I'm planning on putting in wainscoting in dining area, now that I've
removed the dang wallpaper. I have choice of cutting 4x8 panels or
using tongue and groove panels that are about 7" wide each.
Instructions I've seen are to use construction adhesive and finish
nails. I don't have a power nailer and don't want to buy the gear, so
I'm thinking just adhesive might do. I don't know how much the nailing
would add to the secureness if it is just nailed into drywall. I want a
nice, tidy job with no bulges, so wonder if adhesive sets right away
(enough to hold the strips fast). Stuff comes either 30" or 8', and I
want wains. to be about 36". Anyone installed this? How did it go?
Whomever put up the nasty wallpaper (and I really like wallpaper) must
have used atomic paste....it doesn't wash off. It was coated fabric,
really tough and probably original to our 1978 home. After removing
paper, the surface is pretty rough, except where it pulled off the
underlying paint....looks like someone put on enamel with no primer!
Yuck! Also under the paper are pencilled arrows, some point up, some
point down....done for wallpapering??? Mfg. home.
Instructions I found somewhere mentioned using "spacers" on the
electrical receptacles to adjust for the panelling (1/4" thick). I
didn't find any at Lowes...is there another name for them? Hard to
find? Need electrician to install them?
That prompts another question...a few of the receptacles in the house
are loose, so that plugs slip out...can that be fixed or do we need to
Come now, Norminn...you know perfectly well there are studs behind that
Kinda depends upon how flat your wall is. Adhesive like Liquid Nails is
thick/sticky enough so that it will hold some before it sets but for what
you are doing - I'm assuming the material is around 1/4" thick? - I think it
would need some bracing to keep flat until the adhesive dries. That or
When I've had that need I just use small pieces of whatever (in your case,
the wainscot material) to slip under the receptacle lugs.
I think it unlikely that the problem is with the receptacle, more likely the
plugs. Do they slip out of other receptacles? If not bend the plug
contacts apart a bit.
Would that I could definitively say "yay" or "nay" but the best I can do is
say "I think so".
You will be able to nail anywhere at the bottom and there will be a chair
rail or some other type of cap that can also be nailed so you should have no
problem holding it in place; any problem would arise from the hump in the
drywall joints and laying a long straight edge over the areas where you are
going to out it should give you a pretty good idea of the flatness.
My only experience with 1/4" paneling was in my office. I had modular
Danish shelf and cabinet units along one wall. They hung from brackets
which attached to vertical walnut uprights spaced about 32" apart. I wanted
to fill in between the uprights with walnut ply and did so. The ply was
attached only with 1" brads toe nailed into the drywall; no particular
spacing, at the corners and anywhere else where the ply wanted to curl a
bit. It looked fine and lasted without problems for the 16 years I had that
Look at some of the articles here...
There was one a couple-/three years ago by a fella' whose name I can't
recall otomh but is in Little Rock area about MDF-built wainscotting
that is well worth the cost even if you have to buy the article...
I'll see if I can find the Vol/No in the pile if get a chance...perhaps
you'll be lucky and local library carries FHB???
Unless you're experienced and doesn't sound like are, I'd recommend
laying down the tools until you find and read said article...it's that
OK, I finally remembered his name to look him up--it's Gary Streigler
and he's in Fayetteville instead of LR...
The article in question...
If don't have local access via library, don't even think about not
getting it via the paid link if you intend to do this project.
If you are putting a chair rail at the top and re-installing the baseboard
at the bottom, then couldn't you just nail the chair rail and baseboard at
16-inch on-center spacing into the existing studs? Wouldn't that hold
everything in place and flat against the wall?
You're asking me? That's what I'm here to find out ;o) Sounds good,
but my logic fails now and then. I did get my pond pump fired up today,
so there is progress here. I'm pretty sure I will go with the 4x8'
panels, have them cut at the store...bought a little jig saw y'day for
the trimming. A guy at Lowe's told me I'd need to put up firring
strips...scared me. Walls are nice and flat, so that isn't a problem.
I have read instructions given by Tom on TOH. I just found a good tip
for doing outside corners in t/g--have the groove side of the panels
meet at the corners and glue in a 1/4" dowel so it looks like another bead.
Get whatever style you like most, buy it, cut it to size. I'll give you a
- First think out your project, where it will start & end, corners, & if
the panels will meet any casing for doorways/windows. You'll want to remove
the baseboard where the panels will be installed. Myself, I'd leave any
door casing alone at this point.
- Your layout is important, don't skip the most important step.
- Find the walls studs, it's ok if to find the center of a stud if you take
a nail, poke a hole on each side of a stud and find the center. You should
only have to find the center of one stud, being a mfg home, sometimes their
walls studs are not 1-1/2" wide, so it is important to know the thickness.
You'll want to start towards the center of the wall, and work out each way.
Once where the studs are (I.E every 16", possibly different since mfg
home), place a pencil mark at each one (down where baseboard is or at very
top where paneling ends up. Don't worry about where you poked holes are
marks, they will be covered up by the panels. Mark a plump line (vertical)
with a level & pencil where the first panel will be placed. Do not start a
plumb line in a corner or at any casing, those should be your last pieces
to install. If you're not good at scribing, that's what trim pieces are
for, they hide a lot of sin. Mark a horizontal line up 36" from floor.
Rememeber, you will have a cap rail (assuming you will), so adjust for that
if 36" needs to be precise.
- When you cut your paneling, since you want 36", cut it to 35-1/2". You
don't want it sitting on the floor, but kept up from it. This is one of the
main reasons paneling buckles---It's cut too tight, and any
movement/swelling etc, there's no room for it to expand. Your baseboard
will be installed over the paneling, the cuts do not have to be perfect on
- Try dryfitting the panel, b/4 putting any glue on it. Once you do
install to be permanant, remember baseboard will hide bottom nail, cap rail
will hide top nail, so in the field you will probably only need 3 more
finish nails @ every 12" in the field. Where panels meet panel, you may
need every 8", because you will want to be careful there's not too much
glue to squish out. You will be putting the nails in the studs, remember
you marked where the studs were. BEFORE installing, after you dry fit,
where paneling meets paneling, either paint, use a marker etc and color the
wall the same color of paneling seam. Your paneling is going to
expand/contract, once they do, the seams are less likely to be seen if same
color on wall behind the seam is that as of the paneling seam itself.
- Work towards any corners/casing. Install those pieces last, then install
your baseboard. You do not need a lot of nails, trim doesn't hold a wall
up, it's only holding the trim in place. Install your cap rail, then any
trim pieces needed on inside/outside corners. Those pieces are installed
between cap rail & baseboard. Remember, place nails in the studs.
Shut the breaker off to any outlets you have to cut out in paneling. The
outlet is held in place by 2 screws, to get out of box. If you're
uncomfortable working around it. Probably best left to someone else for
You do not need any spacers etc for paneling. Once you pull the outlet
from box, it's self explanatory of why.
Good luck. I think you're over thinking the project, which can be a good
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