My Grid Accent Wall

On a scale of 1-10 with ten being the most difficult, this was about 6.5. However, if I had to do it again, it would go down to a 4.

So originally this room was fully dedicated to being an office space but when I decided to transform it into an office/guest room, I wanted it to look really nice for anyone that decided to stay in it. That’s when my wheels starting spinning and I decided on an accent wall. Of course I hit up Pinterest and started searching for accent walls. Nothing was calling me until I saw this…

Looks amazing right?! Shouldn’t be too hard, just grab some sticks, glue em to the wall and paint over them. The price is WRONG Bob! There was a ton of prep work that went into this and honestly once the “sticks” were up, that’s when the trouble really started. I’ll explain further in the steps below. Also, if you’re looking for more inspo, search for “board and batten wall” or “grid wall” on Pinterest.

Be sure to check out my Instagram, itsjoitomyworld, to see the process in action on my highlight reel, ‘grid wall’. 

What You Will Need (including affiliate links)

  • Liquid Nails
  • Liquid Nail dispenser
  • MDF boards/planks (already primed, painted white) (11/16 in. long x 2.5 x 12 ft long: Lowe’s Item #549553)
  • Hammer and Nails (or nail gun if you have one, I do not)
  • Caulk
  • Measuring Tape + a level
  • Pencil + calculator
  • Paint of your choice (I used Hale Navy. Originally came in Sherwin Williams but Home Depot was able to match it with Behr Marquee Interior Flat, Base: 1453) + painters tape + paint brushes and roller + cloth drop cloth (I prefer these over plastic)
  • Oscillating Tool a.k.a. a hand saw (don’t be intimidated, these are actually easy to use) that converts to a sander
  • Another person to help you (I learned the hard way)

So as you can tell from the list of what you need, it’s more than just sticks and glue lol. Also, if you decide to pay someone to do this instead, you better not flinch at their rate because the materials and the labor are intense. This took me all weekend with my 1-2 breaks and about 6 hours of sleep each night lol

How to Install

  1. Take measurements

First measure your wall. As someone who really sucks at math, this part wasn’t too bad. So if I can do it, you can. Also, as you can see in my final picture, I used a combination of squares AND rectangles, so I didn’t necessarily measure for even squares. Well, originally I did but once I put up the boards, I was over this project and was going to just leave them as rectangles. My notes are below but I’ll provide you with the formula as well.

Formula for measuring (measure in inches)

Vertical Sticks [2.5 in. (width of stick) X the number of sticks (determined by how many rows + columns you want. For example, the inspo pic I posted has 5 horizontal squares and 4 vertical squares.)

Let’s say you want 6 vertical sticks like the inspo pic and the width of your wall is 117 and your length of the wall is 94.25:

2.5 in. X 6 = 15 in. …this means each stick will take up 15 in. of space on your wall

117-15 =102 divide by 5 (the number of squares you want vertically) = 20.4 in.

20.4 will be the width of each square

Horizontal Sticks (Unofficial but I like calling them sticks lol)

2.5 in. x 5 = 12.5 in.

94.25 – 12.5 = 81.75 divide by 4 (the number of squares you want horizontally) = 20.4 in.

20/4 will be the height of each square

*I adjusted my measurements to include rectangles because I wanted to place a cork boards in between them*

The number of boards that you will need will solely depend on how large your wall is and how large you want your squares. I ended up using almost 12 sticks.

2. Place your border sticks up first 

Measure the length of them first and use your saw to fit them based on the size of your wall.

This is where I wish I had another person. I applied the liquid nails to the back and the top stick continued to slide down. I just kept pushing it up until it finally stop sliding. I went into a few places and hammered in nails to make sure it didn’t move. I did the same for the side borders.

3. Place your sticks on the wall

I found it easier to draw where I was going to place them first and again, more measuring was needed. I squeezed the liquid nails directly on the wall and then placed the sticks on top. I repeated the same with the horizontal sticks. The only exception was that I had to saw smaller pieces to fit in between the vertical sticks to make complete square or in my case, a rectangle.

Don’t forget to use your level to insure that these are lined up perfectly straight.


Now, here is where the project went from about a 4 to a 6.5.

Once your sticks are applied and dried to the wall (and don’t worry they’re not budging) you have to go into the cracks and fill them in with the caulk. The reason why I say that this is tricky is because I didn’t realize that the smallest bulges show up when you paint. Be sure that you don’t have any excess caulk or even liquid nails for that matter on the wall because it WILL poke out when you paint over it and you’ll have to try and remove it or sand it and repaint it again….like I did. Another reason why I say that this would be much easier knowing this information the second time around.

4. Paint

Use your painters tape for any areas that you do NOT want pain on (like the baseboards, ceiling, etc.) I found it easier to pain the sticks first and work my way inside of the squares to make sure I got in all of the creases and tiny gaps where the pieces of wood met each other. Then I went over it completely with a roller.  

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