How to Frame a Pony Wall

marking location of a wall stud using a stud finder
  • 4-30 hours
  • Beginner
  • 150-500
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Electric screwdriver or drill
1/2 inch finish board

A pony wall is a low wall used to divide rooms physically, while still leaving an open feel. Creating a pony wall is a fairly simple process, and mostly requires framing and drywall skills.

Step 1 - Plan the Wall

Design is an important stage in the construction of a pony wall. You need to decide exactly where you want the wall to be, how tall you want it, and how far it will extend into the room. Pony walls are usually about countertop height, around three feet. However, you can make them whatever size you’d like.

Be sure there are studs in the wall at the location where you want to install the pony wall. You need to attach it to studs, and they are normally set every 16 inches. Make a drawing, or at least a sketch, of the room and the wall, and be sure you can build it without interfering with windows, electrical fixtures, or traffic flow in the room.

Take note of adjustments you’ll need to make to furniture layout and be sure you’ll have enough space for the furniture in the new layout.

Step 2 - Measure and Mark

tape measure, pencil, and sketch on paper

Once you have sketched out your wall and you are sure it will work, you should measure the room carefully.

Mark exactly where the wall will go. Before you cut anything, be sure to find the stud into which the wall will attach and make sure the pony wall is in front of it.

Cut the carpet or other floor covering away from the section where the wall will go. Measure carefully so that you cut out exactly the size of carpet piece that the wall will cover. You want the carpet to fit flush against the pony wall.

Step 3 - Cut the Wood

Make a careful drawing that includes every piece of framing you will need for your wall. Note on the drawing the length of each piece of 2 x 4.

Following your drawing, cut four top plates from 2 x 4s the length of your wall. Cut two bottom plates of the same length. These will be on the two sides of your pony wall.

Cut your studs five inches shorter than the finished height of your pony wall, to allow for a double top plate and a finishing top board.

Step 4 - Tag the Top and Bottom Plates

screw sticking out of a board

Now you are ready to construct the frame of the wall.

“Tag” the top and bottom plates by putting them together and marking them where you want your studs to be. You should place the studs at the ends (a double stud at each end of the pony wall) and every 16 inches along the wall. Tag the boards at the same time for easy alignment of the studs.

Step 5 - Nail in Studs

Use a hammer or a nail gun to install studs where marked on each of the two frames. Nail the top plates on the top once the studs are installed. If you are creating a seven-inch wall, then you will nail the two frames of the pony wall together. If you want a wider pony wall, you will need to frame a small section at either end of the wall to create the width you would like. You will then have a narrow box to form your wall.

Step 6 - Finish the Wall

To finish the framing of the wall, nail a ½-inch finish board to the top of the wall to form a smooth surface.

Once you have the frame constructed and in place, attach it to the wall at the studs. Use angled nails to go into the studs.