How To: Wainscoting Made Simple

How To Wainscoting Made SimpleWainscoting is a panel. Panels are made out of wood. Right? Wood tends to expand and contract depending on environmental stressors so you should give it plenty of rest and NO LESS than 48 hours prior to installing the panels in your home. (IMPORTANT SIDE NOTE: Make SURE you put your wainscoting in the exact room you want it in first thing. After all, some rooms may be colder or warmer than others, conditions & situations pending, and this could definitely affect your wood.)

How To: Wainscoting Made Simple

Step #1: Decide EXACTLY where you are going to place your wainscoting in the chosen room and use basic drafting mathematics to sort out how many panels you will need. You should probably do this BEFORE you go shopping.

Divide the whole total area of the room by the width of the panels. (Standard of 32″, 1/2 inch more of give just in case of uneven floors) = # of panels you need. While you are out shopping for panels it would also be vitally important to make sure you have all the proper materials and tools for the job.

Shopping List:

– Circular Saw
-Tape Measure
-Stud Finder
-Pry Bar
-Dust Mask
-Hearing Protection
-Wainscoting Panels
-Construction Adhesive
-Paneling Nails

Step #2: Remove moulding you don’t need, install any you do. Simple. I would highly reccomend seeing just how much moulding you need before I went shopping for materials straightaway.

Step #3: Remove all outlet covers in the room.

Step #4: Make a clear-cut decision on WHERE you wish your wainscoting line to begin. measure up from the floor base precisely 32 1/2 ” (inches) and make a mark. THIS is where you will utilize properly your level as a straight edge. Make sure to draw a STRAIGHT line using the level around the ENTIRE room. This will ASSURE that when you are wainscoting, the TOP portion will be even with the level line. The measurements provide extra room because, in essence, wainscoting is 32″ (inches) tall, and the extra 1/2 ” (inch) is give enough, just in case one has an uneven floor.

Step #5: Identify where your wall studs are and lightly mark them above the level line. This is very useful to nail your panesls properly into place.

Step #6: Make a starter point. usually, this is accomplished by picking a corner and working outwards. Use a full panel and apply construction adhesive to the back of the wainscoting panel before setting it into place. The top should be flush with the line you drew earlier and 1/16 ” (inches) from the adjacent wall. use paneling nails to secure the wainscot into place.

Step #7: Cut holes in your wainscotting very carefullly WHEN installing if a panel is about to cover an outlet. This is HIGHLY reccomended to be done DURING installation, NOT before nor after. Do so by measuring from the corner to left & right of the outlet and – (subtracting) 1/16 ” (inches) from each measurement to account for the expansion gap between the corner and the wainscot panel. It should make a perfect vertical rectangle when you are finished.

Step #8: Install the secont panel 1/16 ” (inches) from the first and flush with the level line. Account fully for any expansion gaps and outlet plugs & plan your installation accordingly.

Step #9: Continue to repeat wainscoting processes #6-#8 in this way until your entire room is finished.
Congratulations! You are now a Wainscot Warrior! Happy Decorating!


One thought on “How To: Wainscoting Made Simple

  • April 23, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Wow. Great insights and tips. I really like these and i’m leaving a comment just to say thanks for your work !

    Have a nice Rain!


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