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Brighter Dining Wall

posted by Matt Pierce on August 12, 2012

I've had the idea to change up my dining wall for a while now, but after seeing the work my friend Robert did on the Beam&Anchor storage closet, I knew how I was going to tackle it. I used 14ft. 1x10s and then a couple coats of opaque white OSMO finish.

It's a pretty straight-forward build. I painted the wall to get rid of the black, especially had to since it came up the ceiling a bit. I still need to topcoat in white, as with lots of areas in the house that have been patched... Pretty much the whole dining and living room again, but that'll wait.

Next step is to attach your verticals that you'll nail all the boards onto. Make sure your wall is straight, I definitely had to shim some and take out some others due to my wavy wall. After your back verticals are secure, you'll have plenty of area to nail into. These boards were the same thickness as my baseboard and door trim, as I wanted to completely cover the trim and just have the hallway "cut out" of the wall.

Start by nailing your horizontals, and make sure they're level. It helps to have a friend, and thankfully Greg stopped by to give a hand that day. Make sure you press all the boards flush with each other. I have some minor gaps, but not too bad. Some of the boards really needed to be shoved into place before nailing. After nailing, countersink all your nails and add some putty to the holes. Make sure your putty will take stain or whatever you use as a finish.

I sanded the wall, mainly to smooth the putty, but also to give the boards a little more smoothness. They weren't bad to start, but they'll take a little less finish when sanded too. I applied OSMO in opaque white to everything with a small brush. I was really cussing here since the finish is quite drippy when applying vertically. Make sure your drop cloth is in place, areas taped off, and no young ears in the vicinity when you start dropping f-bombs.

Let the first OSMO coat dry for 24hours, then you can apply a second. It make it just a little whiter, as the first coat was already amazingly white. Let dry completely and move the furniture back!



Tim Roth on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Huge improvement over the black! Definitely would make me want to linger at the dining table for quite a bit longer.

clemence on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM


you did a very good job in this room. I love your lamp, do you know the name of the designer or the brand ?

Shannon on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

OSMO! You rocked it, looks great! Might ask you for some tips soon, will be cooking up something similar for our studio. Hope it was worth the F-bombs!

MMP on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Hey Aaron, thanks. I just used regular old pine 1×10s. Nothing special, and any lumber yard or big box should have them. Pick a place that has has smooth ones and you’ve got less sanding to worry about.

Aaron on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Loved that black wall, but this is awesome! What kind of wood (ply or solid) did you use? Birch? Also, did you have to get it from a specialty lumber store or just Lowes/Home depot?

Ashley on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Nice!! I just recently stumbled across your blog and I love it! This is one of the best tutorial type blogs I have found, I enjoy all of your projects and truly appreciate your awesome craftsmanship!

MMP on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Rachel, congrats on the new space. For the vert boards, I mightve used screws. Depending on what you’re screwing into, you might think about something 2 inches long. For the horizontal boards, I used finish nails, probably one inch length. Best of luck on your build!

rachel silva on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

hey matt,
i just moved into a new place and am decorating my room. i know this project was a while ago for you. i have a few questions. :)

what type of nails did you use for your vertical boards? how long were they? did you use different ones for the horizontal boards?

thanks for your help and sharing your projects with us. they’re inspiring and enjoyable to see.

MMP on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Hi Sara, those are Roe Deer from Germany… typically very small dudes. As for the door detail, I just brought the facing boards all the way to the edge and sanded them… the inside doorway trim is painted black, so that’s what you might be seeing.

Sara on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

whose tiny antlers are those? (Jackalopes??) this wall is lovely, I wonder what kind of detail you did around the door? is it the same black trim you had before? No, but there is an illusion in the photos somehow. As you can see, I don’t know anything about the details.

MMP on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

I’m sorry, but I can’t recall the manufacturer of that lamp! There was a small amount of deadstock from a shop in Portland, but I don’t see them on their site now either.

Matt Pierce on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Cool Mark, I’m excited to see. Send to

Mark Devlin on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Thanks Matt…. I started the other day. I ripped off all the dry wall and am nailing it directly to the studs as the backside of the wall (that is getting the same wood) was already open due to some re framing. Where can I send you some pics?

Matt Pierce on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Hi Mark, you can use a white stain and then topcoat with water-based poly… that’d give the same look.

Mark Devlin on November 14 2014 at 10:22AM

Love it! Going to do it on my accent wall… Do you know of any alternatives to OSMO? Big box doesn’t carry it….

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