How to Easily Create a Gorgeous Accent Wall with 5 Simple Materials

In this post, you’ll learn how you can easily create a gorgeous accent wall with 5 simple materials! This diy shaker peg rail shelf is built-in to the wall in our dining room, making it the perfect place to hang seasonal decor and display art! I am loving the dimension it brings to our dining space. In this post, I break down how fast and easy it was to create this shaker peg shelf accent wall!

Our New Peg Rail Accent Wall

I recently used 5 simple materials to create a gorgeous accent wall in my dining room and I am amazed at how much this has added to our home! 

Do you think formal dining spaces are a thing of the past? Because I gotta be honest that I LOVE mine. I love having a space where I can put out fancy dishes or host an over-the-top Christmas party. 

My inspiration for this project came to me as I started throwing together plans for our dining room space. Our dining room has been sitting empty for quite some time and I’m finally ready to jazz things up. As I started thinking about what I wanted for the dining space, I decided to put together a mood board as I always do when designing a space.

Moodboard for dining room with black shelf, mauve paint, wood table, caned chairs, plants and vintage art

My inspiration for this room is soft, mid-tone paint, vintage accents with some modern pops here and there. I decided that a wooden peg rail mounted on the wall would give me the option of hanging plants and decor items directly on the wall. I also thought if it could double as a picture ledge, then I could display my extensive vintage art collection which is a win:win for me!

I told my husband that I wanted to create a wall that was about 3/4 covered in beadboard and had a chunky trim piece at the top of the beadboard that is actually a shaker peg rail with a picture ledge top.

He was like, “Ok, I got this.” And we were off to the races!

A Fresh Coat of Paint for the Dining Room

Before we had the wall totally built, I had to test out a bunch of different paint shades for the dining room. I knew I wanted the room to be fairly monochrome and definitely did NOT want the accent wall painted a different color from the other walls. This works in some rooms but just feels very 2010s to me in this dining room space.

For a long time, I really wanted to wallpaper this room. However, I also plan to wallpaper our guest bath and have wallpaper in our upstairs and have heard mixed reviews on wallpapering for resale value.

I ended up opting for something a bit less trendy for this front-and-center dining space and painted it. That said, I’m OBSESSED with the results. This paint has been trending hard on IG and TikTok.

Dead salmon by farrow and ball

The color is Dead Salmon by Farrow and Ball.

I color-matched for affordability. It’s the most gorgeous mid-tone paint with just the slightest hint of pink but not overly feminine. (I have a girlier version of this paint shade in my daughter’s nursery! Check it out HERE!)

Once everything was painted I came up with an idea for the back wall. I wanted some kind of picture ledge where I could lean art while adding texture and dimension.

We opted for creating a peg shelf that was built in about 3/4 of the way up the wall. I also chose to install beadboard on the lower part of the wall to bring in dimension.

White beadboard accent wall in dining room

5 Simple Materials to Create a DIY Shaker Peg Rail Shelf!

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This is the easiest wall treatment ever. Here are those 5 simple materials!

  • Beadboard
  • Liquid Nails
  • Pegs
  • 1×2 MDF
  • Baseboard

In addition to these materials we used our brad nailer, stud finder, table saw and chalk line/drill (plus some caulk/nails wood filler we had lying around).

Man using brad nailer to install beadboard to dining room wall to create an accent wall.

Step-By-Step Guide for Building a DIY Shaker Peg Shelf:

Step 1: Cut Your Beadboard to Size

The first thing we did was cut the bead board to the right size. It took 2 sheets of beadboard to cover this wall. I decided I wanted the ebadbaord to go about 3/4 of the way up the wall. I wanted the shelf to be roughly eye level. We measured and marked on the actual beadboard sheets and then we used our table saw to make the cuts.  It was one or two cuts and then it fit perfectly!

Step 2: Apply Liquid Nails to the Beadboard.

