Recently I’ve been admiring all the wall treatments I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, and I just knew the square version would be perfect in my dining room. I’m sharing the tutorial for our dining room wall treatment.
It’s so hard to visualize what it will actually look like in real life. So, I actually measured and drew out the squares on the wall.
I am SO glad I did this step because I actually decreased the square size and added two more rows. What looked perfect on paper was not so perfect in real life. Want to know more about this floral (“faux wallpaper“) wall we covered? You can see more HERE. Also, before I drew out my lines, I lightly sanded my flowers to keep them from showing through the paint later.
Now with the additional squares, I figured up the supplies I needed for my plans and picked up the supplies from Lowes. I used .688x 3in x 8ft Primed MDF Moulding for most of the wall. The top horizontal piece was wider than the rest of the pieces, and this was the same MDF listed above, except it was 5.5 inches wide. I wanted the wall treatment to be a dark gray so my white buffet would really pop. I went ahead and painted the back of the wall to make the painting a little easier later and to make visualizing the wall treatment even better. This made it more difficult for my husband to follow the lines, so I would skip this step next time.
Now is where my husband stepped in. He put the baseboard in first (he used trim nails for this and hit studs whenever possible).
Next, he put up the wider piece at the top.
Now it was time to put in the vertical pieces.
And then, it was time for the small horizontal pieces – lots of cutting, leveling, and fitting. If you aren’t using glue, many of the pieces (the ones that aren’t attached at studs) will be pretty loose. But because we use caulk next, don’t stress out too much!
I went through and used a nail setter to push the nails deeper so we could hide them with wood filler.
Then we filled the holes with wood filler.
We caulked along all the edges.
And then we let everything dry.
Once the filler was dry, it was time to sand. First, I tried hand sanding and realized this was a job for the electric sander.
It made a mess and took forever.
I really should have sanded more – there are imperfections I left from not sanding enough, but I’m going to live with these for now.
The paint is Valspar from Lowes. The wall is Woodlawn Colonial Gray and the paneling is Mark Twain House Ombra Gray.
I really love it and have to give my husband a HUGE shout out for an amazing job!
**UPDATE: We added some trim to the inside of each square (and new paint color). See more on that HERE.
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37 thoughts on “Dining Room Wall Treatment”
It looks great!! I’m hoping to start on my dining room in the next few months, I might be calling you! 😉
Thanks, Angela – I just need to have you over to see it in person!
I did this over my fireplace several years ago. Only I used MDF sheets instead of the wall and used same MDF 3” to outline
squares. Using all MDF really made it clean looking and very
I bet it looks great!
LOVE your color choices! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Sara this is brilliant! I’m just about to start the. Same project in my kitchen eating area. It is a huge wall and I think the squares will break it up nicely especially after seeing your finished project. Kudos!
Thanks, Kelly! Good luck on your project!
How much did this project cost to do?
Hi Joanna. With all the supplies and paint it was somewhere between $150-$200. I’ll see if I can find my receipts and give you a more exact number.
Love the wall you did, it looks awesome. I’ve been thinking of doing a project like this in my bedroom and liked how your walked through the steps of “how to”. You shared the paint color but I was curious what type of paint—flat, eggshell, statin did you use?
I always use a satin finish with my paint. Good luck!
Yes this project. Aren’t you glad it is behind you??? I really like the saying with gold edge as it pops color. Thank you for the helpful tutorial.
This looks amazing! Did your husband have to remove the original baseboards at bottom before installing the MDF strips?
We left the original baseboards, but you could definitely removed them if you prefer!
Beautiful! My favorite part of the tutorial was seeing your darling husband help you with your dream. Men so often get a lot of flak in our society, but I am a big fan. I am also going to see if my dear husband will help me do this in my house! 🙂
He’s definitely a keeper, Melanee! Good luck with your future project and thanks for taking the time to comment!
What are the inside dimensions of your panels?
The inside of my panels are 17 inches.
Hello. I would like to do this to my bedroom wall but am curious about how you managed to install vertical boards without a stud to nail into. Thank you. Tony
Hi Tony, I used MDF boards for this project. Between MDF being light weight and the long nails we used, we haven’t had any issues. We obviously worked with studs when possible, and finished with a strong caulk at the end (which also helps with adhesion). Good luck on your bedroom!
I am about to have this done in my den, which I am calling my “library”. Did you paint
the grid and the wall behind it in a semi-gloss, or did you choose a satin or matte finish?
I am worried that painting the wall with semi-gloss may show the difference in texture
between the wall and the wood. I don’t want to highlight the fact that it is “faux” paneling
rather than solid wood. Did you have any problems?
Hi Lisa! I used the same satin finish on the paneling as I used on the walls. I haven’t had any issues with it. Good luck on your project!
Nice job. You commented that you wished you sanded more. I am worndering if ou can see any seems between the MDF boards? I am about to get started and want to avoid that.
Hi Chris – yes, the seams are visible between the boards. It’s not bad but it is noticeable until you step near the wall.
Hi, what type of sandpaper did you use?
It’s been awhile, but I believe we used fine sandpaper. The sandpaper blocks are great!
It doesn’t look like you removed the original base board. What kind of trim did you use on top of it? I like your wall. I don’t want to remove old baseboard, did you? My current baseboard has the standard builders grade so its 3 or 4 inches & has that decorated curve on top. Diane
No, I didn’t removed the original baseboard. I added the MDF right on top and painted it all for a cohesive look.
Hi – I’m so excited about this wall, we are going to get our supplies tonight. The decorative cove moulding you used, where did you get that from and what is the size? Thanks!
Yay – keep me posted! I bought primed cove moulding, and it was either from The Home Depot or Lowes. They should both have it!
How high up the wall does it start, like 5.5’ or so? Am I correct you didn’t use the smooth board behind the batten? We have slightly textured walls, but just barely and I’m so torn on whether we absolutely have to use smooth board, or can just do the batten. Looks great!
I think mine is a little over 6′, but I have really a really high ceiling in this room. No, I didn’t use smooth board behind the batten. Thanks and good luck!!
I like your “after” picture much better. The wood table gives a nice contrast, as does changing the color of the buffet. Is the black and white on the floor a rug or tile? Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Thank you – it’s a rug!