This easy step by step how to wainscoting technique will guide you and help you create truly beautiful, stylish rooms...
Rooms that you'll want to spend more time in, that your friends will want to copy! Heck, that your friends are going to just drool over, lol. That's what mine do. I get so many complements!
This wainscoting technique adds instant casual elegance to any room. I even used it in my bathroom!
You can opt to use a simple how to wainscoting kit which I highly recommend, or if you have the time and like to roll your sleeves up, I'll provide you with the steps that I used (scroll down)...
Firstly, let me explain exactly what wainscoting is...
Wainscoting is a broad term generally meaning a wood paneling for walls and ceilings.
It's most often found in cottages to cover damaged walls and ceilings.
It's sometimes referred to as "groove paneling" and "tongue and groove paneling"( aka beadboard).
Wainscoting can also include the more formal application of "raised paneling" and "recessed paneling", where moldings are used to create a detailed look. There is also "board and batten", my personal Fav!
This very traditional living room shows lovely recessed paneled
Here's a nice example of recessed paneled walls
I used the easy Board and Batten technique for my master bathroom wainscoting, but I did the faux version and did it the easy way by doing it myself with MDF and some simple cuts and measuring: Using battens, an apron, a cap, a shelf, and a baseboard over drywall. I painted and sealed it all one color so it looks like real wainscoting.
My Bathroom Done With A Board And Batten Technique
All wainscoting, whatever style you choose or way you choose to do it, can be painted any color, but white or stained, are the traditional looks.
Let me show the beautiful wainscoting pictures that inspired me... and give you my steps on how to wainscot using the board and batten technique that I used... Scroll down
This Cape Cod inspired bedroom is full of charm don't you think? I love this board and batten technique, same as my master bath. They used two thirds of the wall for the wainscoting. With an application like this larger artwork won't work well. Opt for smaller pictures resting on the shelf cap, maybe stacked using different heights, or 5x7's, 3 or 5 in a row, hung on the wall horizontally. You can even place accessories on the shelf cap,(not shown here)varying heights.
This is another faux example.This time of recessed paneling.
This is such a nice cottage look with the beadboard running the length of the wall.
And again my personal favorite style board and batten wainscoting. It's what I used in my bathroom, my living room, and my bedroom. Isn't it wonderful!
10 Things You'll Need
Here's what I did:
Measured my walls and decided on the height of the wainscoting and the spacing of the battens, the size of the cap (horizontal top piece) and size of the base board ( horizontal bottom piece or "shoe").
These are my cut measurements:
finish molding 1/4 inch (optional)to finish the front of the shelf piece and also to add decoration to the back of the cap where it joins with the shelf piece.
Battens = 1.5"
Batten spacing= 12" on center( the center of the batten lined up with the 12" spacer line I drew on the wall, may need to make adjustments for plugs and switches. Also I spaced the battens slightly farther apart under a window because it looked better to have them centered, but you don't even notice it.
Batten height= 49"
note* I had The home depot make all my cuts for me. You'll need to provide them with a cutting list and leave it and pick up later. They told me it's easier for them to make that many cuts when the store is closing.
I determined how many feet of MDF I needed for the cap,base, and battens,etc... I Had the pieces cut,
I burrowed my neighbors nail gun (total time saver!, thanks again Alfredo!),
Drew out my plan on the walls with a pencil and level,
I put glue on the pieces and nailed them up,
I sanded any rough areas,
I caulked up the nail holes and all the seams and also outlined every piece with a bead of caulk,
sanded off the roughness of the caulk after it dried,
applied a primer coat,
applied 2 coats of semi-gloss.
Lastly, I painted the upper wall portion a beautiful watery blue. Oh yeah, and I gave the room a crown, see how I saved here too with this little trick...Go to Crown Molding DIY
I get so much pleasure from this little bathroom! It is so pretty, and I'm so proud of myself for saving so much money by doing it myself.
I am so inspired, I'm doing the rest of my house with this DIY wainscoting technique so stay tuned.
So now you know how to do wainscoting. Do it from scratch or purchase a kit, but definitely do it, it's gorgeous!
I Hope you're inspired!