Master Makeover

It’s true. I’m obsessed with wainscoting. Just can’t get enough of that deliciously delicious stuff.

If you have any doubt, I give you our last house. Remember the accent wall behind our bed, where we popped up some board & batten for $20 buckaroos?

Twenty Dollar Board and Batten

Oh, and then, of course, we had to do the closets, too.

Board and Batten Trim on Closets

And naturally, once we’d added some swank treatment to these bad boys, we had to cap things off in our little upstairs loo.

Installing Toilet against knee wall

So of course, when it came time to updating this home, my first instinct was to grab our $20 piece of plywood, and start making the magic happen. Alas, we had a small hiccup that prevented our cheap-mc-master treatment from happening in our new joint. See these chunky beautiful baseboards? Well we realized that in order to do the same treatment we’d done before, that we’d have to rip those beauties out. I don’t know about all of you, but that didn’t sound terribly appealing to me, since replacing it would cost upwards of $200 a room. Ouch.

Thick Baseboards

So, in the name of making our lives easier, I started to think of some alternate star treatment I could add to this room. And ladies and gentleman, it looks like this.

DIY Wainscoting

I seriously feel like our bedroom is legitimately swankified now. I just go in there now and stare at the walls and think to myself – dddaaannnnggg girl, that’s one swank room you sleepin’ in! Granted, this project has been moving slower than we anticipated so these photos are not true afters, since we still have to caulk, and add a bit more paint to touch places up. Hopefully I’ll have a full reveal up next week, but for now, this post will show you the in’s and outs of how to install this look.

Before we started our wainscoting treatment, we did a quick round of painting to get the trim from cream, to white and bright.

Adding Accent Wall

See how grungy it looked before? Cream trim, just not my jam.

Painting Wainscoting

We searched far a low for trim that would work, and in the end, we landed up using exterior molding that was a whopping $2 and change per 8′ piece at Lowes. Definitely by far, the cheapest piece of trim we could find. More than anything, we wanted to find something that was not very thick, since we didn’t want the trim to look abnormally large up on the wall in comparison to the existing trim. We also liked the slight detail on this trim, which gave it some extra interest aesthetically.

Best Trim for Wainscoting

We tested out a few different options, and in the end, we decided that we wanted to have a border of 1 3/4″ around the entire rectangle. So Jay went and cut a stash of rectangles, so that we could pop some up and see how we liked it once installed.

Word to the wise – cutting these suckers took way longer than we expected. It was a super simple miter cut (to create the corner) but I think we underestimated the amount of these things we’d have to do in this room.

Adding Wainscoting to Trim

When he came back upstairs to install them, we had this. Two smaller one’s for up top, and longer ones for the vertical pieces. Now, this step is going to be determined solely on the dimensions of your space, and how much spacing you want between the trim and the edge.

How to Add Wainscoting

Another tricky part for us, was deciding the size of the rectangle. In the end, we decided to find our smallest “normal” section of wall (i.e. not close to a door, or window, where the wall is very narrow) and use that as our general size template for the rest of the room.

Here is the first one going up on that smallest panel. We loved the size, so we decided it was a solid move, and proceeded on with the rest of the install.

DIY Wainscoting

We tried to make each wall as symmetric as possible – trickier than you’d first imagine. For instance with this window bay, we decided to install a rectangle centered on the back wall, and then wrap the sides, to keep things looking as aligned as possible.

DIY Wainscoting

Here is an after shot of how that front panel turned out. We still plan to come back through and caulk and paint some more, so I’ll have true before and after shots (with PAINT on the wall!) next week!

DIY Wainscoting

Not bad, right? We had to make a few of those executive decisions, and in the end, I’m pretty darn happy with how everything looks.

With one week until move-in, we’re hoping to finishing painting this weekend, so that we can start cleaning this space up and get it ready for moving some furniture over!

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