Slatted Wood Wall Panel Kitchen Doorway Glow-Up.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

installing top slatted wood wall panel
Yeah so maybe you saw a fun little video of this project over on my Instagram or maybe over on my TikTok but it appears, according to my records, I have yet to share it here.  Doh, what an oversight!  Yes, I made slatted wood wall panels for our kitchen doorway. 

Or, see it here...

And it's a freakin' cool glow-up indeed, right?!   If I do say so myself.

I will say too, I was concerned about doing it up fancy pants in this doorway because it's our daily egress in and out, the way to the pantry, the only access to the back stair, and out to the yard and garage.

Meaning, Mr. Tinkles-a-Lot Finn goes back and forth and back and forth on the regular.  Not that he's a walking Finn-in-a-china-shop, but he does have nails.

Meaning, Mike, he is a bull in a china shop and as we well know, he did go and break my original Puppy Gate, Deck Style so I'd make a nicer one.

Mostly though this is where all my project supplies pass through.  All.  Along with groceries, trash, stuff to hang out on the deck with or in the get the gist.  Everything passes by here with the potential for damage.

But, I also figured this spot needs a spiffing up and if it's spiffy, maybe we'll all take some extra care.  And so far so good.  Whewww!

So, it was simple project but it did involve lots of math which generated headaches per usual.  Thank goodness for AutoCAD.*

Not that you need CAD for this project; you don't.  You can definitely draw it up by hand on paper or if you're a math whiz, probably just figure it all out in your head.

Righty-o!  Fun project this was.  Or, I should say while a bit repetitive with some yawn moments, the final project is fun!

finished slatted wood wall panel doorway
Ok, so how did I create this slatted wood wall panel kitchen doorway glow-up business?

First?  Measure.  Measure lots.

I waffled on trying to remove the existing fiberboard that surrounds the door opening but noticing a window where it's bowing (yes I need to fix that), I see that it's likely half inch.  I deduced I'll make it work rather than make things more aggravating complicated for myself.

Too, this was in the midst of several health rollercoaster rides for Finn; my time and attention were on him.

Next, design it.  Heh.  You know this is problematic for me -- so many options!  Goodness.  I can't find all my previous posts outlining design decision struggles but they are here, haha.

So yeah, that took a bit to figure out but I resolved simpler was better.

After hitting up the computer to design and redesign and do the math more efficiently, I realized a pencil and a ruler and drawing a portion directly on the wall would help me.  And it did, so I highly encourage drawing on walls.

Oh, and because I was staining the wood and the existing fiberboard is painted, I decided to make a backing panel and adhere my design to that which also makes for painless un-installation if need be.  

Yes, this project is easily removable any time.  Niiiice.

I realize multiple layers cost me an inch of door width; so be it.  Sacrifices must be made for good design!

Ok!  Off to Menards I ran for quarter inch maple veneer plywood.  Nothing like driving a little hatchback in the wind with giant four by eight foot sheets flailing on top.

plywood and Bora NGX clamp
Out in the garage, I made the mess and use of my folding workbench for the main cutting.  Thank goodness I had gifted myself that Bora NGX clamping edge* as I was slicing a zillion and one 1 1/8" wide, 8' long strips, yes, 1 1/8", yes math ouchie, out of that plywood.

maple veneer plywood cut in strips
Not all of the strips, heh.
For sure, a table saw.  I know.  I am still table saw averse.  Not the most efficient to be doing this with merely my compact saw* but I made my bed and I will lay in it.

Back downstairs, it was time to finalize cuts and assemble these bad boys.

Sure, not gonna lie, assembly was quite labor-intensive and drearily repetitive at times, the latter of which I don't always have patience for.  But!  This was going to be awesome so head down and grind it out.

Opted for a truly clean look, meaning no nail holes and patching and schnizz because who's got time for that so I went with wood glue* to apply the design slat pieces to the solid backing piece.

First went on the longer vertical pieces.  After measuring for length, trimming, and sanding every edge with a wee sanding block,*  it was glue glue glue, brush brush, some tiny spring clamps* on the ends, and bam, nice.

gluing long vertical plywood strips on backing
Cut up rag bits protect the wood from the clamp faces very well.
I used paint stir sticks as spacers for an eighth inch gap between each wood slat.  Super handy, those paint stir sticks, amiright?!  And then cans and bottles or whatever to weigh things down until the glue stuck.

paint stir stick spacer

Now I could figure out the exact length of the little horizontal pieces, which, eh, I should've used different scrap wood to help me with that but, I got it.

measuring distance using scrap wood pieces
This does work.  Just use flatter pieces.
After cutting and cutting and cutting long strips into little strips then oodles more sanding, it was slatted wood wall panel kitchen doorway glow-up assembly home stretch time.  Woo!

