Fluted Box Molding Accent Wall Tutorial

To say fluted, beaded, reeded, accents are in I feel like is an understatement. I am seeing beautiful rounded molding pop up everywhere and I’ve been dying to do a project with the trim and a las here we are. So if too are dying to try this modern, youthful take on traditional wainscoting box molding lets dive into the tutorial on how to make a fluted box molding, fluted accent wall. For the full behind the scenes of the project click here. Be sure to PIN this project for later!

This post is sponsored by DAP, but as always, 100% of the content and opinions are my own.

Supplies Fluted Accent Wall

Fluted Molding
Wide Fluted Molding
1×2 Primed MDF
Brad Nailer
1 1/2″ Brad Nails 18 guage
Alex Flex Aerosol Caulk or Alex Flex Original
Plastic Wood Filler
Baby Wipes, but seriously.
Patch n Paint Spackling (optional)
Textured walls – Skim coat first using DAP Drywall Joint Compound
Tack Cloth
Flexible Sanding Pad
Paint – eggshell finish is my preferred finish, but with darker colors like this SW Dutch Cocoa, I prefer Matte.

Cost Breakdown for this 14′ wall: (as of May 2021)
Wood Trim: $108
Supplies: $18
Paint: $40
(tools not included in cost breakdown)


When installing any board and batten or box molding the first step is to measure the length of your wall and construct a plan for how many boxes, then calculate what size those boxes will be. The equation is quite simple, but if you want to skip math all together here is a board and batten calculator.


Length of wall in inches x (# of spaces x width of space)
Divided by # of boxes.

Example: My wall is 167 inches long. I wanted 6 boxes, which meant I would have 7 spaces. One on each wall end and one in between in box. I decided on 3.5 inches between each box (I made up the #).
167″ x (3.5″ x 7spaces) / 6 boxes = 23 1/4″ is the outside length of each of my boxes AKA the length I cut my top and bottom trim of each box.

Height for a wainscoting style should be about 1/3 of your wall, but definitely less than 1/2 of your wall heights. This will create the illusion that you ceilings are taller and looks most proportional. You can stick painters tape on the wall and step back until the division looks good to you. I opted for 2.5″ from my baseboard to the bottom of each box, and 2.5″ from the top of each box to the bottom of the chair rail trim.

Cut the boards

Each board will need a 45 degree miter with your miter saw. The measurement you calculated above is the tip to tip measurement of the bottom and top of your box. Remember to mark what direction your miters need to go… Each miter should face in like a picture frame (see below) making up the boxes for the fluted accent wall.

Once all boards are cute to size, install them onto the wall using an 18 gauge brad nailer. I prefer 1 1/2″ brad nails. TIP: shoot your brad nails at a slight angle helps them lock in place behind the drywall (if you can’t hit a stud). This helps you eliminate the need for adhesive. IF you have concrete walls or plaster, you would still need adhesive as brad nails will not go through concrete walls.

The chair rail is a combination of a 1×2″ MDF preprinted board + a wide fluted board. Cut the end of the board with a scarf joint, meaning a 22.5 degree angle where the two boards need to blend together.


Caulk vs. Wood Filler

Once all the boards are installed on the wall it’s time to prep for paint. As a beginner DIYer it can be confusing when to apply caulk and when to apply wood filler vs. spackling. Here is a basic breakdown.


-Where wood meets drywall
-Inside Corners/seams
-if the two pieces are NOT on the same plane (think geometry not Delta), use caulk.
Alex Flex has been my go to caulk for over a decade, but be sure to use a dripless caulk gun, its worth the extra $2. It is paintable, drys quickly, and smoothes easily with a damp cloth (TIP: try using your finger wrapped around a baby wipe to smooth out the caulk. Once you try it, I promise you won’t go back to your old method).
Alex Flex also comes in an aerosol can which eliminates the need for a caulk gun. Also worth mentioning, caulk is NOT sandable like wood filler is, so its important to get your caulk clean with no excess on things you don’t want it on otherwise there will be a lot of scraping in your near future.

Wood Filler

Wood filler is meant to go on wood :). This squeezable plastic wood in white is my go to for trim projects that I am going to paint. it dries white, and easily sanded with a sanding pad. I also like the plastic wood in natural. This one goes on pink and drys to a natural wood tone. It works well for painted or stained wood projects and comes in a little container. TIP: scoop out a ball to work with and close the lid to prevent the entire container from drying out.

-wood on wood
-fill nail holes
-over seams where wood is on the same plane
-outside corners/edges


Spackling is meant for drywall repair. There are lots of different versions of it, but this Patch n Paint is convenient as the spatula at on the end and it has a cap to prevent it from drying out between uses. Unlike traditional joint compound to repair wall damage, Patch n Paint dries within 30 minutes, no sanding, no shrinking, and no priming!! Apply it, let it dry, and paint. This works wonders for those dings and dents in drywall from life, door knob dings, and drywall anchor or nail hole filling.

For larger drywall repair you can try these Eclipse patches. You apply the patch, paint over it, and peel off the top layer and thats it!.


After everything has been filled, sand down with 220 grit until smooth to the touch, wipe down with a tack cloth and PAINT your fluted accent wall!
A trim projects ike this can be painted by hand or with a paint sprayer. For all the details on spraying vs rolling click here.

Rainbow Cat Bedroom Sources:

Faux Olive Tree
Beddys Full size Rainbow Luxe Bedding use code: HONEYBUILTHOME for 20% off
Decorative Pillows use code: HONEYBUILTHOME for 20% off
Emma-Mattress use code HONEYBUILT10 for 10% off thru June 7
Sherpa Blanket
Woven Chandelier
Cat Stuffed Animal
Nightstand (similar)
Rainbow Ceramic Decor
Florals on nightstand (Michaels Summer Decor)
Faux Plant
Floating Shelf Tutorial
Mirror (Similar)
Table Lamp
IKEA Brimnes Bed Full Size
Coral End of Bed Storage Bench
Sherpa Chair
Favorite Paint Sprayer
Brad Nail Gun
Wood Hanger Rainbow Hook

For more behind the scenes of all DIY projects be sure to follow along on Instagram @honeybuilthome

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Kelly Boich
Kelly Boich
2 years ago

Did you paint outlets? Or color match them somehow?

2 years ago

While painting trim – do u suggest roller or brush ? Considering the gaps on the molding.

Love.everything you do l, the way u do btw – big fan !

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Meet Christine Gummersall, a mother of 4, coach's wife, former Labor and Delivery nurse, and self taught DIYer who decided to take a sledge hammer to her 1950's bathroom over a decade ago and hasn't stopped tackling her honey-do list since.  Folow along as christine breaks down the pretty afters, by showing the whole how to process and empowers you to STOP waiting, and START creating a home you love, with your own two hands! 

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