Wainscoting Success (How to Install Wainscoting Without Power Tools.)

Two weeks later it is finally finished! Here is the journey of my DIY wainscoting. (To read the first part of the wainscoting project, click here.)

I’ve painted my dining room (used as a piano room) many times in the past but always liked the look of wainscoting. Finally, I decided to try my hand at it.
Luckily the room started out with a chair rail moulding already so I didn’t have to mess with trying to put that up.
I don’t have any power tools so when I discovered premade frame moulding from Lowes I was all over it.
I measured and figured out how many frames and which sizes I would need for each wall. Then I just nailed each one up with finishing nails. No fancy tools, just me and my hammer. I then caulked around each one. (And even though I have caulked in the past, for this project there was a learning curve!)
Here is the room with the moulding up.
I needed to prime it next. And since I had a two year old can of primer stuck in the garage baking in the Texas heat already, I decided not to buy a new can.
Surprisingly the primer didn’t give the greatest coverage but I proceeded on.
Okay, so here is the fun part. Instead of using a can of oil based paint that I already had to match the trim throughout the house, I decided to color match it into a latex based paint. (I just didn’t want to deal with the oil based paint.)
I thought the color was a little off when I saw it at the store but the paint guy insisted that it was the right color and that it was just a different sheen. I took it home and discovered that it was indeed a slightly different color.
The trim throughout my house is more of a creamy color while this paint was more of a true white. It did not match the baseboards or chair rail moulding so I repainted all that.
The new whiter color doesn’t go as well with the beige carpeting as the other trim color did. I bought some grey paint to go in the room as well but it had been matched it to the original trim color. So it stayed half way painted like this for over a week while I decided what to do. So frustrating!

I decided to just finish it up and live with it for a while. Aside from a few frustrations it was actually quite an easy project.
Here is the wainscoting with the grey paint.
Remember the before?

And the after.
It’s growing on me. The rest of the room needs some styling though.
The chandelier is next on the list.
~Miss Charming
Dining room 090-CharmingZebra_com_
*Here is an updated photo of how the dining room looks today.  I ended up painting the rest of the room white and I love how it turned out.  See more details on my mini home tour.
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  1. Kimberlie says:

    I think it looks beautiful! You've totally inspired me to do the same. Our room looks almost exactly like your before picture with two different dark colors split by a piece of molding. I don't have the right tools and had no idea you could buy pre made frames until I saw your first post. I've been waiting to see how it turned out and I love it! What did you end up doing under the window? Skip that area and start on the other side? It's hard to tell from the pic. Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to get started on mine.

  2. Ana Jackson says:

    Despite the painting snafu you mention, I think this turned out beautifully! After living in apartments for so long, I've gotten used to beige carpeting and white trim. I have to work beige and white into all my decorating color schemes. 🙂

    I've never had great luck color matching at any hardware or paint store. The sales associate always seems to insist that it is the same color, but it has always been slightly off. Now, I take a swatch that is painted with my existing color, and make them put the new paint directly on the swatch to compare. That seems to help a lot. And if it's not a match, I won't buy the paint. I just apologize for wasting their time and figure out another plan.

  3. Miss Charming says:

    I treated the area under the window as a separate unit. I just used a smaller frame size.

    Most of the time the paint matches up but every once in a while it doesn't. I was just in a hurry this time so it was my fault for not making him redo it eventhough he was insisting it was the same color.

  4. It looks beautiful! I am going to install it in my daughter's room. So great to know they sell the panels pre-made at Lowes. I was ready to try and saw. What sort of caulk did you use?

  5. Leilani says:

    I LOVE IT! SO glad you showed the after & the frame moulding at Lowes, I checked @ Home Depot. Unless I missed it, they don't have that. So, thanks!!


  1. […] that snazzy brown combo.)  Later on, I decided to add white painted wainscoting to the bottom.  (See post here.)  I used premade moulding frames from Lowes so no power tools were […]

  2. […] the moulding under the chair rail?  I added it myself without using any power […]