Before and After: This Bathroom’s Affordable Accent Wall Is Totally Unexpected

published May 9, 2021
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
About this before & after
Home Type
Project Type
Skill Level
Rental Friendly
Before: Bathroom with sheet mirror, white cabinets, and gray stone countertops
Credit: Zoe Hunt

Sometimes rooms need a full-blown renovation: Maybe they’re damaged, or dangerous, or just not suited to your family or lifestyle. But sometimes rooms just need a little pick-me-up. That was the case for this bathroom, which belongs to DIYer Zoe Hunt’s mom. Zoe, of Crafted by the Hunts, knew the space was in great shape, but she wanted to give it something special that suited her mom’s love of the color blue.

Credit: Zoe Hunt

For the just-right pop of color, Zoe decided an accent wall behind the vanity was in order. “She’s always loved blue and anything that reminds her of the ocean, so I knew color was top priority for her new accent wall,” Zoe says. “But I didn’t just want to paint on a pattern.”

Zoe wanted her addition to bring a little texture and a calming vibe to the bathroom, so she decided on something with a fun shape, color, and feel: layered wood shingles.

Credit: Zoe Hunt

To start, Zoe removed the mirror and lighting so that she could work directly on the wall. Then, she nailed up plywood panels to give her a base on which to attach her wood shingles.

Once that was done, Zoe cut her shingles from 1/4-inch plywood. The shingles are all in the shape of a house, with a bottom square portion topped by two edges that meet at a point. Zoe used a miter saw to make the cuts, and had to create hundreds of shingles — a time-consuming process!

Credit: Zoe Hunt

Zoe stained the cut shingles using Minwax stain in various shades of blue. (Stain, unlike paint, lets a bit of the grain show through.)

After the shingles were dry, she nailed them to the plywood on the wall, starting from the bottom. For each row, Zoe made sure that the new shingles overlapped the old ones so that only the bottom pointed portion of the shingle shows. The color variation generally moves from dark to light from the bottom right corner to the top left, giving the wall a cool ombre effect.

Once Zoe finished the shingles, she added a pair of new mirrors with a driftwood-like tone and re-installed the old lights (but with new clear shades this time, all the better to see the accent wall with).

The final result: a stunning accent wall that’s totally original, and just right for Zoe’s blue-loving mom. “I’m proud of cutting and staining hundreds of shingles to make a perfect ombre wall!” Zoe says. “It’s such a unique wall that I know my mom absolutely loves.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.