Step 2: Affix the Liner to the Walls

using a smoother to affix the liner to the wall before applying the wainscot
Photograph: Kolin Smith
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Measure the length of one wall and add 4 inches. Cut strips of liner to this length. (You'll need two strips if the wainscot is taller than the liner is wide, as ours was.) Brush adhesive onto the back of the first strip; to help the paper soften, book it like wallpaper, with the coated surfaces touching. Once soft, place the liner on the wall, aligning its top edge with the level line and centering it horizontally so that there are 2 inches of excess at each end. Fan the smoothing tool over the liner to remove air bubbles, moving from the center outward. Place the second strip below the first, butting up the seams. Use a utility knife to cut off excess liner at each end and along the baseboard. Repeat for the remaining walls. Allow to dry overnight.
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    Tools List

    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • Pencil
    • utility knife
      Breakaway utility knife with extra blades
    • 12-inch stainless steel ruler
      Metal ruler or straightedge
    • wallpaper smoother
      Smoothing tool for liner
    • j-roller
      Smoothing roller for panels
    • Natural-bristle chip brush
      4-inch chip brush for adhesives
    • synthetic brush
      2½-inch angled paintbrush
    • paintroller
      Roller frame with ½-inch-nap covers
    • grout sponge
      Sponge
    • hardboard
      Piece of hardboard that's at least 1 inch taller than base molding
    • caulk gun
      Caulk gun
    • eye goggles
      Safety goggles
    • miter saw
      Miter saw for chair rail
    • pneumatic brad nailer
      Pneumatic brad nailer gun for chair rail

    Shopping List

    Lincrusta Available through Lee Jofa, 800-453-3563

    Kraft paper

    Painter's tape

    Lint-free cloths

    Heavy-duty wallpaper liner

    Premixed vinyl wallpaper adhesive

    Clay-based adhesive for panels

    Odorless mineral spiritsLatex gloves

    Vinyl or acrylic adhesive caulk

    Universal acrylic primer-sealer

    Latex paint. Get an eggshell base color and a matte highlight color.

    2-inch brad nails for chair rail

    Wood filler for chair rail

    Fine-grit sandpaper for chair rail