DIY Custom Wainscoting

Hello, and happy Saturday!

This is going to be a long post. 
This is not a tutorial  on how to apply trim to the wall to give the appearance of wainscoting. Not that there is anything wrong with that. :-) This is our tutorial on how we made and applied wainscoting in our home.

For starters, we have textured walls and I didn't like the idea of applying molding and then painting it white and calling it good. I wanted a smooth surface like wainscoting. Don't get me wrong, I have seen many tutorials of people doing just that, and it looks wonderful, but it wasn't the look we wanted. I wanted it to look like real wainscoting.

Below is a picture of my textured wall.

We wanted to use our existing chair rail, and smooth the wall below it. 

Step 1: Attempting To Smooth The Walls.
 I had come across a tutorial online on applying thin-set to the walls to hide texture. Rather than sanding down the texture, they suggested applying thinset over the texture to get a smooth surface.

Sounds easy enough doesn't it? We applied thin-set all over the lower have of our walls. Then applied another coat to get the smoothness we wanted. After the second coat, we realized it still wasn't as smooth as we really would like, so we applied a third coat.

I did a light sanding to get rid of any roughness. It was a major disaster

After doing a test patch with paint I realized that it still didn't look the way that I wanted. Not at all actually. There were some areas of smoothness and some areas that looked like orange peel where the texture was still showing through. There were also raised areas and dips in the wall. It wasn't consistent. It was a disaster. I was ready to cry. 

This is the wall with three coats of thinset. 
See the lines in the wall on the above picture? This was either from the trowel or sanding. They were all over the wall and they looked horrible. 

Step 2: Have A Meltdown - Then Fix The Walls
So now what? I have screwed up walls,  a dust storm in my house, and no wainscoting.  This is when we decided to cover the walls with MDF panels, which is what most wainscoting is made of.  

 The chair rail is 1/8 at the bottom off the wall, so if we put a panel up it needs to be 1/8 thick max.  If you go to home depot, or any other major home improvement store this could be a problem. None of them had MDF that thin. In fact the thinnest was 3/4''.

After about 6 or 7 phone calls and just when fear set in that I wasn't going to find my panels, I found a small lumber place that mainly deals with contractors that had sheets of MDF in almost any thickness you could imagine.  The price for a 4 x 8 sheet was only $10.  Yahoo!  They even had the baseboard and trim we needed at a fraction of the cost the big home improvement stores charge. 

The sheets only needed to be trimmed on the height a little so they could fit under my chair-rail. This was pretty simple.

Step 3: Apply The Sheets of MDF To The Wall.

The MDF panels covered the walls nicely, and fit perfectly under the chair rail. We used liquid nails to put the panels up, then fully secured with a few nails into the studs. Best part of all, they are smooooooooth! No bumbs, dips, nothing. 

Step 4: Apply Baseboard Trim

Step 5: Molding Squares - The Details

First we needed to figure out how many squares the wall could hold. We did some mathematical problem where we took the length of the wall, the length of the squares we wanted, and it somehow told us how many we could put on the wall, and what the spacing needed to be so that they were all evening spaced. 

Step 6: Primer and Paint!

A Few Other Details.. 

On the edge where the wainscoting met with the wall that was not going to have wainscoting, we had to do a little blending. So, we took the MDF panel and cut the vertical edge at a 45 degree angle. 

A few before and afters...



(my house was a mess)




We used caulking at the seem of the chair-rail and the MDF panels to make it look seamless. Its not perfect, but unless your looking for it you would never notice. 

You can see in the picture below the difference in texture from my wall above the chair-rail and below on the wainscoting. 

So there ya have it. The project that took a few months to finish, and nearly killed my blog. I love how it turned out regardless of how long it took. It was well worth it! 

How To Kill Your Blog...

Well you could start by not posting for about a year. I think that is how long its been since I posted last. You could attempt to tackle a huge project with unrealistic expectations of finishing in a weeks time, but not finish in a weeks time, and never post about it again. That will probably do it too :-) 

I am so sorry to any of my readers who are still around to read this. We took on what seemed like a quick project of faux wainscoting, kinda. In the end, I got real DIY style wainscoting. Guess what? Its finished! Yup, we finished sometime last summer, and I never bothered to post because it had taken so long I had kinda fell out of the blogging pattern, and found that it was quite a relief to not be posting something all the time here. I think I needed the break.  

I will post pictures on our finished wainscoting sometime tomorrow or this weekend, with the complete rundown on how we did this. Believe me, it was a disaster! I will give the details shortly. 

Knee Deep in Dust

Hey friends,

I am still alive, despite my lack of blogging. Last week was spring break for the kids, so we stayed pretty busy. Then I dived into a fairly large project and I haven't had a single minute to do anything but. Its craziness around here.

For those of you that guessed curtains on my last post, you were right!

They are gorgeous too. I cant wait to share them with you. The first panel is complete, and when I started the second panel, I ran out of stitch witchery. I have to have that stuff  so my fabric stays put, otherwise I run into major bunching at the machine.

Meanwhile, we have started the wainscoting project. Its been pretty easy.. but so DUSTY! I will explain why later when I can share some photos with you. For now, trust me, its a mess around here and my hands are so tired and dry that I am having a hard time typing this. Ugh!

As soon as I clear the dust, literally, I will finish my other curtain panel and share it with you. Hang tight for now.

Hope your having a splendid week!

Sneak Peek - Can you guess what it is?

Morning Everyone!

