Wainscoting is a layer of stock lumber along with moldings that when placed to a wall produces a classical architectural design. There are rich layers of wood panels in a wainscot that are put together in an intractable way. The main pieces of wooden layers in wainscoting include:  Chair-rail cap, apron, top rail, stile, plywood panel, panel molding, bottom rail, base cap, baseboard, shoe molding, baseboard padding, and existing baseboard. Combined together, these layers of wood create a dramatic frame over a wall and recreates a classical and warm look to the room.


Wainscoting can make your walls stylish by its warmth of wood. Furthermore, it brings dimension to any wall and it creates a lasting value to the walling of any room. Although putting them together my appear to be rather inscrutable to any average DIY-er, you will find with this guide how each step is doable


Things you will needHow to Install Wainscoting

  • 4 x 8 foot wainscoting panels
  • Base molding
  • 3/4-inch fiberboard (MDF)
  • Chair rail
  • 2-inch brad nails
  • Constructive adhesive
  • Level
  • Table saw
  • Chalk line
  • Brad nailer
  • Jigsaw
  • Caulk gun
  • Pencil
  • Drill machine
  • Drill bits
  • Baseboard molding



  1. Let the wainscoting panels acclimate, by allowing them to remain in the room for 48-hours before installing them. Also, leave a 1/16-inch gap in all panels for wood movement during seasonal changes. This is very important as wainscoting tends to change size during the change of weather and climate as it is made out of wood.


  1. Remove the baseboard molding from around the room.

  1. Place the level at the height of the wainscoting you wish to set. The height of each wainscot will be that below the level and till the baseboard. If there are imperfections, they will be covered later with the base molding.


  1. With the measurements taken out, mark the wall with chalk at points where the top fiberboard will be placed.


  1. Cut the fiberboard in strips that are 5.5-inches wide, and the length should fit the area around the base of the room. Cut scarf joints at where the strips will meet the straight part of the wall. This will match the pieces to hide the seam. Attach the strips to the wail with the brad nails.


  1. Cut the sheets of wainscoting in half.

  1. If there are electrical outlets or exposed phone joints, mark the locations on the wainscoting for cutouts. With the drill, make a hole on the edge of the areas to be removed for this, and drill within the mark. Then, cut around the marked spot with the saw.


  1. Apply the constructive adhesive liberally at the back of the wainscoting panel and then hold it to the wall, making the beading run vertically.

  1. Place the wainscoting on the wall, making the bottom rest on the fiberboard strips. Be quick in removing the panels off the wall so that the adhesive becomes stringy so as to cover a greater section of the wall.

  1. Tack the wainscot down with brad nails so as to keep them flat to the wall. Install the wainscot all the way till the end of the wall in the same way as done in the steps done above.

  1. You can trim the wainscot if there are small gaps. Tack the base molding with the brad nails at the outside of the fiberboard.

  1. Add the chair rail to top off the wainscoting the same way.


Remember to install the molding and the outlet covers in the end. And just like that, it is done! quite simple, right? You can transform the walls of your home with this simple to do guide and recreate the appearance of any room.


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