Super Easy DIY Wainscoting

This DIY wainscoting project is my favorite home renovation project that we have done. It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to share the results.

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)

I’m not quite sure where to begin, I guess the beginning is always a good start. When we purchased this house in March and I knew that it was the perfect place to add some DIY wainscoting. We started the wainscoting in the hallway and the main living room back in the spring and then life happened. We didn’t complete the last room until the end of November. I’m so relieved that it’s finally done.

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)

This room looked like this for months.

DIY Wainscoting

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)

This project is easy, but it drags on. After the boards go up, that’s when the work begins. Puttying, sanding, caulking, and painting. All four of those tasks are at the bottom of the favorite pile and (naturally) that is what I was in charge of with this wainscoting project. Wainscoting or board and batten? Honestly, I’m not sure. I have called it both.

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.) DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)Another before and after. 

Wainscotting Supplies

Since our rooms will be different sizes, I can’t say how many you will need.

A note about the Ben Moore paint: I used both the Ben line and the Aura line in my rooms. Go with Aura. You save so much time.

How I did it:
Spacing

Floor to top of wainscoting: 36″

Spacing in between: 24″

In all honesty, I have to just say we wung it. We didn’t do anything formally, we put up the boards, decided what looked good to us and went for it. That was the most difficult part of this wainscoting project: going for it. PS -> not everything is perfectly 24″ in between, there were a few we had to adjust.

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)

Caulking is the savior of this project. As you can tell with the above two photos, it fills the cracks and makes everything look seamless. Use the putty on the nail holes (and any dings in the walls or the wood) and fill the gaps and cracks with caulk (just make sure it’s paintable).

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)

In both living rooms, the Cloud White wainscotting is paired with Benjamin Moore’s Revere Pewter. In the hallway, it’s paired with Classic Grey (see above photo).

I hope this post made sense! It’s hard for me to put into words what I did, but I wanted to give you the dimensions and tell you my secret: JUST DO IT! Go for it, and try to have fun doing it.

More DIY house projects I’ve done: 

Painting Kitchen Cabinets
Painting Kitchen Countertops
Home Office Makeover
Bedroom Makeover
DIY Kitchen Renovation
How to stain a deck

DIY Wainscoting renovation. I never thought installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some great inspiration! (Color: Benjamin Moore Cloud White.)

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DIY Wainscoting renovation. I didn't think installing wainscotting would be so easy. Here is some inspiration, a how to, and my secret to getting started. Wainscoting paint color is Benjamin Moore Cloud White. Walls are both Revere Pewter and Classic Grey.

Randa Derkson

I believe that the kitchen is the heart of the home. Whether it’s discussing your day, sharing the highlights of your trip, or just having quality time with a loved one; lives are brought together at the kitchen table.

29 comments on “Super Easy DIY Wainscoting”

  1. looks fantastic, what a fun project to try and what a difference it makes

  2. It looks great Randa!!!!!

  3. The before and after pictures are amazing. What a difference! It looks like a lot of work thought but worth it in the end. I love the grey you picked to off set the white. Also I noticed you painted the door to match the trim. It looks a 100X’s better and very stylish!

    • I used chalk paint on the door, but I’m not loving it. I think I’m going to simply replace it with a new door in the new year. Thanks!

  4. Looks amazing!! Nice and classic 🙂

  5. looks great, I want something similar in my place

  6. It looks so nice! I love your colour choices!

  7. Allot of work but looks well worth it, you did a beautiful job.

  8. Wow,that looks wonderful! Thanks for all the little tips and tricks… I have a dining room I have wanted to apply this finish to.

  9. How did you get the wainscoting to  wrap  around the rounded corners?

  10. The floors look darker. Is that an optical illusion? I like it! What did you do, and was it costly?

  11. How do you make sure the horizontal boards look like one long piece (as much as possible)?

  12. What did you do with the baseboard?  Did you rip out and replace?  It looks great!

  13. Did you nail boards into wall studs, or glue? How exactly to attach the boards?

  14. Where did you find .5″ thick board? Everything in the box stores is .75 thick. Thanks 

  15. Did your walls have any texture on them? Mine do (wahhhh wahhhh). If so, how did you handle that? Also, I have short (you know) baseboards — then quarter round to cover the gap between that and the hardwood. Did you have anything like that or maybe your boards butted up against better? My wood was added later . . . so, here, it is normal to hit the baseboard (without removing) and then quarter round it for the gap. It looks GREAT!!! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hey Sherrie! No, my walls were not textured. I had a bunch of holes and scrapes in them though 😉

      If the walls are textured, something you can do is add a thin piece of MDF board. I almost went that route originally and realized I didn’t have to. So place the MDF behind and then build up from there. I haven’t used quarter round, but I might soon. I have to rip out the flooring in a few of the rooms and I don’t want to rip off the baseboards too haha. So I may use quarter round to cover the gap if I have to cut them.

  16. Love what you’ve done it is beautiful.  I was just wondering for the crown molding did you install that yourself and if so how?

  17. Looks great! Something we might do! What color is the grey you chose? Sooooo many greys! And I love this one!

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