I'm new to DIYing, so please excuse me if something here sounds off.

I'm planning on a DIY vertical slat accent wall in our bedroom in our rental apartment.

Since nailing slats directly into the wall is going to ruin the wall if and when I'm moving out and have to remove them, I thought a better way might be to build the slats over separate drywall panels and then attach those to the wall, so that the base drywall doesn't get mangled by a billion nails. The hope is that doing that might make it easy to remove it later, panel by panel, keeping the original drywall relatively unscathed.

Knowing that the paneled drywall is eventually going to have to come off the base wall, is there something I can do upon installation I could do to minimize damage during the process of eventual removal? Any tips at all on how to do this / what fasteners to consider etc would be amazing. Also would be glad to know if there's a better way to do this that keeps the base wall as unscathed as possible when I remove the paneled drywall.

Super sorry if this is rudimentary, and incredibly grateful for any support/advice!

3 Answers 3


Any method you choose is going to affect the existing drywall. Patching small holes in drywall is simple and easy but patching dozens of holes is more work than patching just a few.

If you use drywall you will have to use dozens of screws to attach it to the existing wall. If you use a more rigid base then you can get away with just a few fastener points.

Use 3/8" or 1/2" plywood and attach horizontal rows of screws into the studs near the top, in the middle and near the bottom. You will want to place your screws so they are accessible, between slats or under slats that will be removable, in order to access them when it comes time to remove the wall.

When the time comes you unscrew slat wall and take it with you to you your new castle. You can do it in section if you like, Studs are 16" on center so if you do not want a 48" wide (4x8 plywood) you could cut them so they fall on the studs. I.E. 16", 32" etc. A stud finder will help to find a stud to use as a reference to measure from for the others.

Note. Sometimes studs are spaced farther or closer for various reasons so map out all of your studs before hand and design your panels accordingly.

  • Thanks so much! This is absolutely far more sane than what I was about to do!
    – Asbjaved
    Jan 18, 2021 at 5:49

What you're planning sounds a little extreme for a rental. Attaching a facade wall means screwing/nailing something into the existing wall, and into the studs. You will certainly damage the wall in the places you screw into it.

Drywall would be a poor choice to use as as a protective layer. It's heavy, brittle, and messy when it comes apart. It also doesn't really support much weight without breaking.

You might be wiser trying to create some sort of free-standing decoration. Have it sit on the floor like a piece of furniture. If necessary you might attach it in just one or two places to the wall for balance, not support, with smallish screws that could be removed easily when you move out.


Just attach the slats using cancelable adhesive (like "command").

  • 6
    Hi. Your answers keep turning up in the "Low Quality Posts" queue. Would you please use capitalization and periods, and perhaps more than one sentence? (Thanks.) Jan 17, 2021 at 12:38

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