Thursday, January 28, 2021

Tired of Your Room, but Don’t Want to Paint? Wainscot!

I’m sure you’ve seen wainscoting before – it’s quite the trend. Even as a painter, I love the look of wainscoting. Of course, the top half of the wall should be properly painted. That’s my specialty, wainscoting wasn’t, but I wanted to know how to do it and to transform my dining room, so that’s exactly what I did.

It Takes a Lot of Work

I’m not going to lie; it was a lot of work to put up the boards. It wasn’t the boards themselves that took time, it’s the prep. Caulking, sanding, and puttying anyone? Yep, you’ll do a lot of that. But, there’s no exact science to it. You decide the look you want and go from there.

Wainscoting doesn’t have to be wood either. You can use any material, such as MDF, tile, or PVC. I chose wood because I wanted to experiment with my woodworking and thought wood would be the most elegant in the dining room. I love working with wood, so it wasn’t an issue for me. If you want something a little cheaper or easier to work with, PVC and MDF are great options.

Measuring and placing the board is stressful. There isn’t a magic science to it – I just did what I felt looked good. Thankfully, it turned out. Of course, you could have careful measurements and go that route; I just used my best judgement.

Once I hung the board, it was time for putty and caulk. The putty covers up the nail holes – there were a lot! The caulk fills in the gaps. This is why I say it’s not an exact science – caulk is your friend! Magically any gaps that were there disappear. It’s wonderful.


The next step, which I of course loved, was painting. You can choose treated and painted boards or get untreated and paint it yourself. I wanted a unique color and of course, I love painting, so it wasn’t a big deal. Just make sure that the caulk that you use is paintable.

You have a few options as far as I’m concerned. You can match the wall color, letting the wainscoting give your room a little texture. You could paint the wainscoting a completely contrasting color so that you have a conversation piece in the room or you can paint it a neutral color. I went with a bold and contrasting color because I wanted my hard work to stand out. My wife loved it and so do I, especially since I was the one that did the hard work.

Honestly, if you are tired of the look of any room in your home, consider adding wainscoting. It’s not that hard, it adds texture, and a touch of elegance to any room. People use it in bathrooms, living rooms, bedrooms, and even hallways. I may just venture out and try it in a few more rooms in my home now too.

Tom Green
<p>The tone is very down to earth, with a subtle self-deprecating male humor (in other words, he doesn’t take himself too seriously). That said, the articles should mostly be informative and instructive, with a relaxed and informal tone.</p>
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