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How to Install Wainscoting

How to Install Wainscoting

Wainscoting is nothing but wooden paneling that is installed on the lower one third of the walls for a pleasing aesthetics. To cut labor cost, you can install wainscoting yourself. To know how to install wainscoting, take a look at this article.
Rimlee Bhuyan
If you want to jazz up your interiors, then installing wainscoting is a great way to so. Installing wainscoting on the interiors of a home, gives it a classy look, full of old world charm. Wooden panels that are installed on the walls to give visual interest to the wall is known as wainscoting. Wainscoting is usually installed on the lower one third of the wall to give the walls a decorative look. Wainscoting panels are available in different types of textures, colors and finishes to suit your decor needs. There are many wainscoting ideas and nowadays wainscoting is installed on only one or two walls of a room as opposed to four walls of a room. Installing wainscoting is a labor intensive process but you can cut down the cost by doing it yourself. Given below are step-by-step instructions on installing wainscotting.

Instructions for Installing Wainscoting

Things required
  • Wainscoting panels
  • Molding
  • Tape measure
  • Caulk (paintable)
  • Putty
  • Industrial strength adhesive
  • Hand saw
  • Finishing nails
  • Finishing brads
  • Paintbrush
  • Spirit level
  • Nail gun
  • Paint
Let us see how to go about installing wainscoting for your home. Read on...

Calculate the Number of Wainscoting Panels Required
The first step in installing wainscoting is to measure the dimensions of the walls where you want to install the wainscoting. This will determine how many panels of wainscoting you need to purchase. Once you have measured the perimeter of the room write down the dimension on a piece of paper. Divide this number by the width of one wainscoting panel. The number you arrive at, is the number of panels that you need to purchase.

Prepare the Wainscoting for Installation
The next step is a simple one, but it is a necessary and important step in the installation process. Since wooden panels (i.e. wainscoting panels) tend to expand or contract depending on the climatic condition, it is best that you acclimatize it by placing it inside the house. Stack up all the panels one above the other and place small blocks of bricks or wood in between each panel. This will allow air to circulate between the wainscoting panels and the after installation it is not going to contract or expand.

Remove Furniture and Old Trimming
To prepare for installation of wainscoting, you need to clear out all the furniture from the room. You also need to remove any existing trimmings that has been installed earlier. Clean up the walls and floor of any debris after you are done removing the old trimming.

Measure and Mark the Height of the Wainscoting
Once you have the room prepared for wainscoting, draw a level line on the wall to mark the top edge of the wainscoting. Start from one end of the wall and then use the spirit level to mark the required height of the top of the wainscoting. Since you will be installing base trimming on the bottom part of the wainscoting, therefore even if your floor is not level, it can be camouflaged.

Cut and Install the Wainscoting Panels
With the help of a handsaw, cut the wainscoting panels to required height that you have marked on the walls. Apply a generous amount of industrial strength glue to the back of a panel and adhere it to the wall. Apply pressure on the panel to make sure that it sticks to the wall. Hammer finishing nails into the edges of the wainscoting panel with a nail gun. Install the rest of the panels in a similar way.

Install the Top Rail and the Bottom Molding
Once you are done installing the wainscoting panels on the walls, it is time to install the top rail and bottom molding to give it a finished look. With the help of the miter box, cut angled joints in the molding. Install the top and the bottom molding on the wall with the help of brads.

Apply Caulk and Paint the Caulk
Next, apply caulk on the gaps between the wainscoting panels. Make sure that you do this carefully to give it a professional and finished look. Paint the caulk in the same color as the wainscoting and allow the paint to dry.

This is how you install wainscoting on your walls. Installing wainscoting might be a time-consuming process, but with the right supplies and tools, you can install it over the weekend.