Wainscoting Installation: Easier Than Expected

I have a tendency to pick the most complicated and expensive thing I see in a magazine... and then try to do it myself... on a budget.  Usually, it'll get done, but ends up taking 10 times longer than expected and costing twice as much.  I'm pleased to say, this was NOT one of those projects!  Wainscoting adds depth and dimension to absolutely any room.  It's got plenty of impact and never goes out of style.

Joe and I both wanted wainscoting in Beau's nursery, so we ripped off the baseboards and pulled up the carpet.  That was a mistake.  Apparently, you're supposed to leave the baseboards in place.  WHOOPS.  Aside from that bump in the road, the rest of the installation was easier than expected.  We finished the bulk of the project in 3 weekends.  Then, I went into labor 7 weeks early!!  Thanks to some help on the finishing touches from family members, it's finally complete!

The process starts by hanging a horizontal 1x4 around the room.  That step is tougher than it looks, because you cannot measure up from the floors (especially if they're as uneven as ours)!  In order for the top to be perfectly level, the distance from the floor ranged from 40" to 43".  However, once that initial piece of wood was in place, the rest was simple.  We added vertical 1x4 "styles" around the entire room, capped off the bottom with a horizontal 1x6 and installed decorative moulding inside the squares and around the top.  The entire project was finished off with the (new) baseboard, shoe moulding, wood filler and two coats of paint.

Up next, we'll fill up the nursery with all of baby Beau's furniture and decorative goodies.  Onward, ho!