Easy peasy again, just use something like a slightly water-wet chip brush* to spread the glue evenly across the entire surface of the bitty wood pieces and plop them on.  Again too, with paint stir stick spacers.

Panel one done!  Omg, heh, finally.  It was damn cool to see it out of my brain and in maple veneer plywood existence.

slatted wood wall panel for doorway assembled
Right, so yeah, just keep on keepin' on here for panel two and the doorway ceiling piece.  Glue, plop, space, weight, glue, plop, space, weight, and my slatted wood wall panels were done.

long view of finished slatted wood wall panel for doorway

assembling door top piece
Assembling the top piece here.
Lastly, stain and seal.  Here I employed WeatherWash* aging stain in Walnut* and their Dead Flat varnish.*  This stain is so dang freakin' cool.  You slosh it on and as it dries, it ages the wood.  Yes, it gives the wood an aged appearance.  I used it on the master closet shelves.  Super nifty, right?!

view of wet and dry aging stain in walnut on maple
Top:  wet stain.  Bottom:  dry stain.  Lay it on heavy for saturated color.
Three coats of varnish and now it was back to math because I built these long.  Can always trim off but ya can't add back on.

Back in the kitchen, I measured a bazillion times for the ceiling piece as that was going in first.  What I did was trim the panel to length, well sorta, it took a couple tries, and then set the depth on my compact saw to a quarter inch.

What I was doing here was trimming the glued design pieces off to leave the back piece exposed, like an L so the side panels would slide, slot in and gosh golly, hopefully everything will line up.

trimming design off to expose back for installation
After that, with the pneumatic nailer, tacked it on.  

attaching top piece to inside of doorway
Clamps were my extra hands, not for adhesive.
Backed away slowly, about you-know-what my pants at how cool this looked.

top of doorway slatted wood wall panel installed
It's up!  It's staying!  And oh so stylish!
Now the side panels.  And guess what, just guess.  Yeah, the doorway isn't square, or true, or plumb.  Uh huh.  I worked so hard to cut true and square and nope.  Heh.  Ah well.

So after trimming up the side panels multiple times because no matter what measurement I took, it was always wrong, I jammed the side panels in.  They are suuuuper snug.

A few tacking nails to hold them on and omg....voilá....I had myself a freaking awesome slatted wood wall panel kitchen doorway glow-up like no other.

finished slatted wood wall panel in kitchen doorway
Holy sh*t was I excited.  I still am.  I love walking through here!

Did everything line up perfectly as I envisioned?  Ehhh, not quite but heh if you're only glancing and not staring, you'll not notice.  I will, and do at times, but there wasn't much I could do.  Somehow math was again against me.

So there we have it!  It's a gorgeous Slatted Wood Wall Panel Kitchen Doorway Glow-Up.  Rockin' fantastic, I love it!

*The AutoCAD link is an AutoDesk affiliate link.  The Bora NGX clamping edge, compact saw, spring clamps, and WeatherWash products are Amazon affiliate links.  The sanding blocks and wood glue are Lowes affiliate links.  The chip brushes are a Home Depot affiliate link.  Mwah, thanks!  Please see the "boring stuff" tab for more info.


  1. Oh my!!! This looks amazing!! I wish I had a place in my home to do this.

  2. It looks professional and it's beautiful. I believe we appreciate things more when we use our own ideas and dress up a home instead of just plain paint. My daughter is an artist and she does such lovely creations that are so different. Good job.

    1. Thank you very much! Indeed, you are correct, things we come up with and create are much more valued. I bet your daughter is fabulous! Thank you!

  3. Beautiful but you should tone down the editorial and show more of the process you’re doing (measuring, gluing, spacing, etc). And a supply list. We all have to recreate the wheel to create our own. A picture alone would have sufficed for that! But I do love it and will try to find a place in my new home….

    1. Thanks for the tips! If you watch the video, the process is shown which is why the photos show less than usual and the materials are listed throughout the post. Every person’s project will be different with different wheels to recreate but I hope you’re inspired.


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