Easiest Way to DIY Install Wainscoting

5 Materials
6 Hours

The easiest way to install DIY wainscoting is to gather your molding and paint up front after creating a quick design plan. For our project, we used , available at The Home Depot. Why? Finished Elegance is the premier interior moulding line that comes pre-painted and is easy to install. Their products are finished on all four sides, so, depending on your project, it is ready to go without you having to do any work to it at all. Finished Elegance has so many different shapes and sizes of moulding that we knew their products were the way to go for this project and will make your DIY wainscoting project so much easier.

Step 1: Cut Your Moulding

Determine how big you want your picture frame moulding to be. Select either a square or rectangular size that will give you an even gap between the underside of the chair railing and the top of the base boards.

Then determine how wide they should be by measuring your wall and making sure you can evenly space out your squares.

Cut your base cap moulding at 45 degree angles.

Step 2: Attach to Wall

Line the moulding up on your wall. Use a nail gun to tack them onto the wall. Use a level and measure twice.

Step 3: Caulk + Paint

Caulk any seams, nail holes, or gaps.

Paint the area if desired.

Step 4: Enjoy Your Moulding!

Suggested materials:

  • Molding
  • Brad nailer
  • Miter saw
See all materials

Morgan McBride
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

Frequently asked questions

Have a question about this project?

  3 questions
  • Ede Ede on Aug 25, 2018

    What length and gauge of nails did you use ?

  • Sandy Sandy on Aug 25, 2019

    Are you planning to paint the top of the wall white too? There is overspray on the yellow.

    • Of course they aren't otherwise they would have done it. The idea of the wainscoting is usually to differentiate from the colour below.

    • Sandy Sandy on Aug 26, 2019

      Sandpiper, my question was about the overspray on the half of the wall above the chair rail. In the final picture there is white overspray on the yellow. I'm fully aware of the usual color differentiation of top and bottom. I have installed and painted wainscoting many times myself. I was trying to politely ask if they were going to do touch ups.

  • Mariquita. Mariquita. on Sep 29, 2020

    You did a beautiful work!! 😍👏👏👏👏 I'm doing this next week in my dining room,well at least we're going to try.

    I do have a question , where do you get the molding ?

    Thank you in advance.


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