Teen Room Accent Wall

My First DI-trY and Lessons Learned

Since my daughter is off visiting the OG’s (Original Grandparents), I decided to give her room an update. She’ll soon be a teenager…A TEENAGER! Insert tear drop in the eye. Pardon me as I gather myself.


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Now as I was saying, she’s growing up right before my eyes; and I wanted to gift her a room a little bit of newness teenage newness, yet not growing up too fast. Truth be told, I can still see her taking her first steps as a baby. I’m stepping into newness the newness of being the mom to a teenage girl. Shucks! I feel like I just got this “in between” phase down. You know where they want to be independent but still want a night light?!

I suppose the first thing I learned in doing this wall paneling DI-trY carried more intrinsic value.

  • Be welcoming of learning, allow for growth and be open to changing things up.

Now let’s get into the DI-trY part. Here are the Top 5 Things I Learned doing an accent panel wall.

  1. To paint the wall first or to not paint the wall, that is the question.

I read other DIY blogs and searched Pinterest posts. The more I read, the more conflicted I was on if I should first paint the accent wall, then nail the paneling or nail the paneling then paint the wall. I chose the latter and quickly found I should have chosen to paint first. Le sigh for me having to paint those small tiny nooks and crannies. Let’s add the fact that I have a love/hate relationship with painting all together. This one will probably still be a question for me, depending on the space I’m updating.

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2. Wood is expensive!

I know this thought is subjective, but to me; it’s especially expensive when you’re a novice to the woodworking game. A good number of woodworking DIY bloggers have been at it it for a while. They have scrap pieces of wood in their stockpile and can do projects like this for far less than mine. I spent a whopping $51.00 on this wall (and that’s just the wood panels). Initially, I was going to use poplar, but it’s priced per inch and 6 feet would have cost me about $8.43. I opted to use 1x2x8 select pine board which cost me $7.48 per piece (without tax), and I ended up using 7 pieces for this project.


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As a newbie to the world of power tools and DIY, I’m still learning about cuts and measurements to accommodate certain angled cuts.

Read about my very first DI-try, cutting different angles on my baseboard project. It was a doozy!

3. Buffing/sanding is your friend (and the enemy at the same time) …insert eye roll.

I had some edges of my wood to kind of splinter after I cut it with the miter saw. Totally operator error; but recall, I am a newbie to this power tool game. Anywho, I recently ordered a Ryobi nail gun, that came with a Random Orbit Sander. Did I use it? NOPE! Why not and how are you going to tell me it’s my friend yet you didn’t use it? This is how… later, after already nailing the wood panels to the wall, I was perusing Pinterest and came across a post where “they” (the bloggers who I cannot recall but will do much better going forward)… they kind of sanded their edges after cutting. That’s when I had the ah-ha moment of ‘oh I should’ve done that’. I think this might also be about preference, but I would have liked my edges to be a little cleaner.

4. It doesn’t take a lot for impact.

I honestly thought I was going to need a super intricate design for this wall to not look a hot mess. At first, I wanted panels to cover the entire wall with some sort of design. This is definitely where I am a proponent of using your painter’s tape to get an idea of your layout. I used a combination of Blue painter’s tape and Frog tape -trying to determine if there’s a big difference. I can’t see any as of yet.


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Using my brad nailer, I created a “frame” to begin the panel design.

Painter’s tape created the first design outline.

Additionally, let me say, after pricing the wood panels and realizing how many different cuts I would need, I scaled back (see #2 above). I really was hesitant on changing the plan I originally had because I felt like I was being a quitter. Sounds so childish now that I’m seeing my thoughts in words; but I’m slightly competitive- even with myself. To my surprise, and a slight design change, it came out better than I imagined.


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Minor design change.

A few cuts in and I realized more cuts than wanted would be required.

Overall, be flexible (and give yourself some grace). Plans are there to help guide and recognize when/if changes are needed.

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The plan was for this wall to be the accent wall, but moving the bed to another wall made the room look smaller.The plan was for this wall to be the accent wall, but moving the bed to another wall made the room look smaller.

The first plan was for this side of the room to have the accent wall, but moving the bed to another wall made the room look smaller.

5. Small additions will help your wall panel design tell its own story.

You didn’t hear this from me, but my daughter is low key artsy fartsy. I placed a few of her art pieces up (and throughout our home) so that she could be surrounded by her uniqueness. This mushy mom moment has been brought to you by all mushy moms across the world. But really, gather things from around your home and repurpose them. You may come to see your “old” pieces in a new light. Depending on your wall’s design (and of course your preference), this will fill in spaces where panels were not placed. In the case of my wall, I intentionally left open spaces for adding shelves.


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Painted these shelves purchased from IKEA.

Sample paint size kept cost down.


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Added this light up “K” that was a birthday gift (found at Amazon).

Adjustable wooden figure hitting the ‘dab’ for this cool mom!


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Added a few boxes to this corner to create additional storage and decor.

Did you check out those purple circles? They’re peel and stick!

Check out the slide show below of the before and after for this Captain’s Log: Teenybopper Room Update.

Let me know in the comments if you do this DI-trY or what you think of this one. In the meantime, you can head over to my corner of Insta’ and see more of the little knickknacks added to this Teenybopper Room Update.

Talk with y’all later!