wainscot design
Photo: William A. Boyd Jr.
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Wavy walls

An existing wall may harbor one or more "waves" that must be flattened lest they make the wainscoting equally untrue. To produce a flat, plumb nailing plane, horizontal furring strips can be fastened to wall studs through the drywall or plaster. In isolated spots on a finished wall, use shims to fill the void (left). To make a chair rail fit flat against a not-so-flat wall, fasten a filler strip to the chair rail's back edge.
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