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Painted Wall Grid

Paint this decorative grid pattern to break up a large wall or provide the background for artwork, a wall mirror, or table.

Painted Wall Grid

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown.

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Project Resources


This painting technique works best on a smooth wall surface. Remove any wall texturing, then patch and prime nail holes or damaged areas before you begin. When marking lines for strips of tape more than 18 inches long, make the lightest possible pencil marks on the wall. Then lay your tape so that it’s touching, but not covering, the pencil lines. Paint can then cover up the pencil marks. For short pieces of tape, you can place pencil marks on strips of tape already on the wall, but take care to lay all strips in absolutely straight lines.

Form a Grid with Tape

Step 1

 Painted rectangle

Mask a rectangle 40 inches wide and 62-1/2 inches tall using a straightedge and level to make sure the sides are plumb and the top and bottom are level. Measure between the corners to ensure they're square. Then paint the rectangle the color you want for the finished grid (Lucky Street shown). Remove the tape and allow the paint to dry overnight before continuing. Using 1-1/2-in painter's tape for delicate surfaces, mask another rectangle so that the outside tape edges are flush with the inside edges of the painted rectangle.

Step 2

 Apply long tape strips

Measure 12 inches in from the outside edge of both vertical strips of tape and use a straightedge to mark the wall. (You can refer to the downloadable Wall Grid Tape Layout as a guide.) Apply 1-in tape strips to the inside edges of the lines without covering them. From the bottom edge of the bottom horizontal tape strip, measure and mark fine lines at 3-1/2, 15-1/2, 21-1/2, 33-1/2, 39-1/2, 51-1/2, and 57-1/2 inches. Apply horizontal tape strips with the bottom edge of each strip on the pencil lines. Each tape strips for plumb and level

Step 3

Apply partial horizontal tape strips

From the bottom edge of the bottom tape strip, measure and mark all four vertical strips at 18-1/2 and 54-1/2 inches. Add partial horizontal tape strips in the left and right columns. Then mark the two center vertical tape strips at 9-1/2, 27-1/2, 36-1/2, and 45-1/2 inches. Apply tape between the marks in the center column.

Step 4

 Add vertical center tape strips

Measure and mark 19-1/2 inches in from the outside edge of either 1-1/2-in vertical tape strip. Apply two vertical tape strips in the center column where shown.

Step 5

 Apply horizontal and vertical short tape strips

Measure and mark 6-1/2, 12-1/2, 24-1/2, 30-1/2, 42-1/2, and 48-1/2 inches up from the bottom tape edge. Place 1-in tape on these lines in the center column. Measure and mark 16 inches from both outside edges. Place tape at the inside edges of these lines and check all tape strips for plumb and level.

Step 6

 Apply remaining tape strips.

Measure and mark lines 3-1/4, 6-1/4, and 9-1/4 inches from both outside tape strips. Apply short lengths of 1-in tape to the inside edges of these lines in the outside columns. In the large squares remaining, apply diagonal tape strips from corner to corner to form an X shape. Divide each triangle in half with tape.

Step 7

Press tape strips firmly against the wall

Step back to double-check the symmetry of the design. Then use your fingers to press the tape edges tight against the wall.

Paint Over the Tape Pattern

Step 1

 Paint over the tape

Brush on paint (Lyndhurst Stone shown), working from the tape to the centers of the open areas. Use a light touch to avoid forcing paint beneath the tape. Let the paint dry to the touch.

Step 2

Remove the tape to reveal the pattern

Remove pieces of tape in the reverse order you applied them to the wall. (Save the 1-1/2-in-wide strips for last.) Work slowly to avoid accidentally pulling up the paint. Use small brushes to touch up any rough lines.