DIY Faux Wainscotting


I gave you a sneak peek of one of the projects that has been keeping us busy the last couple of weeks. And today I want to share it with you. We added some faux wainscotting panels (and by faux, I mean without using premade wainscotting panels) to the lower half of our kitchen dining area walls and then painted the faux wainscotting white.

(This picture is of us adding the same faux wainscotting but in a different room. For some reason I did not take pictures of the process…I have no idea what I was thinking).

My husband was the brains behind figuring out the exact placement of the rectangular moulding boxes so I had him write up a litte explanation of what we did. The process is so simple and inexpensive and gives your room a whole new look. I LOVE how it turned out and how much brighter and cleaner our kitchen looks and feels.


To start the project, we first needed to find the moulding we liked (a local building supply store had a 1 ¼ inch molding). Next, planning the measurements of how to cut the molding will save a lot of grief later. To do this, we did the following steps:

• decided how many faux panels we wanted on each wall
• decided to have a 4 inch gap between panels and between panels and baseboard/chair rail.
• measured the length of each wall.
• calculated length of horizontal pieces of panel. For instance, if the wall was 100 inches long and we wanted to put 3 panels on that wall, each panel would be 28 inches wide (100 inches – 16 inches (4 side and internal gaps) = 84 inches / 3 panels = 28 inches)
• cut wood blocks 4 inches wide to use as spacing templates when nailing the moulding on


We cut the molding to each appropriate length with 45 degree angles (we wanted the thicker part of the molding to be on the outside edge of the panel so the cuts were measured on that thicker side with angled cuts tapering in). Then using the 4 inch blocks(to ensure proper placement of the moulding), we nailed the moulding into position (if you are not using a nail gun, use a nail punch to get the finishing nail below the surface of the wood and putty the hole before painting).

After the molding has been attached, we caulked the edges for a clean look. We also sanded any rough edges. Then the wall was ready to be taped with painters tape and then painted.


This project took us about a half day to complete, not including caulk and paint drying times. I LOVE it!

*edit-If you are interested in adding the pre-manufactured wainscoting panels, you should check out Wainscoting America. Using their design system, they can custom fit their wainscoting panels to precisely match your wall shapes and design…and they are priced lower than their competitors. So go and check them out!

**edit-The paint color in my kitchen is Behr paint in Warm Muffin. I LOVE my yellow kitchen. It is bright and cheery and has a nice warm tone.

Since I had so much fun seeing the things you have been working on, let’s do another link party! Link up any home or decorating project you have completed and want to share with your fellow Idea Room readers. Like the past link up party, I will visit each and every link and then choose some to share with you here in a Reader Spotlight post.

Please add The Idea Room Link-up button to the post on your blog that you are linking up.


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Thanks everyone! I am looking forward to seeing your creativity and what you have been up to.


  1. Veelana says

    I just found you on a random blog hop – your kitchen looks awesome! I wish I had that much space…

  2. Samantha2818 says

    We did the exact same thing in our spare bedroom 12 years ago (when it was our son's bedroom) and I still love it. So many of our friends have copied it.
    Your dining room looks great!

  3. Lynn from For Love or Funny says

    Brilliant! Looks amazing, and I'm going to bookmark this for later use.

  4. Charlotte's Color Specialist says

    Wow – what a great job you did! It's actually not faux – that' how it's done! Looking forward to your next project.

  5. Sonia says

    my sis in law has this in her dining room, except the pieces are a bit "fatter". Looks great!!

  6. Amanda says

    Wow! I will definitely be saving this for a future project. Thanks for sharing — looks beautiful!

  7. MICHELL says

    I thought I was following your blog..cause I'm been here before:) But a friend sent me this link on facebook and I'm so glad she did!! I'm following now…I just LOVE what you did and I love your blog:)

  8. April says

    So cool, I want to do this in my new house after we move in! What color is that yellow in your kitchen? I love that shade!

  9. madebymegs says

    I have been looking for something simple to spice up a few rooms in the house….thanks for the awesome idea! Good job.

  10. him8tenancegal says

    Hey, we did this in our entryway about 2 months ago and I love it! What a great way to update a room without having to spend a lot of money! I love your blog by the way!

  11. **Amy** says

    Thanks everyone!

    And for those of you who asked…The color of my kitchen is Behr paint in Warm Muffin!

  12. Michele {Button Garden} says

    Just came across your blog and I love all of your ideas! I would seriously love to do this in my house one day- thanks for sharing how you did it. I'll put it on my to-do list :)

  13. Infarrantly Creative says

    Ack! Squeeeal! Gleeeee! Loves your new kitchen. So rockin. Your rock on with your bad self…and you hubby too. Looks great Amy. I love me some faux wainscotting myself. So much easier!

  14. Kristen Duke Photography says

    I love it, too. So beautiful and way to do it yourself, must feel good!

  15. TidyMom says

    Amy that turned out fantastic!!

    *FYI – there's some code missing in the box for your linky button.

    Thanks for hosting!!

  16. Megan says

    just beautiful! I'm featuring this project on thursday the 5th on Thanks for showing us how you did it! Feel free to grab our "I was featured" button!

  17. timpellizzeri says

    Quick question- Are all boxes throughout the room the same size or are the boxes various sizes depending on the length of each wall to make an even number fit?

  18. Amy {The Idea Room} says

    The boxes are not all the same size. Due to the varying size of the walls. We just had to figure out what each one would be and how many of each boxes to add. A good help would be to tape the imaginary boxes right on your wall with painters tape. That way you can see what it will look like. Then you can make adjustments till you get it to fit just right. This is important if you have a room with many different sized walls.

  19. Lisa Rigby says

    I just have a question. About how much did the faux wainscoting cost you to do with the room of your size? Thanks!

  20. Jackie says

    How high do you place your chair molding? I love how you guys did the chair and faux wainscotting molding. I hope to get my husband motivated to help me :)

  21. Don Bunnell says

    I love the look and am investigating doing the faux wainscoting. I work with a professional that installed my 6″ baseboards and my crown moldings, and recently I had him redo 22 interior doors which were flat plain oak. He put on moldings squares and painted the doors to give them the appearance of two panel doors.. What a great difference that made.
    I recently showed him your idea and asked about doing several room in my home with the faux wainscoting.
    His comment was that you would be able to see the wall texture which would detract from the looks, and suggested covering the wall with a thin wood panel first.
    I see two major problems with his suggestion, not only would it raise the price many fold, but it would also require removing the expensive baseboards which were installed last year, at a great expense!!
    He is scheduled to come by and show me examples of his suggested method, and quote me some prices. I am planning to stick to my guns and just have the chair rail and molding done. I can’t believe it would look terrible to do it that way, rather than spend the huge amount required to do it his way.
    I’m thinking of having him do one room my way, your way, just to see what it would look like. That would also convince my wife, who is siding with him.
    I guess I just want your opinion on what you think of how much the wall texture is going to detract from the looks of the finished walls, compared to doing it the more costly way using paneling.
    I need someone on my side, as I’m am the cheapest guy on the planet, not to mention I’m deathly afraid of my wife, as are most husbands..!!

  22. Janine says

    Wondering if you kept every panel at a standard 28″once you figured out the first wall or if you had different sized panels on each wall because each wall is a different length


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