Ever since we started the reno I had been itching to try a super easy and simple way to achieve high wainscotting that I came across on Pinterest. Now on the grand scale of things it came in as not high importance so over the years we pushed it aside. This past winter usually when it gets too cold outside we start making a list of things that need to be done inside. On the very top of my list was the upstairs hallway. Because we chose to move in while the house was under construction we tackled the second floor first so we could have a clean living area. We removed all the carpets, repaired drywall, and a quick paint job. Initially, we removed the door you see here at the end of the hall and part of the wall above it. It worked well for about 5 years but we knew we wanted to remove part of the wall so that the woodstove heat would be able to travel to the end of the hallway into our master. So we got to it. We had direct access to the attic to make sure no electrical wires were running through this wall to elsewhere in the home. It took us a day to remove the wall between the hall and the stairs, we had two options. One was to remove it completely and replace it with stair balusters. In this case, I would have probably preferred a round or square black iron baluster with a wood rail. The second option and the one we ended up going with was cutting it down to a half wall. The reason we ultimately went this route was a weekend project so the thought of tearing up the wall and having to then patch flooring kind of burst my bubble. and Second I knew the wainscotting would be white and felt it would lighten the space to have more light then dark and because of the limited wall space, I was to unify the area using the batten and board look.
For the board and batten wainscoting, we used 1 X 4 pre-primed pine product that is sold at most lumberyards. We started with the top piece. I didn't measure how high I would like it I simply asked my husband to hold up a piece and told him where I liked it. He then used a level to mark around the entire space and then started with the vertical pieces. First were outside/inside corners we then spaced the others where they made sense visually. I know a lot of DIYers that lay them out perfectly, and it looks great. For my space, I want it to look natural and all that matters is if you're happy with the result. We will be doing this again in our future mudroom and on a longer wall I will lay them out evenly. As you can see where the ceiling was removed left a hole that had to be patched so we simply used sheetrock and mud and patched it ourselves. It's not my favorite thing to do and we usually leave that up to the professionals on larger projects. Only because it takes years and years to learn a good technic. Most drywallers it's all they do. They're the only occupation is installing sheetrock, mudding & taping, sanding, and repeat. Smaller projects are good ways to practice.
After we installed the vertical battens all that was left to do was paint...easy enough, right? Well, wrong to make it look like custom and not cheesy I first had to use white caulking on every crease between the wood and wall. Caulking if you don't know is a painter and DIYers dream tool. It's perfect for sealing cracks around windows, doors baseboards, moldings, and trim. It is flexible and paintable. I prefer to use the ALEX All-purpose Acrylic Latex caulk and buy it cases at a time. I then used a wood spackle for the nail holes let dry and sanded. I'm going to let you know a secret about me, chances are no matter the project I don't use a primer. If I added up all the hours I've spent painting it would add up to years. Instead, I always use a quality paint such a Benjamin Moore. It will require fewer coats, covers easily, and very easy to clean. In this case, it took two coats and minor touchups and it covered nicely. This may have been the quickest project we turned over but it was top 10 most impactful. I used to walk through the hall to get to the next stop, Now I find myself admiring our hallway every time I walk into it. Up next recessed lighting and a runner we love.
HI, I'm Meagan -aka Meg, I'm here to share what it's like Living, Working & renovating life on Cape Cod . We're making our house a home one renovation at a time. Home wasn’t built in a day, but the journey is half the fun.