Ever since I added board and batten to my condo’s entryway a couple years back, I’ve been a little obsessed with wainscoting. That project made a huge difference to my entryway; ever since, I’ve been convinced that half wall accents can transform a room. Since, as mentioned above, I’m currently a little obsessed with wainscoting, adding a shiplap half wall seemed like the logical first step. As for the type of wainscoting, plywood strips were both cheaper and easier than traditional shiplap, so I went with that.
If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.) If you try to hammer the nails in by hand, you’ll be putting up wainscoting all year.
I have this awesome electric one, which is perfect for a project like this, since it doesn’t require an air compressor. I purchased basic “underlayment” from Home Depot, and had it cut in-store into 6″ strips.
I do a light sanding before I attach any of the boards to the wall just to be extra careful. As for getting it cut- I call my Home Depot Pro Desk in advance and tell them what I want done. Obviously, this is not a commonly held opinion, since designers everywhere have agreed that 1/3 the height of the room is the way to go. Don’t forget to consider light switches and other features that you might want the wainscoting to avoid.
I actually completely forgot about this, and ended up trimming an inch and a half off of each board with a Dremel (yes, after I had attached them to the wall,) to clear the molding. Since I had Home Depot make the strips, I just had to cut them to length using my miter saw.
As mentioned above, the panel saw at Home Depot did quite a number on the edges of the boards, so I also smoothed them out using my orbital sander. Once I had an entire section of boards cut, I started attaching them to the wall.
I put a liberal amount of construction adhesive on the back a panel: Since I had tile spacers left over from my kitchen backsplash, they were an easier solution.
There are some snazzy ideas out there for making sure you cut the hole for any electrical outlets in the correct spot. For any strange corners or molding, I cut the boards as best I could to match using my jigsaw. Using construction adhesive and brad nails, I attached molding to the top of the boards. I am not a molding pro by any means; I always end up covering gaps with caulk when I’m done. To eliminate the gap, I added electrical spacers to push the outlet forward. Note that before I did any work, I went to my circuit breaker panel and cut electricity to the outlets.
The spacers are placed on the screw between the metal plate and the box that’s inside your wall: Once spacers have been added to both the top and bottom screws, the cover plate can reinstalled. Don’t forget to turn the power back on once you’ve finished all of the outlets!
If you love the way my living room is looking so far, go ahead and check out how I accomplished those burlap walls, as well as my DIY curtain rods!