Installing Wainscoting: Tips and Mistakes to Avoid

The process of installing wainscoting is not complicated but it will take some work on your part. If you install the wainscoting properly, you will help create a very elegant look in any room. Here are some of the best tips and mistakes to avoid when installing wainscoting.

Measuring the Room

Before you get started, it is important that you take detailed measurements of the area that you are going to cover with wainscoting. Most of the time, wainscoting comes in 32-inch or 36-inch tall panels. Depending on which type of wainscoting you are going to purchase, you need to measure up the wall to the appropriate height. Take the linear footage of the wall and multiply it by 2.66 if you are using 32-inch wainscoting or by 3 if you are using 36-inch wainscoting. This is going to tell you how many square feet of wainscoting you are going to have to purchase to complete your job.

Lay Out the Panels

Once you have purchased your wainscoting and you have it in the house, you need to spend some time and lay it out along the wall. Put it up against the wall just as you would when you install it. This is going to help you visualize how the panels are going to lay out and let you know if you need to make any adjustments to the layout before you get started.

Move Outlets

One of the objectives in laying out the panels is so you can see where the outlets are positioned in your room in relation to the panels. You want to make sure that the outlets are situated in a convenient location in relation to your panels. You do not want the outlet to be located in a location where it is going to fall behind a raised portion of the wainscoting. Instead, you want to locate the outlets so that they are directly in the middle of a flat panel.

In order to do this, you may have to actually move some of the outlets. If you have the knowledge of how to do this, you can do it yourself. Just make sure that you complete the project according to your local electrical codes. If you cannot do this on your own, do not hesitate to hire an electrician.

Paint First

If you are going to paint or stain the wainscoting, you should do so before you attach it to the wall. This is going to be a lot easier for you to handle the wainscoting and avoid getting paint on the rest of the wall. When you are painting, you might want to consider using a paint sprayer so that you can avoid putting brush strokes on the panels.

Don't Forget about Touch-up

After you have installed the wainscoting, you are most likely going to need to come along and touch up the finish or the paint. Many times, the wainscoting will get scratched or the paint will get chipped during installation, and you want to fix this so that it will look like a professional installation.