Dining Room Wall Treatment

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.

Wall Treatment Plans

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.

Wall Treatment Measurements

Drawing Wall Treatment

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.

Sanding wall for wall treatment

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 is 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.

painted on squares

Now is where my husband stepped in.  He put the baseboard in first (he used trim nails for this and hit studs whenever possible).

Wall treatment progress

Next, he put up the wider piece at the top.

wall treatment - beginning

Now it was time to put in the vertical pieces.

Nailing wall treatment

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!

Using a level

putting together the wall treatment

Wall Treatment - halfway

I went through and used a nail setter to push the nails deeper so we could hide them with wood filler.

Using a nail setter

Then we filled the holes with wood filler.

Wood Filler

We caulked along all the edges.


And then we let everything dry.

prep before paint

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.

Wall Treatment

The paint is Valspar from Lowes.  The wall is Woodlawn Colonial Gray and the paneling is Mark Twain House Ombra Gray.

Square Wall Treatment

Dining Room Wall Treatment

Dining Room Wall Treatment*

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 a new paint color). See more on that HERE.


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Want to see what else I’m up to?  Click on the photos below:

DIY Concrete Table          Paint.a.Faucet            PaintedHeadboardB&A



  1. Kelly says

    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!

  2. Carol says

    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?

  3. Gwen Condit says

    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.

  4. Lily says

    This looks amazing! Did your husband have to remove the original baseboards at bottom before installing the MDF strips?

  5. Melanee says

    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! 🙂

  6. Tont says

    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

    • sincerely, sara d. says

      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!

  7. Lisa Otto says

    Dear Sara,
    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?

    many thanks,

  8. Chris says

    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.

    Thsnk you,


  9. Diane says

    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

  10. Priti says

    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!

  11. Misty says

    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!

  12. MomtoWendy says

    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. 🙂


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