Next, We applied liquid nails to the back of the beadboard and then secured the beadboard to the wall. If excess glue squirts out at the seams, wipe it up with a damp cloth to avoid it hardening on the outer wall. Holding it in place, we nailed it to the studs. If you aren’t sure where the studs are, use a stud finder (insert dad-joke here) to locate them. 

At this point you should have the beadboard exactly where you want it. I took a bit of time to caulk the seams on the beadboard along the place where it hit the baseboard and where the two sheets met in the middle of the wall. You could do this step after the shelf is installed also.

Step 3: Build the Shaker Style Peg Rail

Next, to create the back of the ”shelf” we used a piece of MDF baseboard and flipped it upside down so the decorative edge was facing toward the floor (see picture below). I felt the extra trim piece added a more “finished” look to our shelf/ accent wall. We nailed this trim piece to the top of the beadboard wall making sure we got a few nails in the wall studs.

Next, we cut our 1×2 board to size for the top of the shelf by sort of estimating how wide we wanted the shelf to be. The plan was to have art lean against the wall but I didn’t want it to take up much space. We ended up going with about 4 inches wide. We slathered the lip of the shelf with liquid nails and then popped a few nails down into the MDF baseboard to help the shelf stay put.

Beadboard accent wall painted dead salmon

Step 4: Create Pilot Holes to Attach the Shaker Pegs

Now to the fun part! Inserting the pegs into the wooden peg rail.

The first thing I did was estimate how far apart I wanted the pegs to be. Once I determined the number of spaces I wanted, I knew the number of pegs I would need. I choose to go about 6 inches apart, all the way down. This gave me even spacing and plenty of room to hang decor items from my pegs. I opted to paint the pegs whilst they were NOT attached to the wall to make sure they were evenly coated.

While I was busy painting, Nate used his drill to create pilot holes at the center point of the MDF baseboard. He marked first to make sure the peg spacing was perfect.

Remember when creating peg holes, you want the hole to be slightly too small. This allows the pegs to be really wedged in and stay put. I also put a small amount of wood glue on the end of each peg to make sure it wouldn’t budge.

After fitting all the pegs into their prospective holes, the peg rail board was finished!

Step 5: Put The Finishing Touches on Your DIY Shaker Peg Shelf!

The last step is to fill nail holes, caulk the seams and then sand everything before painting. This step is so crucial because it gives the wall a truly “built-in” look! 

I used fine-grit sandpaper to sand over the areas I had to fill nail holes in. It’s a good idea to wipe the entire wall down with some warm water and a rag to get all the dust off before painting.

Depending on the type of paint you are using, you may need a coat of primer before painting. I went straight to my actual paint which is Dead Salmon by F&B in an eggshell sheen. I applied two coats of paint and called it a day.  

Beadboard and peg shelf accent wall

Step 6: Style Your DIY Shaker Peg Shelf Accent Wall

The finishing step to creating a DIY peg rail is to style your shelf! This is the most fun part. I love that the shelf has multiple spots to hang decor and lean art.

I’ve had a blast styling my favorite vintage art pieces on this shelf. To find similar art, check out my post HERE where I link over 200 free vintage art downloads! 

I’m SO excited about styling this shelf. It’s the first area you see when you enter the house and I’m already envisioning it draped in evergreen trimmings and velvet ribbon at Christmas time. I already had some art and other items I had been saving for my dining space so I got to work styling the wall.

Peg and beadboard accent wall with art styled on top shelf

I love that the peg wall adds another textural element to the back wall. As I said, I already had most of the items I used for this wall, and a lot of them are vintage/antique but I’ve linked similar ones below.

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  1. This turned out amazing!!! I would love to recreate this in our dining room. We are doing some kitchen cabinet refacing next week, but this might just have to be our next home project. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful home!

  2. Oh this is so cute! I plan to do this for my baby nursery. Can you like the baseboard you used at the top of beadboard? It’s so hard for me to visualize when I’m in a hardware store.

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