Monday, January 31, 2011
When we built our home a few years
ago, we tried to include as many upgrades as we could that made sense
and were worth the investment. Most importantly, we wanted to make sure
that the upgrades were structural improvements, improvments that we
knew could not be added later. For example, the original floor plan of
our home was only a three bedroom, however, we knew that not only would
adding a fourth bedroom give us additional space, it would increase the
resale value of our home. We also added additional closet space and
upgraded a few others items that were important to us. One thing that I
have always wanted in a home but decided against upgrading when we were
designing our home was wainscoting in the dining room. I love the look
of wainscoting, however, this type of additional contractor work really
spiked up the price of our home. So we decided it was one of those
projects we could put on the back burner for a cold, Winter weekend.
A year later after looking through several of our builders models, I
realized that perhpas we should talk to our builder about adding
wainscoting to our dining room. At that time, the economy had taken a
turn for the worse and they weren't building as many new homes in our
neighborhood as they had been in previous years. We were hoping that
they had a carpenter that could use a few extra projects since building
homes were at a much slower pace. So we contacted one of our builder's
Amish carpenters and invited him over to do an estimate on how much it
would cost to add wainscoting to our dining room. I never realized until
then just how easy it was to add wainscoting to a room. Doing your own
wainscoting is really a fairly simple task in many instances. The cost
is also within most budgets if you do it wisely. Have you ever taken a
close up look at wainscoting before? It's escentially just wooden
picture frames nailed into the wall with tiny wood nails. The space
between the chair rail and the wood trim is just painted white. I
wanted to share with you how we completed our own DIY wainscoting
project with a little help, of course!
We were very fortunate that a chair rail was already a standard feature
in the dining room. All we needed was for someone to measure the dining
room, create the wooden picture frames and then symmetrically place them
around the room under the chair rail.
The first step is to measure the wall sections you would need to cover.
Determine frame sizes and the distance between, above, and below them.
Our Dining Room measures 12' x 12'4". We used 3.5 inches above the
moulding and 3.5 inches below the chair rail. We also consistently
placed the frames 3.5 inches apart. The important thing is to be
consistent throughout with these measurements, however, frame sizes can
vary in width but not height. Along the wall, our frames measured 22
inches high. The frames underneath the windows measured 9 inches high.
Once the carpenter nailed all of the wooden frames into the wall, the
rest was up to us. Fortunately, the builder had left us an extra can of
trim paint from the building process. All we had to do was buy
another can of paint to paint the dry wall and wooden frames inbetween
the chair rail and the moulding. Our builder paints the trim and
moulding all of it's homes using Sherwin Williams Creamy in a semi
Don't let the name of the paint fool you, the paint is essentially
white, just not a stark white. It's a very soothing color and the semi
gloss makes it very easy for me to wipe down our base boards with just a
rag soaked in water and vinegar.
After two coats of paint, the room was complete!!!
is how the Dining Room looks today, it's one of the more unfinished
rooms in our home and is on my radar for rooms to paint in 2011. I am
hoping to paint it a bluish grey color to go with the blue grey silk
drapes in our living room. I would also love a new dining room set
eventually but that may have to be a purchase for another year unless I
can find a great deal. For now, we are still using the dining table and
chairs I had bought for my apartment when I was a single gal.