How to Build a Freestanding Wall

Freestanding walls can serve many purposes in a building. You can create them to hide the nuts and bolts of an audio-video system, or to break a long or large room into smaller conversation areas. You can also create storage areas behind a freestanding wall. Short freestanding walls can serve to semi-divide areas like a den from a kitchen, allowing conversation while you cook. Every wall will need to attach to at least one other surface, whether a floor or another wall.

Determine how tall and wide you wish the wall to be.

Measure, mark and cut the header and footer studs to the desired width of the wall with the saw.

Place the header and footer next to each other horizontally on the floor, narrow edge down. Line up the ends. Make a mark with a pencil 3/4 inch in from one end across the edges of both boards; this is the midpoint of the end studs. Measure 16 inches from the mark you just made and make another mark across both boards. Repeat marking every 16 inches until you reach the end.

Subtract 3 inches from the height of the wall to determine how long to cut the studs. Cut a stud for each mark on the header boards, including one for each end, or divide the width of the wall in inches by 16 and add one to determine how many studs to cut. If you need a stud in a certain location, for instance to hang a painting or place a wall plug, determine if you need an extra stud or if one you planned will be near enough.

Move the header and footer boards apart and place the studs between them at the marks you made.

Hammer two nails through the header into each stud. Repeat for the footer board.

Use the stud detector to locate a stud in the wall if you are attaching the freestanding wall to a side wall. Mark the location of the stud.

Raise the freestanding wall and place it in position.

Hammer two nails through the footer into the floor every foot. Nail through the stud abutting the side wall to secure it to the wall in several places.

Measure and cut your drywall or panelling to fit and secure it with the appropriate nails.

Finish your panelled wall with trim, or prime, tape and paint it if you used drywall.


It is easiest to attach the two end studs first to form a rectangle and then attach the interior studs. Prime raw wood with two coats of primer before painting.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4 studs
  • Measuring tape
  • Stud finder
  • Hammer
  • 3-inch nails
  • Drywall or panelling
  • Drywall cutter
  • Drywall nails or finishing nails
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About the Author

Writing fanzine-based articles since 1985, Kasandra Rose writes and edits articles for political and health blogs and and has an extensive technical writing background. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from the University of Michigan, and a Master of Arts in biology from Wayne State University.