How to Create a Riveted Wall Treatment

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Ready for a Steam Punk/ Captain Nemo inspired wall treatment? This riveted wall treatment is super simple to create, just take a look!




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 highlight, 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!

ORC study Riveted Wall Treatment The Aspiring Home


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 a glue gun

Riveted Wall Treatment Tutorial

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 inches apart 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 bottomless likely to be noticed.

Attach wood strips to wall Riveted wall treatment The Aspiring Home

wood strips install for Riveted wall treatment The Aspiring Home


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 of the utmost importance.


Step 4:


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 drying time.

caulk wood strips riveted wall treatment The Aspiring Home

caulk wood strips view 2 riveted wall treatment The Aspiring Home


Step 5:


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!

paint wood wall strips riveted wall treatment The Aspiring Home

Step 6:

Paint the split balls.

I used was paper underneath and laid out 100 at a time.  I confess… I did not paint the split balls with a base color before applying the metallic. 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.


before split-balls are painted riveted wall treatment The Aspiring Home

split-balls painted for riveted wall treatment The Aspiring Home

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 million little glue webs to clean up – 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.



riveted wall treatment the aspiring home


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.



Plywood – Lowe’s

1 inch split balls – Woodworks Ltd. best price we could find!

Split ball metallic paint – Deco Art Elegant Finish Metallic Glaze   I originally bought my paint at Hobby Lobby but since purchasing I can no longer find it. Thankfully Amazon has it.


Till Later!






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    1. Thank you Claire! I so want to do this somewhere else in the house…. but probably should refrain. lol

  1. WOW TOTALLY AMAZING!! I am so in love with this!! I have been racking my brains to find something different for our man cave/family room (a bedroom I told hubby he could do whatever he wanted with BUT we use this room as our tv room because I don’t want a tv in the main living room) and we have been trying to find something different. We were thinking the barn wood look and then we were going super modern but we really wanted different. This is it, this is different!! What in the world ever gave you this idea?? I am seriously curious to know?? Thank you so very much for this post!

    1. I so love your comment and I am so happy you will try this for the man cave/tv room! Please let me know when you finish it – would love to see!

  2. Wow. That’s the most amazing idea/wall I have seen. I would love that in my family room or any room. Also a teen boy would love that look!! Awesome!!

  3. Hi Joy!
    I know this is an older post of yours but I just finished a wall with your rivet wall idea.
    It’s looks awesome!
    We are putting together an Airbnb with an industrial theme and this wall treatment looks amazing!
    Thank you for the great tutorial .
    Jaye Jaye

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