If you missed our master bedroom reveal with the beautiful DIY wainscoting, you can see it here (click here to see the Master Bedroom reveal).
We were finding the wall behind our headboard in need of a little something so we were brainstorming some options to give that wall a little pow and we considered: shiplap, wallpaper, a stencil treatment, and we landed on wainscoting and we are oh so happy that we went with this option! I simply love the look of wainscoting and believe it or not, but this simple DIY project only took a day to complete and came in under $100! The final result added a whole lot of elegance and a new ledge for decor - what's not to love?!
This job was quite simple and i'll start running through it. Depending on how big your wall is (or walls are) will change how much product you need, but I will tell how what we used for our wall.
- Casing: 9 - 8 Foot x 3.5"
- Crown Moulding: 10 Feet
- White Dap: 1 Tube
- White wood fill: 1 Tube
- Brad Nails: 1.5"
- Kilz Primer
- Paint (whatever colour/sheen your baseboard and window trim is)
To start, we first figured out the height that we wanted the top rail and shelf to be. We chose to follow the 1/3, 2/3's rule and set out to have our wainscoting reach 2/3's of the way up the wall, therefore, we made ours 64" high. We nailed on the horizontal top rail using a 4 foot level to make sure it wasn't crooked!
Next, we decided how many 'panels' we wanted and since our wall was about 10 feet long we decided that 6 panels would be best. So we took our measurement which was 123" and divided by 5. I know this seams like I just messed up my math but to get my proper widths for 6 panels, I needed to account for 5 stiles (the vertical parts on the wall). This gave us 24.5" on centre measurement for the 5 stiles. When nailing on the stiles, we opted to rest them on top of the existing baseboard. You could do a horizontal bottom rail and nail the stiles between the bottom and top horizontal rails, but for us, we wanted to keep our wide baseboards that we already had. After the stiles were on, I used the same flat moulding that we used for the stiles to create a shelf on the top. I made the shelf by nailing it on edge (parallel with the floor) to the top of the top horizontal rail. At this point, it would be a loose, flimsy shelf but that was okay as the crown moulding creates a strong 45° brace.
Okay, so now we have the horizontal rails and shelf and the vertical stiles in place and now it's time for the hardest part - the crown moulding. If you don't have a chop saw that has the precise pre-set angles on it i would recommend buying a little jig you can use. You can get it here. We used this jig for all the crown moulding in our first house before I got my new chop saw. I won't get into how to do inside and outside cuts or end cuts (some call it a dead end), but i recommend you watch this video to see how.
Once the crown pieces were cut, we used 1" nails to secure it to the top rail that was against the wall the and moulding that was used as top shelf. Be careful not to use nails that are too long when nailing up into the top shelf part as they will stick through and you'll have to pull them out, which is a total pain!
Now, at this point you should be proud. You've just done some impressive DIY work! But before you are done, you'll have to use wood fill to fill the nails and seams - this will make everything look much nicer.
Once your wood fill has dried, get a high-grit (120-grit sandpaper) and sand down really well - any high points will flash with bright baseboard paint. Next, get out your dap and dap around all the edges of the casings. In this time lapse video you can see me doing that before we put on the crown moulding, but as long as you've done it a few hours before you start painting, you'll be good to go!
Now you're in the home stretch! We used a coat of primer to help cover the wall paint that was where the 'panels' would be. Then we applied two coats of the trim paint.
And that's it. Seriously! You've just created a marvelous room feature. The tricky part now is not getting too excited and eager to add wainscoting in more rooms! After all, just because you can do wainscotting now, doesn't mean you should do it in every room.... or does it?!
One last before and after photo. Actually this is a before, middle, and after. Couldn't love how this project turned out any more! And it was simple and incredibly easy to boot. Honestly though, we are thinking our dining room could use some wainscoting now as well, but we would only put in on the bottom one-third of the wall (instead of the two-thirds we used for this master bedroom project) - what do y'all think!?!