Step 1: Draw layout line

drawing the layout line for the wainscoting
Photos by: David Carmack
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Cut all the wainscot pieces to length. Tom commonly sets his height at 32" to 36" and then cuts all the pieces he needs on a miter saw.

Using a 4-foot level (or longer), find the floor's highest point along the wall. At this high spot, place a cut board vertically against the wall and set the level on top so that the bubble is centered in the vial.

Pencil a layout line on the wall using the level's underside as your guide. The top of each beadboard will land on this line.

Move the level around the entire room, drawing a continuous layout line.

Tip: For large rooms, a water level and chalk line make it easier to create a layout line.
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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