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Do it yourself McMurray!

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So, Fort McMurray DIY-ers! Are you up for a new challenge to make a house into your home, one DIY project at a time?
One of the hippest trends in the DIY home decorating scene is a customized wall treatment. This is an easy weekend project that can have a huge impact on a plain, boring room.  Adding custom molding detail for architectural interest is an age-old technique, but this tutorial is not your great-grandma’s paneling! This modern wall treatment is cool and customizable to your home’s style. This tutorial is going to be an easy square grid-pattern, but you could easily do a different style, just be sure to sketch it out!

 Before you start, decide on a room or even a wall where you think this DIY project will have the biggest impact. A feature wall in a living room done in this style would be amazing, or even a guest room or powder room. The options are limitless – it’s all up to you! If you want your walls a different colour, paint them before you stick on the wall treatment, even if the wall treatment is going to be the same paint colour – trust me, you will thank me later!

The supplies are simple and can be found at any hardware store: MDF strips, preferably at least 8-feet long (you can use wood, but it’s expensive), a table saw, glue, and a screwdriver. The last item is only necessary if you have kids like mine who would probably rip your molding off the wall if it’s not screwed on. My preference is to use the MDF because it’s budget-friendly, sturdy enough, easy to use, and paintable. And if you’re going to paint the strips, now is the time to do it before you cut the MDF.

Next step requires a little math skill. You need to map out your wall and measure. Then measure again, and then again, and one more time for good, ahem, measure.  We used a pencil directly on the wall since it’ll be covered up by the MDF anyway. For our grid pattern, we decided on 16-inch squares – large enough to have impact, but not overpower the room.

Now it’s time for power tools! Simply use the full-size 8-foot MDF strips for the vertical sides of the wall treatment (add another foot if you have 9-foot walls). Start in a corner of the wall, which doesn’t have any obstructions like a door or window, and then work your way across the wall. Here’s a simple trick – we used all the full-length strips horizontally, and then cut the vertical strips to make the grid pattern.  Because of the square grid pattern we chose, the horizontal and vertical spacing are the same. Instead of using a tape measure, use the vertical strips as a template for all the lengths.

Use wood glue to adhere the MDF strips to the wall, and if you feel you need more stability, secure the MDF with screws. Be sure to spackle and sand before you paint over the screws so they blend in beautifully to your new wall treatment.
So there you have it – an easy, yet effective way to jazz up a boring, boxy room. I’d love to see your take on this tutorial! Email me with pics of your DIY wall treatment:

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