Tuesday, April 3, 2012

My Love Affair with Wainscoting

Yes, I'll admit it, I have a love affair with wainscoting. And trim, and board and batten, and chair rails, molding, paneling, bead board, you name it...I love it all! Especially painted white. It is such an inexpensive way to add character and interest to a space!
 Now when you are a fan of Cape Cod and The Hampton's design styles, wainscoting is a must. I am in the process of adding little touches of trim all over my home. Here are a few inspiration photos I have been drooling over...

Chair rail with picture frame molding

Bead board


You can find all of these photos and more on my pinboards on Pinterest! Follow me here!

Aren't they beautiful!? That is definitely the feeling I want my home to have. It is so fresh and airy. It reminds me of the beach, which automatically makes you feel calm and peaceful!
So now that the office is finished, I am on to the long hallway that leads from the entryway and office to the master bedroom. The first thing I knew I wanted to do was add a chair rail with picture frame molding below. We have 12ft ceilings in our home and sometimes the walls look like they go on forever! I thought that some trim would be the perfect thing to break them up a little. Here are some photos of the process from start to finish!

This is the finished product! I love it soooo much! Did I mention I love wainscoting?? What a huge transformation for very little time and money! Each piece of trim only cost 85 cents per foot!

This is a photo to show the process. First we measured the length of the wall where we wanted the chair rail trim to go. Our hallway takes a very sharp, rounded turn at the end of the hall, so we had to stop the trim there. We used a miter saw to make our cuts and a nail gun to nail it up.
Next we added very small trim in boxes below the chair rail. This part took quite a bit of math to plan everything out before hand. We had to account for the length of the wall, how large we wanted the boxes, and the outlet on the wall. But it really is up to you and how you want it to look!
Finally, we finished by giving it 3, yes, 3 coats of white paint. It takes a lot to get a smooth white paint look and I like to use satin when painting wainscoting or any kind of trim. I also used putty to fill the nail holes from the nail gun. I love to use the filler that is pink when you put it on and then it dries white.

This is the opposite side of the hallway and it curves the opposite direction. Luckily we used MDF trim for the chair rail so it was able to bend just enough to go with the curve. We used a stud finder to make sure we were putting the nails into studs on this wall. I love this little wall now and as you can see I have begun decorating it with a clock. But, decorating this wall is definitely a challenge because it is so curved. I am going to have to get creative. We built this house 3 years ago and I have never put anything on that wall until now. So exciting!
I am so thankful for my husband's handy man skills on this project. I was squealing like a little school girl while my husband was putting it up. Funny how excited one can get while putting up something as simple as trim. Believe me, standing in the baking isle at the grocery store and the trim isle at Home Depot come pretty close in my book...


  1. Now, that picture frame molding gives a high-end touch to your wall! It’ll definitely be a challenge for you to embellish that part of your wall since you have never tried to decorate it before. You can do it, Jennifer! I believe you are creative enough to make it more decorative and functional at the same time.

  2. I love this! It's such a simple project and really makes the space look higher end. We're working on a basement kitchenette with a little dining area and struggling to make it look welcoming because it's a little dark with the cabinets and wood floors, but I think this would add just enough light color to make the space feel more inviting. Thanks for the idea!