We are day two into spring break, and surviving well. :-) I have some fun stuff planned for the kids today, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak at something that I am working on.

Can you guess what it is? 

I will share the complete project this week. Possibly tomorrow if I can get some stuff done this afternoon.

I wanted to get your opinion on a few things. As you may or may not have noticed I took away the 
meet-up Monday party.  I decided that I wanted to do something different. 
I have a few ideas for a party: One would be a Goodwill Gathering for you to show off your goodwill/craigslist projects. I thought about doing this once a month only. 

The other possibility is a weekly party Creative Carnival. This party would be for anything creative really. As opposed to the Goodwill party, being more about transforming something used. 

I would LOVE your thoughts and opinions on this. :-)
 Did you see I put up a survey? Its over here ----->

What are you working on this week?
Have a wonderful day! 

Blooming Cherry Tree Pillow

Yahoo for Fridays! 

I hope you had a great week. Its been an ugly wet and rainy week here. Way too much rain for me. I am seriously questioning how I will survive spring break next week if the weather is like this. Ugh! Lots of trips to the mall play area  I guess. :-)

Since spring is here.. according to the calendar anyway, I decided to make a blooming cherry tree pillow for my daughters room. 

First was to stitch my two fabrics together. I used a linen mix for the bottom portion of my pillow, and a pink cotton for the top portion. The back is the same pink cotton.

I used some spare Amy Butler fabric to create the tree. I penciled my trunk and branches and then cut it out.

Then, I stitched the tree on before finishing the sides of the pillow.  

My blooms are made from pink felt. 

Cut several circles from your fabric.

Fold one time, then once more.

Use a dab of hot glue to secure it. 
Then I put about 4 of these folded felt pieces together to create a bigger bloom, gluing at the bottom to secure. 
Decide where to put them on the pillow, and then secure with fabric glue and/or a stitch. 

I think it turned out pretty cute. 
What do you think? 

Linking Up Here

Pink and Pretty Sunburst Mirror

Sunburst, Starburst, whatever you want to call it, I had to make one. Pink though.  

I came across this amazing mirror by The little Brown House which was inspired by the NestersAMAZING what paper and a mirror can can do. 

Now I definitely need to make one.

I decided to make mine pink though. 

I didn't take pictures of the process. You can get a good step by step on either of the above links. 

Basically, I cut one ray and then traced it so that the first 4 are all the same size. 

Pay no attention to the prints on the mirror. :-0

The next group of rays are slightly larger. I followed the same process gluing them around the back of the mirror in the openings that didn't have the smaller rays.

And so on, until its full. 

It's the perfect addition to my daughters room. Read more about the room makeover here.

Have a great day. 

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Meet-Up Monday

Welcome to another Meet-up Monday. 

I finally posted my daughters room yesterday. Read all about it here

I had a much better weekend now that we are all on the mend. The weather was very spring like, and we were able to get some yard work done. Yay! 

I have been thinking about this whole Meet-up Monday thing, and unfortunately I think that this will be the last of the Meet-up. I still want to host a linky party, but I have some plans to change it up a bit.  I will probably go to a once a month, but I am not sure. There are so many linky parties out there, so I want the party that I host to be somewhat different. I am working out the details, and  will keep you all posted. 

So what did you do this weekend? Did you start any outdoor projects for spring?

Now the party


Add your link to any post on your blog that you are proud of. Preferably one that is a good example of what your blog is all about. 
Display button on your blog, party page, or post. Then, visit two (or more) links before yours, and leave a comment. This is the meet-up part.
The more you visit the more bloggers you meet. 
Have fun! 

Updated Bedroom - Pepto Pink Meets Tranquil Blue

F I N A L L Y 

My daughters bedroom.

It's taken me forever to get this post up, and share it with you. Partially, because there are still things that I want to do with her room.
I haven't hung any of her art yet. And I also haven't replaced the baseboard moulding. 
Then there is the thing with her closet.... I was going to remove her doors and hang curtains.  I was going to take her closet doors down and hang panels instead. I haven't done that either. I know, I know, I am a major slacker. 

But, since its a process, like everything else, I will get to the remaining things, and then I will share with you all, all over again. :-)

Prepare yourself people. The before was bad, real bad


I had a color scheme picked out for the last 1-2 years.. 

Then, I decided to change it and go with a neutral. 
Bad Idea.
The neutral I picked ended up looking more like baby poop. It was HORRID.

So I went back to the original color scheme. 


Take a look at the side by side comparison.  Its kinda pathetic actually. 

The color is called Pensive Sky by Behr. Its soooooo much better. I absolutely love the color. 
See the craigslist bookshelf? The room wouldn't be complete without something from craigslist.

Now your probably asking yourself, "what on earth was she doing picking out such a horrid pink in the first place?" 
Its a good question.
I was VERY pregnant when my husband was painting. As soon as we started painting her room I knew it was the wrong pink, but my son was due any day, and we needed the painting finished so we could move in. So there. :-) I had a good excuse. 

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DIY Entryway Shelf

Productivity, finally! 
Well kinda...
I got this thing finished and hung, but I still have to spruce it up a bit. 

I started with a 1x10 and trimmed it to the desired length.
 I added the top piece, a 1 x 4 with a slight overhang on each side for the crown.

 The crown was a MAJOR pain in the BUTT! I couldnt have done it without this old guy, below.
Thanks Dad. :-)

Putty.. Paint.. Hooks

What do you think? Should I putty that knot in the wood?

This will be so much more functional in the entryway than what we had before. 

Sharing this over here.