DIY Slat Archway REVEAL – From Hate to Love!

Ya’ll, this DIY slat archway took me on quite the journey, emotionally! For some reason, I found it difficult to commit and I second-guessed myself on many details. Despite the emotional roller coaster, I’m so happy with how everything turned out! If you missed the beginning of this project, check out Part 1 of our Flat Archway Build.

Black and wood archway casing

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Flat Archway Paint Preparation

Once we completed the archway casing build, Bernard filled all the screw holes and sanded them with 220-grit sandpaper. We were able to minimize the dust by attaching our orbital sander to our shop vac. We highly recommend a shop vac because it works with many of our tools when used with the appropriate attachment.

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this DIY Archway Project, my original plan was to stain the sides brown. However, that idea started to lend too much to the farmhouse style and so I decided that we’d paint the sides instead. The colors I was torn between were SW Dorian Gray and SW Retreat. I put it to a vote on Instagram and 66% voted for the green! I did prime both sides of the casing in preparation for painting.

Archway Slat Installation and Painting

As most of you know, Bernard and I both have full-time jobs outside of content creation and social media. It’s not always easy finding the time to make progress on our projects, but we make it work. That being said, we were too eager to see some progress with the slats and so we installed all the corner slats prior to painting.

Once those slats were in, Bernard then painted them SW Iron Ore, to match the center of the archway casing.

For a simpler look, you can totally install slats only in the corners and be done! I almost left the design at that but when put to a vote, the majority of you agreed that 4 slats would be an even better look! I did paint the rest of the slats prior to installation to be sure all sides got painted. You can find our favorite paint supplies linked HERE.

We used primed MDF boards for the slats and Brad nailed them into the center casing.

Using a brad nail to attach the MDF slats made filling the holes a lot easier and quicker. Completing the slat installation only left one last part of this project and that was painting the sides.

Prepping and Painting the Archway Sides

Our paint preparation process included priming the casing sides, taping, and caulking the corners. I can’t tell you how nervous I was using SW Retreat. Not because it wasn’t a pretty color, because it’s gorgeous, but because it was such a bold move for our open-concept home.

Project Mistake #3 – Wrong Paint Selection

I wanted to love this color so badly on this archway, but I knew almost immediately that it wasn’t the right color choice. The main color palette of our open-concept home is black, white, and wood. I have been slowly incorporating pops of color which has me excited but this one was a stretch. I do want to see this color somewhere in our home, that way I can make use of the extra gallon of paint we now have.

Paint colors: SW Retreat and SW Iron Ore

Knowing When to Pivot

I think I put more pressure on myself with my designs than necessary. I’m usually trying to push the envelope and create designs that are better than the previous ones. But I have to say, there is strength in restraint and simplicity. My initial gut choice was actually Iron Ore but I didn’t think it would be striking enough and so I looked for other contrasting options. What I forgot was SW Iron Ore is a statement color all on its own!

Project Mistake #4 – Wrong Paint Sheen

Not only was the SW Retreat, not the right paint color, but it also wasn’t in the right paint sheen. That also went for the SW Iron Ore in the casing center. We didn’t factor in how much light would be shining on this casing and the eggshell finish was super reflective! So we made the bold choice, but also the right choice for us, to repaint the ENTIRE casing with SW Iron Ore in a MATTE finish.

DIY Slat Archway REVEAL

When it’s your birthday and acts of service is one of our love languages, there’s no greater gift than one that’s handmade! I’m so excited to see this project go from a 3D design to reality! While it took us on a journey to figure it all out, in the end, it’s PERFECT!

I’m obsessed with how beautifully this slat casing frames out our open-concept home! When you walk through our entryway, you’re then greeted with this view and I can’t believe I get to call this place, home! I’ve photographed this project from every angle possible so keep scrolling to take it all in!

Everything happens for a reason and I do believe this was the color I was meant to use from the beginning. Thank you so much for following along with our DIY Slat Archway project! I’m already brainstorming our next home improvement update!

Until next time friends!

Aminah Chung

Watch Our Slat Archway Reveal on YouTube


6 Replies to “DIY Slat Archway REVEAL – From Hate to Love!”

  1. Felicia |

    I love how your projects are uniquely your distinct style! I also feel that your sentiments on knowing when to pivot are crucial. It helps to keep your designs true to form and authentic. Fantastic work per usual.

  2. Michelle Diesterhaft

    I love how it turned out. Kudos to you and your husband! Great job; and I think pivoting on the paint color was a perfect choice. The iron ore looks great, and so much better. Thought of doing this in a doorway from our dining room to our great room, but not sure how it would look around the logs. We are building a log cabin, so just pondering it.

    • Thank you Michelle! Iron Ore really was the best choice. Maybe you can create a modified version to compliment your cabin. Good luck!

  3. That looks fantastic! What color are your walls?

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