Step 3: Cut the First Panel to Size

using a straightedge and utility knife to cut the first Lincrusta wainscot panel
Photograph: Kolin Smith
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You'll position the first panel out of a corner or against vertical molding, such as a door casing. Use the level to mark a plumb line where the side of the first panel will fall. Next, measure the horizontal distance from the plumb line back to the corner or molding, at the top and bottom. Transfer these measurements to the panel, making sure to align the factory-cut edge with the plumb line and the edge you will cut with the corner or molding. Use a utility knife guided by a straightedge to cut the panel to size.
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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