Creating an easy DIY bathroom accent wall is a great way to add a fun design element. The best part, it doesn't have to break the bank.
When we were building my main focus for my bathroom design was to get all of my hard surfaces just right. I love natural stone in master bathrooms. I found beautiful marble for the countertops and and floor. The marble allowed for my color scheme to be changed down the road while still looking beautiful.
We had a beautiful white bathroom when we moved in. Which I loved, but I really wanted to make the center cabinet in my master bathroom pop. I also wanted to add some contrast to the space. A new accent wall was just what this space needed.
Can You have an Accent Wall in Your Bathroom?
Absolutely. An accent wall can be easily added to to any bathroom big or small. This doesn't have to be on any specific wall.
The best question to ask yourself is where will be the perfect focal point? This may be behind a tub, over your vanity, on the back wall.
I have 5 bathroom feature walls in my home. I will include them at the bottom of the post.
Planning for My Feature Wall for the Master Bathroom
I had previously added Shadow box molding to my master bedroom (View here) It was such a fun DIY project. I wanted to carry that same detail into my master bathroom, but in a bold color.
This is also a great project for a tight budget. There is no major renovations involved. You need small moldings and a can of paint in a dark color!
What is Shadow Box Molding?
Shadow box molding is when small decorative molding is used to create square or rectangles on your wall. This creates a very elegant wainscoting look to a room. Shadow box molding can be many different shapes and sizes.
You will often see floor to ceiling shadow box molding with multiple squares and rectangles. This is also a great option for large and small areas.
We have 10' ceilings in our home. To make sure your eye goes all the way to the ceiling. I decided to stack my shadow block molding.
Since I want to accent my big cabinets I am going to make my vanity wall my accent wall. The rest of the room will still be white walls. This will add a custom look to our bathroom.
The first shadow box will go around my mirror and sconces. This will help frame my mirror in.
The second shadow box will be more of a rectangle on top of the bottom shadow box to bring your eye all the way up
We have double sinks so I will apply this same design to both sides.
I have included a picture below of the measurements I used.
Keep in mind when planning your wall where things are placed. The smaller molding will hit the center of my sconces.
Ideally, I would prefer to go on either side of the sconce. But the wall measurements and mirror won't allow for that.
Supplies for Our Master Bathroom Renovation on a Budget.
- pin nailer or brad nailer
- miter saw
- tape measure
- larger shadow box molding
- smaller shadow box molding
- wood filler
- sand paper
- Urbane Bronze paint by Sherwin Williams
- paint brush
- paint roller
- gold spray paint
- drop cloth
Easy DIY Bathroom Accent Wall
Sketch it out on the wall
Before putting up my molding I used a pencil to sketch everything out. This helps with spacing and making sure I put the molding in the right place.
For this step I used the bigger molding on the outside and the smaller on the inside.
Cutting Shadow Box Molding
The corners are 45 degree cuts. I have found the easiest way to cut the small molding is with miter shear. They give a much cleaner cut and I don't have to go back and forth to the garage.
Attaching Shadow Box Molding
To attach the small moldings I used my pin nailer. I like a pin nailer because the pin nail holes are much smaller. I also find the wood doesn't split like it does with a brad nailer.
However, if you only have a brad nailer, turn the pressure down and go into a thicker area.
Caulking for Paint
After the molding was hung up I caulked all of the seams. You don't want to skip this step. Caulking is what takes a good molding job to a GREAT molding job.
It fills in all of the cracks and makes it look so good when painted. I used caulk in the pin nail holes too since they are really small.
To prep for paint I used frogger tape around the outside edge to avoid paint bleeding. My husband will tell you I am not the cleanest painter. I will also add a drop cloth over my sink and countertop.
I then painted everything with Urbane bronze by Sherwin Williams. I am going to paint this with a brush and roller because it is such a small space. You may not think it matters. You need a good brush and roller.
I love Zibra paint brushes. They give a much smoother finish and minimize the brush strokes. You can get them at Home Depot and on Amazon
For a roller a A nap of 3/16 or ¼ inch is ideal for smooth surfaces. The nap of a roller will be on the plastic covering.
Adding Gold Accents
My mirror and sconces used to be black. They didn't pop quite how I wanted them against the new color. The good news is I can easily fix that with a little spray paint.
I used Champagne gold spray paint to give them a new clean look.
Master Bathroom Renovation on a Budget
Look at what an impact this adding molding and paint made to my master bathroom. The center cabinet pops off the wall and really brings out the veins in the marble.
I did floating white oak cabinets in here to help warm up the space and add visual interest.
Decorating a Master Bathroom
I have a post with all the hard surfaces in my master bathroom here. That includes cabinet color, hardware sources, lighting, marble and anything else I could think of.
I kept my decor to a minimum. I hate working about decor when I am trying to get ready.
5 More Easy DIY Bathroom Accent Wall ideas
There are so many fun way to add visual depth to your bathroom. Here are my DIY bathroom accent wall ideas.
My oldest daughters room has a few accents. This seems to be a new recent trend.
Peel and Stick Wallpaper
I went big and bold with this vinyl wallpaper. A small bathroom is a great place to have fun.
Tile Accent Wall
Because I went so bold with the wall paper I kept the ceramic tile white. It doesn't compete with the wallpaper. But it does add a nice texture to her modern bathroom.
My other daughters room also has 2 accents.
Beveled subway tile
Ceramic tile is a popular choice. I used beveled subway tile for a very modern look. Again I kept the tile white to match with the wall but add a texture. I also added a white round mirror for a nice visual effect.
A partial wall accent is a great option too. To have a floor to ceiling black accent wall in this space would be really heavy. Taking the board and batten part of the way up is a great solution.
Board and Batten Accent Wall
Doing an accent wall around the toilet is a great option too. I went roughly ⅔'s of the way up the wall. I picked a fun green to match my daughters bathroom wallpaper. (tutorial here)
Powder Room Accent Wall
Small bathroom accent wall that is floor-to-ceiling height adds a big impact. For our half bath I found this beautiful black and white mural. I added the floral wallpaper accent wall to the back wall.
Shower and Tub Accent Wall
I had my marble ran up to the window behind my soaking tub to create a spa-like bathroom.
If you love farmhouse styles this white shiplap is for you. This was our master bathroom in our last home. (Tutorial on how I did this)
Hopefully this helps you create the perfect easy DIY bathroom accent wall.
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