Always room(s) for improvement: Before, after and everything in between

I’m slightly manic and slightly ADD-like in my need to constantly change my surroundings. Oh, if I could I would start a new home project every week. But the reality of having young kids and not a ton of dough means these projects are done solely by me and therefore cost less, but take more time.

My wainscoting project started on December 26 and ended January 15, my 46th birthday. I woke up at 5:00 AM with my 4 year old who wouldn’t go back asleep. I had a couple of cups of coffee, changed into painting clothes and put the final coat of paint on my masterpiece.


The day after Christmas. An empty house because my hubby took the kids to Wisconsin since I had to work. So what does a mom free of motherly responsibility do?

Take off base board and molding under windows of course! Fill cracks with Great Stuff (total lives up to it’s name.) Drafts and ants be gone!

Cut 1/4 plywood sheets then glued and nailed them making sure that two ends butted up at a stile location. Pneumatic tools are not a necessity but are way better than a hammer and nail. Amish I’m not. I dream of owning a table saw and router table. Hey, a girl can dream!

Paint plywood with one coat of Sherwin Williams Emerald semi-gloss in Extra White. Let’s see how long that hue stays.

Start building from the bottom up. Just makes sense, right? I used plain 5 1/2 inch primed molding for the base board.

Base shoe molding, 2 1/2 inch mission style molding for stiles and framing leaving a space between the base molding and lower frame for extra decorative piece.

Gap filler / decorative piece. Not proud of the miter cut. I’ll fix it later….

Top trim and fill the nail holes with wood filler. Let dry and sand smooth. An electric sander is best, again not Amish, and hand sanding may leave some fill marks that will look like the gum you find under old school desks. Bleh!

After two coats of paint…Voila!

The after photo was truly a motivator. Time to take down Christmas.

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