How to Build a Vertical Wood Slat Wall

In our today’s tutorial, we will show you how to build a vertical wood slat wall. It is a wall with vertical-facing wood slats attached to a top and bottom support board. A vertical wood slat wall system is mainly decorative. It can be the best way to display your artwork or other décor items. Moreover, you can customize your vertical slat wall as home decoration and design trends change. 

You can personalize your vertical slats wall with a wooden shelf or a decorative accessory like a mirror. Still, you can re-paint it with a different color. Whether vertical or horizontal, wood slat walls are gorgeous and stylish. They are ideal for entryways, living rooms, and other rooms. Would you like to know how to build a vertical wood slat wall? If yes, read the rest of this guide.

Project materials you will require

You will be surprised how simple this DIY woodwork project can be after gathering materials. Minus the drying time for stained wood slats, you can finish the entire project in two hours. Before you practice how to build a vertical wood slat wall, collect these materials: 

  • 1 X 2 X 8 boards – People choose the type of boards that could suit their existing interior wall décor. Some go for plywood, and others prefer pressure-treated wood. If your panels have the correct length, width, and thickness, they should be okay. Measure the wall length and re-size your wood slats accordingly. Use the pieces you cut off as spacers later in how to build a vertical wood slat wall project.  
  • Stain – Wood stain appears in different colors. So, select the best stain color based on the overall wall design.
  • Thin penny nails –Choose the ones you think could work with your wood slats.
  • Drywall screws – You can use screws or some Velcro strips.
  • Tape measure or another measuring device.

How to Build a Vertical Wood Slat Wall?

How to Build a Vertical Wood Slat Wall?

Whether you want to know how to build a vertical wood slat wall in your living room, kitchen, entryway, or another room, the task ahead is easy. Interior vertical wood slats wall can act as room dividers or as a way to improve your existing room design. You will need to do the following steps: 

Step one: Count the 1x2x8 panels you will require

The first step in how to build a vertical wood slat wall is estimating the size of your project. You must know the exact number of 1×2 wood slats you need. When buying these boards, ensure they measure ¾-inch by 1-1/2-inch. Also, determine the size of the space between your slats. 

To compute this, add the board width to the spacer width. The depth of the boards will be the spacer. To calculate the number of wood boards necessary for this DIY project, use the ¾-inch measurement. Therefore, your equation should look like this: 1-1/2 x ¾. The answer will be 2-1/4-inch. 

Now measure the wall width and divide the result by 2-1/4 inches. What you get will be the number of wood slats you will require. Note that a support board at the bottom and top area of the wall is necessary. Hence, get additional wood boards if you end up needing more in our how to build a vertical wood slat wall DIY project. 

Step Two: Cut your 1×2 boards to the proper size

The next step on how to build a vertical wood slat wall is cutting your 1×2 boards to the best size. Remember our wood boards are eight feet long. If your wall is shorter, you will trim them to the exact size. You can use a chop saw or a small circular saw to trim your vertical planks. Cut the support boards to their correct size and store them separately.

Step Three: Stain the wood slats and let them dry

Stain the wood slats and let them dry

Another step on how to build a vertical wood slat wall is staining the 1X2 planks. Any wood stain you have bought can work with polyurethane, which can quicken the procedure. Wear your gloves and apply the stain with a rag. Leave your vertical wood slats alone to dry.  

Even when explaining how to build a horizontal wood slat wall, we would not leave out this step. As your vertical slats continue to dry, apply paint to the two support boards you set aside earlier. They need to have the same color as the wall to blend well with it. If your creative mind shows you other ideas, you can choose a different color. 

Step Four: Now attach the 1×2 wood slats to the support boards

Another step in how to build a vertical wood slat wall is to attach the 1×2 slats to the two support boards. So, do the following steps: 

  • Place your support boards on a flat surface like your floor. Ensure that they lay parallel to the wall. 
  • Now place the vertical slats perpendicular to the support board and on top.
  • Ensure the boards are even before placing the spacers between them. Place spacers amid each wood board on the top and bottom edges. Squeeze the planks firmly together before nailing them.
  •  Hammer down one nail through the vertical wood slat wall panel and to the support board. Work from one side and move to the next one. Secure three to four slats on top and others on the bottom. 
  • Once you have attached a few wood slats to the support boards, finish the remaining wood boards with your spacers.
  • Remove all spaces after nailing all your boards into the support boards. 

Step Five: Attach the wood slats to your wall

The next thing in how to build a vertical wood slat wall entails attaching the planks permanently. Ask a friend or relative to assist with the last step. What you will both do is put the pre-assembled slats onto the wall. 

Attach the wood slats to your wall

Make sure they sit well before attaching them to the wall with drywall screws. An alternative material is a Velcro strip. You can also find related wood slat wall ideas on the web. Screw into the bottom and top support board spaces between the vertical slats. 

Building a slat wall in your living room 

Learning how to build a vertical wood slat wall for your living room is vital. The vertical wood slat wall detail for the living room can be decorative or functional. If you have a spacious living room, you can use a vertical slat wall to divide it and create another private space. 

Otherwise, you can add a wood slat wall only to revamp your current interior decoration. A slat wall will go well with your existing home decoration style, including Scandinavian, industrial, or classic. A subtle wood slat wall is a perfect addition to any living room. Hence, avoid adding it to all living room walls. 

Benefits of a vertical wood slat wall

What can you gain from learning how to build a vertical wood slat wall? First, this wall type is decorative. You can make a wood slat wall and hang your TV set or an art piece. A slat wall can be the focal point of your living room or any other area. Secondly, you can divide a space with a wooden slat wall.

It is upon you to decide the areas you want to separate. If you live in an apartment complex, you can add a wood slat wall as soundproof. A wooden slat wall can retain warmth in the house. So, it can be reliable when it gets cold. Since you can make this wall personally, you can save time and money. 


1. What are the best colors for vertical slat walls?

People are now choosing black for their living room when choosing how to build a vertical wood slat wall. However, white is the best slat wall color because it can go well with other colors. Additionally, white wood slat walls create a lovely background for décor items and your TV. 

A black slat wall is lovely, but when dust particles settle on it, they are easy to spot. If your interior design colors are bright or pastel, go for the white slat wall. It does not mean that black and white are the only colors you can select. Even brown or beige is lovely choices. 

2. How to design a vertical slat wall for the living room? 

Follow the same technique and steps we have described on how to build a vertical wood slat wall. Make sure your wood slat wall matches your current living room interior design. Alternatively, use wood slats to alter the existing living room design. For instance, you have concrete walls now. Hence, you can achieve an industrial design with it, wood slats, and some metal accents. 

3. What kind of wood should you use for the slat wall?

For your living room, you can choose the classic wooden planks that come stained or varnished. If you want more modern wood slat accent wall designs, make your planks with wood from pine, cedar, or any other durable timber. Next, paint your wood planks white, black, or the pastel color you prefer. When doing a vertical wood slat wall exterior project, you can experiment with colors based on your design elements.

4. Is it difficult to make a wood slat wall?

We have shown you how to build a vertical wood slat wall. It is one of the best DIY projects you can do if you have the correct materials. 

5. How to attach wooden slats to the wall?

Another vital point on how to build a vertical wood slat wall concerns the things you can use to attach the boards to the wall. Depending on the type of wood boards you are using, you can use pinewood glue and white glue at once. For instance, when using three layers of wood, you can use these glues to attach them. Still, you can use them for attaching the vertical slats. To secure them tightly, use drywall screws in the gap between two vertical slats. Alternatively, use Velcro strips.

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