DIY Accent Wall: Coastal Lean

Want to bring a little taste of the beach to your home? This Coastal Lean accent wall adds a custom nautical look to any room!
Watch our video and follow the steps below!

New to accent walls? Check out our DIY Accent Wall: Quick Start blog post to learn the basics!


  • Boards: ~12 S4S and 3 Base
  • Caulking (2 tubes)
  • Caulking gun
  • Measuring tape 
  • Level
  • Spackle, joint compound, or wood filler
  • Paint (1 gallon)
  • Nail gun and finishing nails (2” nails)
  • Paper and tape to cover up areas for paint
  • Saw to cut moulding
  • Paint sprayer or brush and roller
  • Sandpaper/Sander (220 Grit)

No. 1 x 6 S4S:  3/4″ x 5 1/2″ X 16′ Primed Fingerjoint Pine
No. 1 X 8 Base: 3/4″ X 7 1/4″ X 16′ Primed Fingerjoint Pine

DIY Accent Wall: Coastal Lean.

Use this Green Print as a guide, but feel free to be creative with your design! Note: the size of your wall and the moulding used will affect the placement of the moulding.

How to install:

Step 1: Choose your wall and moulding
Identify the wall you will be working on and determine the style of moulding that would best fit the space.
Step 2: Measure everything
Measure the wall height and width and make sure you take into consideration outlets, windows and light switches. This will help you get a feel for the board footage needed and where to cut your moulding. We recommend adding 10-15% board feet for wastage and board cuts. 
Step 3: Decide on the angle and spacing
In our example, we chose to place our boards at a 60-degree angle. You can use any angle you want, but 60 and 45-degree angles are the easiest.
We decided on 5.5 inches between each piece of moulding, and based on the size of our wall we ended up needing 13 pieces of moulding total for the lean design.
Step 4: Mark it up
Mark the wall where moulding will be placed to get a visual of how the moulding will look. Don’t be afraid to draw on your wall, since you’ll be painting over it anyways. Using a laser level can help you project lines onto your wall.
Step 5: Apply your baseboard
Start by applying your baseboard, as this will help you keep your lines straight.
We applied boards on all four sides to create a box around our design.
Step 6: Cut your moulding
Cut your moulding, but be aware that some of the pieces need to be cut at different lengths in order to achieve this design. Near the middle of the wall, the moulding should have a more consistent length. However, as you get closer to the corners of your wall, the pieces will have to be cut shorter.
We recommend using longer boards so you don’t have to cut and miter two pieces of moulding together to get your desired length. 
Step 7: Apply the moulding to your wall
Apply the moulding to the wall by using a nail gun with finishing nails. We recommend using 2” nails to secure the moulding profile for long term wear and tear. Keep in mind you’re going to have to finish the moulding with caulking and putty so the fewer nails the better for less work on the finishing process.
In our example, we used a level to ensure these were installed at a 60-degree angle to the baseboard. 
Step 8: Fill in the gaps
Caulk all the seams to fill in any gaps and apply putty to all of the nail holes. This ensures a completed look. Sand any areas if needed.
Pro tip: cut your caulking tip at a 45-degree angle for easier application.
Step 9: Paint your wall
If using a paint sprayer, keep 1.5- to 2” of space between you and the wall for consistent application. Be sure to apply paint in the corners and the underside of moulding profiles.
If painting by hand, pay extra attention to the bottom sides of mouldings and corners where mouldings meet.
Step 10: Enjoy your beautiful Coastal Lean accent wall!

DIY Accent Wall: Coastal Lean.
Photo: Coastal Lean Accent Wall on 12 x 8 foot wall

Helpful tips when creating an accent wall

  • Choose a balanced, unobstructed wall that stands out. 
  • Choose rooms or spaces where you want to make an impact. Bedrooms, living rooms and entryways are great spaces to create a custom look. Select spaces where guests will see it, or where you spend a good amount of your time.
  • Bold colors really make a statement. Dark greens, grey, black and blue are currently in. 
  • White accent walls make a statement without being too bold. 
  • Try to pick a style of accent wall that complements the look of your home and room; just because you like a modern style wall doesn’t mean it’s the best pick for a colonial style room.
  • Go in with a plan and draw out your design before beginning.
  • Find 2-3 moulding profiles that you think will achieve the look you’re going for. Then, take each sample and place it on the wall to see which you like the best.
  • Create a jig if you have to repeat a cut. This will save time and help with consistency.
  • Use hot glue to apply moulding first so that you can adjust the moulding if needed. Then use finishing nails to secure the moulding.
  • Rent a nail gun, use your own or use an adhesive.
  • Once everything is in place, apply more nails to ensure it is long lasting. 
  • Use putty to the nail holes rather than caulking for a better finish.
  • If using a paint sprayer, keep 1.5 to 2” of space between you and the wall for an even application.
  • Take your time in the finishing stage. The little details when you finish will make the wall look more polished. 
  • We estimate that creating an accent on a 12′ x 8′ wall can cost around $200. This includes paint, moulding, tool rentals and other materials. You can save money by using tools from your home or borrowing from friends.

What do you think of the Coastal Lean accent wall? Let us know in the comments below and tag us in your pictures on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook!