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We recently added some more faux wainscoting to the walls in our basement. I am really happy with how it turned out! It really brightens it up down there and finishes off the look of the room.
The room is fairly big and there was quite a bit of wall space to cover so we decided to go with the easiest route. The chair rail and base board were already in place.
We spent a lot of time in the beginning figuring out the exact dimensions of the walls so that we could place the boards so that the squares measured out equally around the entire room but also took into account the small corners, etc.
We wanted to work with the size of our existing chair rail and had a 1/4 inch overlap to match up. We wanted the edge of the chair rail to fit flush with the boards we were adding. This way we had very little caulking, puttying, and sanding to do.
We bought a couple of sheets of 1/4 inch MDF board that measured 4 feet by 8 feet from our local Lumber Store. They cut them for us for a small fee, into 2 and 3 inch strips. This saved us a lot of money and we didn’t have to make the cuts ourselves. They also made really straight and precise cuts. Love that!!
The 2 inch strips we placed directly below the chair rail and directly above the base board all around the entire room.
After all the horizontal strips were placed, we measured the length from the top piece under the chair rail to the base board. On our walls the space measured almost 26 inches. So we cut the strips of the 3 inch MDF into lengths to match each specific vertical position. Then we placed the 3 inch strips vertically on the wall or from the top of the chair rail to the base board around the entire room.
In the corners where two walls met, we placed two strips of 3 inch boards on each end of the wall like the picture below.
To attach them, we glued them on with painter’s caulk to hold them in place so we could make slight adjustments if needed. Then when we were certain they were in the right position we put a few nails in the top and bottom of the strip to securely hold them permanently in place. Be sure to wipe up any excess caulk with a damp cloth.
Now, since the walls are not exactly the same measurements around the entire room, we had to make slight adjustments in the size of the squares. So the squares on the opposite side of the room are slightly smaller than the others. But when it is all painted, you will not be able to notice the difference as long as they aren’t drastically different in size.
We went around the entire lower section with painter’s caulk to fill/blend the chair rail and baseboard to the horizontal strips. This step will make a big difference in the overall look of your finished wall!! Additionally, we puttied the seams where the vertical strips meet up with the horizontal strips. After it dries, lightly sand it and vacuum away any dust that is left behind. You will also want to fill any holes or dents in the lower half of your wall that come from everyday life…or your wild kids :)
Put your son to work and prime the all of the new wood and any areas you filled with caulk and/or putty and let it dry completely. He actually begged to help us out. He’s a good kid like that and pretty good with a paint brush!
This one wanted nothing to do with the painting and was too busy playing with her other brother and sisters in their huge fort built out of the couches and several blankets…she’s a smart girl!
Now paint your walls! Ours took two coats. The paint is a white Behr paint in a semi-gloss finish.
I am loving it! It looks so nice downstairs now and I actually want to spend time down there. This is where we watch our Redbox and Netflix movies together. But we are not completely finished. We want to frame in these windows on either side of the fireplace and put a nice window sills for both. We also plan to add some decorative moulding around the bricks on the fireplace and frame it in as well.
I would also love to add a mantle but am not sure about how to go about that. So I plan to do a bit more research on that. Do any of you have experience with that?
As soon as we get the rest finished I would love to share it with you. Do you have any projects like this that you have been working on at your house?
The total cost for this project was around $65 dollars. Our room measures approximately 28 feet by 26 feet. We bought two sheets of the MDF which was $20 a sheet. They charged us $10 to cut both sheets into strips. And then we had to buy white electrical plugs and change them out fro the off-white ones that were originally installed. We also bought a couple tubes of Painter’s Caulk. We used paint and primer that we all ready had. If we had bought individual boards and not cut our own…the price would have been significantly higher!
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