Step 2: Start at a corner

starting wainscoting at a corner
Photo: David Carmack
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Most installations begin at an inside corner. But, if a room has an outside corner, you should start there.

Stick a mitered corner piece (assembled earlier) to the wall with some construction adhesive. Insert shims if the piece isn't plumb. Toenail 4d nails nails through both tongues to hold the piece in place while the adhesive sets.

Use the level while nailing to make sure the piece isn't knocked out of plumb.

Tip: Start a wainscot installation where it's most visible, and try to end it where it's least conspicuous.
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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