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Traditional wainscoting on the wall with measurements to guide how to space trim.
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How To Install Wainscoting

Wainscoting adds an elegance to a room you can't get any other way. A beautiful architectural statement, wainscoting is an inexpensive way to make a room feel upscale and custom designed. This tutorial shows you how to get the look with basic materials.
Cook Time 2 days
Total Time 1 day
Servings 1 wall
Author Rachel
Cost $200

Equipment

Ingredients

  • Trim and Moulding
  • Nails
  • Wood Filler
  • Caulk
  • Paint's Tape
  • Paint

Instructions

  • Cut pieces to size using a compound miter saw. Label your cut pieces as you go so you aren't searching for where they belong when tacking them to the wall.
    Traditional wainscoting on the wall with measurements to guide how to space trim.
  • Attach the trim to the wall using a small bead of caulk along the backside of the trim and then nail into place. Although nails and a hammer will work for this project, I highly recommend a brad nailer. It's fast and requires a lot less hole filling.
  • To get professional looking results, use a thin bead of caulk around every edge that touches the wall. Make sure to use paintable, interior caulk.
  • After drying, paint the wainscoting in desired trim paint of choice. If using pre-primed wood, there is no need to prime before painting.

Notes

General Tips
  • Use painters tape while you are still deciding on the design. That way you only have to mark once. I still recommend drawing out the squares once you have decided the sizing.
  • The corners are mitered (i.e. cut at 45 degrees to line up). I personally prefer to cut one piece at a time and tack them as we go around.
  • Although finishing nails and a hammer will work for this project, I highly recommend a brad nailer. It's fast and requires a lot less hole filling.