Monthly Archives: March 2013

DIY Wainscoting


Doin’ a little happy dance because the 1986 country rose wallpaper in our entry is GONE!  Well, it’s still there, but you can’t see it.  Finally.  Allow me to share a “before”….  This is the view from the front door looking towards the kitchen.  The second pic is a close-up of the wallpaper that I do not miss one bit.

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After spending waaaayyy too much time on Pinterest and multiple blogs, we settled on doing basic DIY wainscoting.  The main reason is that we wanted it to match the dining room (now office) so that it looked like it had always been there.  I am SO very thankful for my handy engineer husband!  He actually enjoys math and figuring out angles – both of which were majorly needed for this project.  (A point he made sure the girls knew since they all hate math.)  🙂

The first thing we had to do was fix all the wallpaper seams, because we were not going to cover the paper with MDF.  Adding anything over the paper would have increased the depth & we would have needed to remove the existing chair rail to accommodate that.  We wanted to avoid the headache, time and expense incurred by doing that.  So, we (actually hubs) trimmed back each seam and then mudded over it with sheetrock mud.  It took a couple of coats to make it all flat and even.  Then we primed with interior latex primer so our paint would adhere to the nasty wallpaper.

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We used painter’s tape to mark off the boxes so we could see how they would fit on the wall.  Once we were happy with the size & placement of the rectangles, it was time to work on angles.  Hubs went online and printed off a protractor.  He used that to build a couple of jigs.  Everything was cut on the table saw.  I REALLY wish I had taken pics of the jigs and the templates he cut!!  But, **sigh** I didn’t.  He cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the size he wanted.  In this case 4″ wide so all the boxes and angles would be 4″ from the trim and we wouldn’t have to measure every.single.time.  Then he cut that into the correct angles needed so we could make the trim pieces fit.  Some construction adhesive (that didn’t work too well) and a nail gun were the tools we used to put up the trim.  I painted it to in a gloss to match the existing trim.  I LOVE our entry now!  It is SO much better!

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The next step is to hire a painter to come paint the 2-story high walls above the chair rail in the entry.  They will be Realist Beige like everything else to keep it simple.  I’m not about to put my hubby on scaffolding over the stairs to paint!

I think I promised at the beginning of this blog to put measurements of the rooms.  Not sure I’ve held to that, but I’ll do it here.  This entry is shaped like a “T”.  The top of the “T” (front door wall) is 145 1/4″ long & 56″ wide.  At the base of the stairs is a little piece that is 31 3/8″.  Going up the stairs is 174 3/4″.  The wall directly in front of the front door is 63 3/8″.  The walls on each side of the leg of the “t” (going in to Kitchen) are 129 5/8″ long and it is 39″ wide.  The chair rail is 34″ from floor.

Hopefully all that makes sense!  If you are considering DIY wainscoting, just Google “DIY Wainscoting” and you will get some great pictures and some blogs that actually give step-by-step direction.  I just picked a picture I liked, printed it and asked hubs to make it happen.  He loves it when I do that…..  🙂