plywood boards through my table saw to create several 1" slats. I decided to use birch plywood since I wanted to stain it.

STEP 2: Sand the Plywood Slats

I did a quick sanding to remove any rough edges. I lined them up and quickly sanded each side and the front and back. I then sanded each edge of slats by hand.

STEP 3: Stain and Seal the Plywood Slats

I stained three sides of the slats using a special walnut stain. I did not bother staining the side of the slats that would be up against the wall. Once the stain dries, seal the wood. (I foolishly waited until the slats were installed on the wall to seal it.) Allow the stain to cure before installing it on the wall. This will prevent the stain from making your whole house smell!

STEP 4: Paint the Wall

Paint the wall where you will be installing the slats whatever color you would like. The wall color will show through between the slats. I chose to paint my wall black because I like the contrast of the wood against a black wall.

STEP 5: Cut the Wood Slats to Length

Since no wall in my house is straight, I did not expect this wall to be an exception. Therefore, I only cut a handful of slats at a time. I installed those slats and then cut the next batch. This ensured that the slats weren’t too long or short.

STEP 6: Install the Wood Slats

To secure the slats to the drywall, I used both construction adhesive and finishing nails. I applied several small dots of construction adhesive to the slat and then nailed it to the wall, making sure the spacer was tight between the two slats. I put the nails in at a slight angle and alternated directions (left to right). I cut one of the slats slightly shorter than the rest and used it as a spacer to ensure that the slats were spaced the same.

STEP 7: Cut Around Any Outlets

I had one outlet and one blank cover plate on the accent wall. Luckily, the slats were spaced perfectly to where I only needed to cut one slat per plate cover. For these, I simply cut out enough of the slat to install the covers.

STEP 8: Enjoy Your New Slat Wall

I installed this slat wall as an accent wall in my boys' room. A slat wall would be the perfect addition to any room!

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Nicole | Simply Aligned Home

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 9 questions
  • Vickie
    on Sep 22, 2020

    I just love this! Want to do it in my dining room

  • Adrienne
    on Sep 22, 2020

    That’s so dang cool!!! What was your inspiration?

    • Thank you!! I saw painted wood slat walls and wanted to do something similar, but slightly different. I priced out pieces of wood and plywood was much cheaper.

  • Pam Galicki
    Just now

    How’re you going to keep the dust and bugs from collecting on the baseboard between the slats

Join the conversation

2 of 104 comments
  • Patty
    on Sep 24, 2020

    Looks high end. Too much work for me.

  • Earnie
    on Sep 24, 2020

    Absolutely beautiful. I love, love, love this idea. Great job.

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