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  • Writer's pictureAbby Barratt

DIY Wainscoting Accent Wall

Hello friends!

Let me start by saying this was my hardest project to date. I don't think it would be tough for everyone... especially for you accountant, engineer minded people. My husband is an engineer and is as about precise as it gets. I've always been more of an "eyeballer" which did not serve me well with this project. I love building and I'm finding out very quickly that I need to take more time and be less impulsive with my measurements. Anyway, this made my DIY beam look like child's play. Everything considered, this project was fairly quick and only took me two days to complete.

I started with a blank wall and had to pull the existing baseboards off carefully to be sure to not damage the drywall. The existing trim didn't match the shaker style wainscoting I was wanting so it had to go. I used this flexible joint knife and this pry bar to slowly pull the trim off. I lodged the joint knife behind the trim to create space then used the pry bar to pull it free from the drywall.

After the trim was gone, I started cutting my wainscoting. I purchased two of these wainscoting kits. I bought two because I needed to cover 11 ft (they come in 8 ft boards and you can cut to your own specifications). I've learned that you need to slightly overshoot your 45 degree angle on the miter saw I have to make the sides match up just right. I've been cutting my angles at 45.5 or 46 degrees. After I got the new baseboard nailed in, I started cutting my stiles. It was during this step that I realized I was extremely grateful I had extra. I cut my stiles and measured them out. This step requires some math!! I had 132 inches to cover and each stile was 3.5 inches in width and I wanted 6 stiles.... carry the one, yada yada, and I came to the conclusion I could have 22.25 inches between the stiles to cover the entire wall with them all evenly spaced. I can tell your eyes are glazing over so I'll just cut to the chase. I made sure I had enough material to make each style 48 inches tall. I somehow cut 5 stiles at 48 inches and the last (middle stile) at 47.5 inches. Don't ask me how.... I was probably getting a snack, changing a diaper, dancing to the party freeze dance song, hopping on one foot... I'm not sure, but it happened. And here I was, so damn proud of what I had achieved.

Little did I know I had cut one stile too short and no amount of caulking could fix it. Once I figured out the problem and re-measured every.single.board, I recut a new board and voila! We were back in business! I nailed the top rail in using my brad nailer and it was done!

I settled on Greenblack by SW for paint and I'm OBSESSED with the way it turned out! It's dark and moody and the exact vibe I'm looking for for our Colorado home.



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1 Comment

Sheryl Sands
Jul 10, 2020

I’m a little partial to your helpers! Well done Abby! I love how you will tackle anything! Can’t wait to see what’s next... 😘

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