How to Install Wainscoting

Add architectural detail to your home by installing wainscoting.
Simple White Curtains Give Kitchen Homey Feel

Simple White Curtains Give Kitchen Homey Feel

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Materials and Tools:

chair rail molding
narrow trim
220-grit sandpaper
tack cloth or rags
latex primer
miter box
portable bench
long level
stud finder
finish nails
hammer (or nail gun)
painter's tape
paint
paintbrushes
spackling compound
caulk

Steps:

1. Sand all the trim pieces and remove the dust with a tack cloth or damp rag. Apply primer and let dry. Lightly sand the pieces again to smooth the raised wood grain and remove the dust.
2. Start with the chair rail. Take measurements and cut the chair rail to the necessary lengths using a miter box and a portable bench to hold the miter box secure.
3. Measure 30 inches up the wall from the floor and make a small mark. Draw a light level line on the wall at the mark. Locate the wall studs and mark each with a small piece of tape. Hold the chair rail in position and attach it to the studs with nails.
4. For the inside boxes, measure the wall space between the baseboard and the chair rail pieces. To keep the proportions looking right, leave less space between the baseboard and the bottom of the box than the full height of the baseboard itself. Since the featured baseboard measures 3-1/2 inches, the spacing for the inside boxes at both the top and bottom is three inches.
5. Measure 3 inches down from the chair rail and up from the baseboard; make a mark, and then draw level lines. Cut two pieces of the smaller trim to 30 inches with mitered ends. Hold the pieces along the level lines and attach. Measure the distance between the two pieces and cut the side pieces to length. Secure each with nails. Repeat the procedure until the room is complete.
6. Fill the nail holes and angled joints with spackling compound and caulk along the edges of the trim and wall. Let dry and apply two coats of paint, allowing it to dry between layers.

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