7 Simple Steps to a FABULOUS Wall Treatment!

by Joy
2 Materials
Let's talk about the riveted wall treatment from my One Room Challenge! It is super easy and super impactful! The ideas are endless with this treatment. I chose to paint the strips the wall color so that my "rivets" were the highlighted, but you could paint the wall strips a coordinating color and the "rivets" metallic or whatever your little ol' heart desires. Have fun with it!
Let's get started!


1/4 plywood cut into 2 1/4 strips

A ridiculous amount of 1 inch split wooden balls - seriously, I do not have a number for you- my room took over 500 spaced about 2 inches apart.

Nail or staple gun - We used the compressor

Paintable caulk

Paint - for plywood strips and split balls

Hot glue and glue gun

Step 1:

Measure walls and determine how many strips you will need. Each plywood panel yielded 20 (2 1/4 in) strips. I decided to space my strips 29 inch a part and I just split the walls in half. You can create as many cross strips as you would like. I chose to keep it simple since I was adding a ton of "rivets" and did not want the room to become busy.

Step 2:

Attach vertical strips. We used my upholstery staple gun which delivers a finer staple. The strips are thin - so keep that in mind. Brad gun would work too- just test it. We stapled every 12 inches. Since the strips were 8 ft. long and our walls are 10ft tall,we added the length at the bottom - less likely to be noticed.
Step 3:

Attach horizontal strips. This is a bit more time-consuming and we used our hand dandy chop saw to make quick work of the cuts. Again, keep in mind that you are working with thin plywood - your safety is the utmost importance.

Step 4:

Caulk. Run a bead of paintable caulk along all the edges, don't forget to caulk where the additional length was added. Caulk the staple or brad indentations. Wipe off excess. Allow to dry.
Step 5:

Paint. We painted the strips the wall color to create the "submarine walls". YOU, YOU have a ball here. Paint the strips whatever fun happy cool color you want! I so want to see this treatment with Benjamin Moore's Hale Navy and antique gold "rivets". Oh! Malachite green! seriously sky's the limit!
Step 6:

Paint the split balls. I used wax paper underneath and laid out a 100 at a time. I confess... I did not paint the split balls with a base color before applying the metallic glaze. Mine turned out just fine but the color I used was a metallic brown. If you are using silver or gold - might want to paint a base color first. You decide, test it out.
Step 7:

Attach split balls. Ok, here is where you will need a ton of glue sticks. Start by attaching a split ball at the junction point of the strips. Try to keep glue in the center to prevent hot glue from seeping out the sides. If it does - wipe it quickly. You will have a millions little glue webs to clean up -so clean as you go (trust me).

Measure out from each side about two inches and attach another split ball. Ok, here is another confession, I pretty much eye-balled it. After I finished - I measured and it turned out to be about 2 inches apart. How did I eye-ball it you make ask? Well... I used my thumb and forefinger as a measuring tool. Worked pretty well if I do say so myself.
That's about it my friends! The process is simple - just a bit time-consuming but oh so WORTH it! If you try this treatment- let me know! I would LOVE to see your interpretation.

Check out my blog for a great source to buy the 1 inch split balls reasonably and to see the whole study makeover!
Suggested materials:
  • Plywood   (metallic glaze)
  • 1 inch split balls   (caulk)
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 5 questions
  • Kiki Kiki on Jun 10, 2016
    Where toget the balls ?

  • Patrice Patrice on Jun 11, 2016
    Im sorry im really not seeing anything only how u start the process

  • Kim Brecheen Kim Brecheen on Jun 12, 2016
    Where do I find the split wooden balls?

Join the conversation
3 of 58 comments
  • Jennie Lee Jennie Lee on Jun 26, 2016
    Joy, just in case you need a clock in the room, Walmart has a big one for $30 that would look really cool, I think. It's got big gears, and 3 clock faces--and they all run! It looks like bronze. I've been dying to buy it myself, but I really have no place for it! Ha!

    • Joy Joy on Jun 28, 2016
      Thanks Jennie! I will go take a look!

  • Keemee Keemee on Jul 12, 2016
    So creative!! You must have the patience of a saint (or did have) to glue all this half balls. 500!!!!! Mind boggling😱 Love how this came out! Great job!!!