Reclaimed wood accent walls have been making the rounds in terms of interior design trends, but many people have had trouble over the years keeping their paneling looking and performing well beyond installation. Luckily, we’re here to help! There are a plethora of things that can go wrong or external factors to consider prior to installing your accent walls. It’s crucial that you understand all of the necessary steps that must be taken before incorporating your reclaimed wood to ensure its longevity, durability, and aesthetic looks for the long run. 


The leading cause of a failed installation of reclaimed wood wall paneling is moisture. You may think the interior of your home is dry, but there can actually exist a substantial amount of moisture in the air on your wall surfaces. Rocky Mountain Reclaimed supplies materials that are kiln dried to perform exponentially better than wood that would otherwise be ruined by surrounding moisture. One of the best and easiest ways to ensure your wood is ready for installation is to acclimate it to the area you’d like it put into. This way, the wood can get a grasp on the environment and make any necessary internal changes to accommodate for installation. You’ll also want to double-check that the surface you are attaching the wood to is moisture-free and equally ready to take on a new addition. Be sure to remove all reclaimed lumber from it’s box or containers to fully acclimate to its surrounding with the current airflow in your home. It’s understandable to be tempted to keep your wood in its box until it’s time for installation, but removing all of the boards is essential to their longevity and overall success once placed on your wall. Depending on your variety of wood and location, you’ll want to allow the wod to acclimate for at least a month. It’s best to check with your supplier or the manufacturer on the specific timeframe that they recommend.

Natural Wall Color

Once it’s time to install your wood, you want to place the boards on a surface with a generally neutral or similar color palette. This will ensure that your accent wall will look cohesive in case of any gaps between the boards. It’s obviously best to avoid gaps if you can, but it doesn’t hurt to have a base wall color behind it to blend in. Naturally, reclaimed wood paneling with shrink and expand with the seasons. So even if your wood looks perfect upon installation, there’s a chance the inner all will be exposed at one point or another. 

Lengths of Boards

The length of your boards are super important in terms of a successful installation and longevity for your beautiful reclaimed accent wall. This is when purchasing from a certified manufacturer who precuts and fabricates the boards for you comes in handy. The lengths should all match up with one another and your desired wall space. You’ll also want to make sure that the corners and angles fit together tightly to ensure no gapping or warping over time. If you have the tools for it, it should be a breeze to cut your boards at the size and angles you need to properly fit. Many reclaimed wood providers will offer packages of wood that are meant to go together like a puzzle, and if you’re less inclined to do the job yourself, this may be a good option for you and your home.

Hardware or Glue

Again, depending on the variety of wood and location, certain glues or hardware (or both) may be necessary to efficiently attach your wood to the wall. Ask your reclaimed wood supplier what their take on your situation would be. You may also have to change out or replace nails and screws after certain periods of time or reapply glue to specific areas. Most wood suppliers will know exactly how to care for your new accent wall if you have any concerns along the way.


Lastly, one of the best ways at preventing a failed installation for your reclaimed wood accent wall is via a sealant. Sealants protect the surface of your boards and ensure no moisture or other unwanted elements come in or out. Sealant can be applied after installation on the frontside of your boards, or it can also be applied to the entire board surface prior to installation. The latter of those two methods is generally more effective and preventing any damage long term. 

For more information on extending the life of your reclaimed wood paneling, give us a call or message. We would love to help you achieve the long lasting accent wall of your dream!