Introduction

installing beadboard wainscoting tout »
" I love adding wainscoting to a home,” says This Old House general contractor Tom Silva. “I install it in pantries, hallways or anywhere walls could get damaged,” he says. “It protects the wall and looks great.”

Wainscoting has protected walls since the 1600s, when it consisted of wood panels framed by stiles and rails. With the advent of industrial milling machines in the 1850s, however, less-formal beadboard wainscoting became available. So called because of regularly spaced bumps along the edge of each piece, beadboard has hardly changed in appearance or installation: The tongue-and-groove strips are snugged together and nailed in place, one after the other.

Installation is easy, yes, if you know how to handle obstacles, such as doorways, windows, or electrical outlets. Or, how to make beadboard gracefully turn corners. Says Tom, “With a little know-how, this is a project you can easily tackle yourself.”
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    Tools List

    • drill
      Drill/driver and assorted drill bits
    • two-foot level
      Levels,
      2 ft. and 4 ft.
    • pencil compass
      Compass,
      for scribing
    • coping saw
      Coping saw
    • biscuit joiner
      Biscuit joiner
    • utility knife
      Utility knife
    • nailset
      Nail set
    • caulk gun
      Caulking gun
    • jigsaw
      Jigsaw
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • block plane
      Block plane
    • brad nailer
      Brad nailer
    • hammer
      Hammer,
      16 oz.
    • table saw
      Table saw
    • miter saw
      Power miter saw

    Shopping List

    1. BEADBOARD WAINSCOTING

    2. CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE

    3. CAP RAIL

    pine or fir 1x2



    4. OGEE MOLDING



    5. BASEBOARD MOLDING

    6. CAP MOLDING

    7. SHOE MOLDING

    8. FINNISHING NAILS

    4d and 6d



    9. 3/4-INCH BRADS

    to attach ogee molding to underside of cap rail