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How to Install Wainscoting

install Wainscoting

Why install wainscoting? It can give your home an instant style boost. It is often used to elevate the personality of a favorite room. Depending on the type of panel, your space can instantly look more formal, or more casual. Generally it is added to the lower half of the wall and is either left white or painted in a contrasting color.

This addition dates back centuries and was first used to protect walls from water damage, jostled chairs and was not a symbol of status, but instead one of practicality. Today it is a perfect and elegant guard for formal dining rooms, it can add style to any living room, hallway or bedroom.

Types of Wainscoting

Choose between the more common raised panel, flat panel, and beaded, though there are a number of specific selections to sift through. When looking to install, the type you choose can say a lot about your room. A raised or flat panel can dress up a space that you wish to make more formal, while board and batten can be perfect for a coastal, cottage, country chic, or relaxed theme.

Instructions To Install Wainscoting




Select and Purchase the Right Style For Your Room – research the various looks and materials online before visiting your favorite home building store

Remove Baseboards & Outlet Covers – Before you begin you will want to remove your baseboards and outlet covers. If you are planning to reuse the baseboards you will want to be extra careful with this step. You may need to run a sharp knife in the paint between the baseboard and the wall. You can then use a pry bar to gently pull the baseboard from the wall.

Measure What you have Selected and Mark The Wall – Measure the height of the panels. Then mark a line on the wall at the top. You will want to use a level and extend this line around the perimeter of the room.

Locate The Studs – Panels and boards are held in place by a cap rail and a baseboard nailed into the studs. You will need to locate the stud with a stud finder and mark at floor level and where the top will be. Do this across the entirety of the area you are covering.

Interior painting white staircase classic by Home Painters Toronto
wainscoting below window


Placement – Start at a corner. You will take your first panel and nail it in place. Run a wavy line of construction adhesive to several panels. Slip the boards into place, side by side. You will leave a 1/16 inch space between visible edges to allow for expansion from weather. Be sure to align the top of each panel with your level line. Press the boards to the wall with some pressure.

Whenever the board is over a stud, nail it in place. Hide the nail in the groove along the bead if you can.

Install Cap Rail and Baseboard – You will use a #6 or #8 finishing nail for the cap rail. Miter inside and outside corners. You will use a #8 finishing nail for the baseboards. Countersink and fill in all nail holes.

Paint Your Work if You Wish – If you’d like to paint the panels and boards, you will want to seal any gaps with caulking and then apply a coat or two of paint.

Installation, is a fairly straight-forward project you can do in a day. If you’re looking for an easy way to improve the style of your room beyond a coat of paint, you may want to consider wainscoting. Panels and painted panels along the bottom half of the room can make a beautiful statement.

Home Painters Toronto can install wainscoting for you. Our professional handyman services is the easiest way to get the job done. We can ensure that everything is level, plumb and done right. Should you wish to even further elevate the look of your space, our professional painting crew can come in and paint too. Give us a call to discuss how we can help change the look of a room or your entire home. We’d love to help.


If the work involved in painting interior/exterior of your Home or the work to install wainscoting sounds like it takes too much time and energy to do yourself, call 416.494.9095 or email [email protected] for a FREE quote or visit our website https://www.homepainterstoronto.com/

Brian Young - Home Painters Toronto

From The Owner & Founder


Hello and welcome!

I’m both deeply honoured and flattered you are considering using our services.

Since 1987 when I was at York University simply earning my way through school, I’ve had the privilege to meet and work with thousands of amazing homeowners like yourself.

Besides the birth of my daughter, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a homeowner’s life change when we have transformed their dream home into a masterpiece. For that reason, we take our jobs very seriously and are committed to our cause.

At Home Painters our mission is to paint homeowners’ dreams, and make your painting experience last a lifetime!
I look forward to hopefully meeting you one day, as it brings me tremendous joy to make homeowner’s dreams come true.