Wainscoting Project Reveal

Our walls in our eating area were showing serious signs of wear.  The finger slime spots were a bit out of control and the chairs were leaving marks.  We decided that beadboard/wainscoting would be a cute solution.  My dad is a gem and did the bulk of the work.  He went with me to purchase the materials, installed the boards and trim, and helped with some of the staining.  My hubby did lots of painting late Saturday night and early Sunday morning and the best masking job I have ever seen. I chose the materials, look, color, and helped with a bit of the staining (which does not count for much of the actual work). Its a good thing I am surrounded by good men.  My projects would not get far.

We sprang for the packages of real (pine) wood panels that fit together rather than the large sheets of white press board.  The thinking was that the real wood might look more natural and wear better overtime.  The cost difference was only about $20 because we were able to cut the boards in half (from 8 ft. to 4 ft. tall) and did not have any waste.  Either would have probably worked fine and for a larger room we might have went the cheaper route.

We spent about $75 for 6 packages of the wainscoting panels, pine boards to run along the top (not actual trim), and Liquid Nails (glue to mount the boards…along with nailing them).

The paint was another $35.  Ouch! We wanted a low VOC paint and primer in one. We got the Behr brand from Home Depot.  The green was a bit bright (long ugly story) and so we used a glaze to soften it and give it a more antiqued look.  After that my dad put some varathane over the top to seal it and make it more “wipe-able”.

Basic DIY instructions-

1) Choose the type of wainscoting you are going to use and measure and purchase.

2) Measure and cut.

3) Remove outlet and switch covers.

4) Starting at one edge (not corner) start attaching one panel at a time (or sheet). Apply liquid nails with a calking gun and then nail into place (nail gun works the best). Dad used 3 nails in each panel.

5) Measure and cut to accommodate outlets and switches.

6) Finish with trim at top.

7) Calk edges.

8 ) Putty holes you do not like if using natural boards.

9) Mask edges with blue paint tape.

10) Paint a couple coats (and add glaze and/or varathane if you desire).

11) Put outlet and switch plates back on. We chose to replace the plastic ones with wood covers that we could paint to match. We found these at Home Depot.

Project length-1 weekend

Project cost-$105 including basic materials and paint. (This does not include calking, glaze, varathane, or new light/outlet plates.)

It has been a couple weeks since we finished the project and we LOVE it. It really perks up the area and adds a nice custom touch.  I think that it will add interest and continue to be a nice classic element long after we are living here.  The paint color would be very easy to change at any point to accommodate taste preferences.

Are you working on any large or small projects at your house?

4 Responses to Wainscoting Project Reveal
  1. Jennifer T
    July 17, 2012 | 12:22 pm

    The finished product is fabulous! You all did a wonderful job. I love wainscoting; we have it in our bathroom and I’d love it in our dining area, maybe at our next house…! Enjoy all your family time in this beautiful room :)

    • Kari
      July 17, 2012 | 2:24 pm

      Hi Jenn! Thank you for your comment and I am glad you like it. How about we do wainscoting throughout your ENTIRE next house. I think it would be fabulous! Maybe after baby comes we can all bring a panel with our meal. :)

  2. Sarah
    July 17, 2012 | 1:39 pm

    Kari, that looks incredible! I appreciate the step-by-step…in case I trust Chris to ever undertake such a project!

    • Kari
      July 17, 2012 | 2:20 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! I am sure he could totally do it with the right tools…and maybe a helper for moral support. I give the project 3.5 out of 5 stars in regards to difficulty. :)

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