Herringbone Wood-Paneled Wall

Herringbone Wood-Paneled Wall

Stained oak boards come together to create a modern wood-paneled wall.

5 col

Wood paneling in a herringbone pattern adds a touch of modern flair to an entertainment wall or nook.

1”x2” Oak boards (or any left over lumber you have)
1⁄2” x 1” Trim board
2” Brad nails
Nail gun
All-purpose construction adhesive
Caulk gun
Wood putty
Putty knife
4’ level
Speed square
Tape measure
Stud finder
Masking tape
Electric sander
150-grit sandpaper
Damp rag
Clean dry rags
Wood stain (in desired shade)
Paint brush (for staining)




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  1. Measure the width of the wall and divide by two to find the center point. Make a mark with a pencil
  2. Use a 4-foot level to draw a vertical line from the floor to the ceiling on this center mark. This will be your control line
  3. Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. Mark them with a pencil. Draw a vertical line from the floor to the ceiling, along each stud
  4. Take a speed square and establish which is the longest (slanted) side. Place a small piece of tape on this side and label it “L”. The 90-degree angle is the angle across from the longest side (L). Place a small piece of tape on the angle and label it “90”. The two remaining, shorter sides are both the same length. Label one side, “1” and label the other side “2”
  5. To achieve the herringbone pattern, the oak boards need to run at a 45-degree angle to the control line. Line the speed square up with side 1 flush with the bottom of the wall, and side 2 flush along the control line. Trace the long side (L) with a pencil, marking the angle on the wall
  6. Set the speed square over the end of one board. Line the long side (L) up with the length of the board, and put the 45-degree corner of the speed square in the far corner of the end of the board. Make sure side 2 of the speed square is closest to the end of the board, and side 1 is farther away. (The numbers on the speed square will help clarify which side to mark and cut as you go along)
  7. Use your pencil and trace side 1 of the speed square on the board, marking a 45-degree angle cut line
  8. Use a chop saw (or skill saw) to cut the board along this cut line. (One end of the board will be square—90-degree angle—and the other side will have a new 45-degree angle cut)
  9. Take the freshly cut board and line it up on the wall. The 45-degree angle should be flush with the bottom of the wall, and the square end should line up so the top corner is on the control line you drew in step 2. The upper side of the board should line up flush with the trace line you created in step 5
  10. Apply medium-sized beads of construction adhesive every 3” to the backside of the board. Press the board in place along the trace line just as in step 9. Drive 2-inch brad nails along each stud mark, securing the board to the wall
  11. Line the speed square up on the wall so side 2 is flush with the bottom of the wall, and side 1 is flush with the control line. (The top corner of the speed square should line up with and overlap the top corner of your first board.) Trace the long side (L) of the speed square with a pencil to mark this line on the wall. This will be the short side of your next board
  12. Take a new board and line the speed square up with the square end just as you did in step 6. Use a tape measure to measure the width of the boards you’re using. (In our case, we used 1”x2” boards, so the width was 2 inches.) Keep the long end of the speed square flush against the length of the new board while sliding the speed square down to accommodate the width measurement. (In our case, we slid the speed square down 2 inches.) Trace side 2 of the speed square, marking this cut line on the board
  13. Cut the board with a chop saw or skill saw
  14. Line the second board up in place on the wall, making sure the 45-degree angle is flush with the bottom of the wall and the square end of the board caps the previous board perfectly, along the control line. Secure the board to the wall with medium-sized beads of construction adhesive every 3 inches. Drive 2-inch brad nails through the board into the wall, on the studs
  15. Continue this pattern, building up along the control line until the wall is covered in the herringbone pattern. Use a tape measure to measure the length of each board, and use the speed square to create the 45-degree angles as needed


  1. Use wood putty and a putty knife to fill in nail holes. Wipe excess putty away with a rag. Let dry for 30 minutes
  2. With plenty of ventilation, safety glasses and a dust mask, use an electric sander and 150-grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface of the herringbone wall
  3. Use a damp rag to wipe the dust away. Make sure to remove all the dust or the stain and excess dust will clump together
  4. Apply one coat of stain by brushing the stain on and then rubbing the excess off with a clean rag. Apply the stain along the grain of the wood. Let the stain dry completely with plenty of ventilation


  1. Add thin trim around the perimeter of the herringbone wall. This will seal off any imperfections in your 45-degree cuts. Take the height of your wall and subtract the width of your trim boards. (In our case, each strip of trim board was 1⁄2-inch thick so we subtracted a total of 1 inch from our height. Cut 2 pieces at this new height, and cut 2 pieces at your width measurement. (The width pieces will go at the top and bottom of the wall and will cap off the two trim sidepieces)
  2. Line the top trim board up along the top of the wall. Secure the trim in place by driving 2 -inch brad nails through the trim board and into the wall above, every 4 inches. (Do not secure the trim to the herringbone wall you just installed but rather nail into the adjacent wall)
  3. Line the bottom trim board up along the bottom of the wall, and secure in place just as you did the top trim board
  4. Line the two side trim boards up along the sides of the wall, and secure them in place just as you did the top and bottom trim boards 

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