We have always loved the look of wainscoting, so after much back and forth about which style we like best, we decided to install a recessed design using the wall as the back panel. Similar to the one photographed below (from examiner.com).
We started by pushing all of the furniture to the center of the room (we had already moved it all when we painted). From here we enlisted the help of a carpenter friend to help us with the install, but you can do this project on your own, too, and I’ll tell you how.
We measured the room (again) and then purchased 1 X 4 X 10 poplar boards from our local hardware store using our carpenter friend’s discount. In total we spent about $180 on wood, not including the 1/4 round trim for finishing. After locating the studs using a stud finder, we cut the wood to size and secured it to the wall using a nail gun. If you don’t have a nail gun, a small hammer and finishing nails will work too. We wanted the top rail to be about 46″ from the floor.
Next, we started on removing the old baseboards so that we could install new wood at the same width as the top rail. We scored the baseboards where it meets the wall using a utility knife to cut the caulk and paint that had accumulated. Using a pry bar, we gently pulled the baseboard away from the walls. See some more great tips on removing baseboards here at Sawdustgirl.com
We replaced the baseboards with 1 X 8 X 10 poplar board to match the top rail.
We measured from the top of the baseboard, to the bottom of the chair rail and cut 1 X 4 X 10 poplar board for the vertical boards of the wainscoting. With the boards cut to the right length, we just needed to measure out the size of the panels we wanted and nail them into place. We decided to space them about 29″ apart (this measurement was largely based on the studs throughout the room). We installed these pieces using wood glue and then nailed them into place with finishing nails/nail gun.
With all of the wood in place (except for the 1/4 round detailing on the top and bottom) we’re ready to paint. Check back for that process in Stage 2.