How to Install Wall Frames
Add elegance to any room by creating the look of wainscoting for only $200
We'll let you in on a little secret: A lot of the fancy woodwork you see inside old houses is nothing more than deft layering, bits of simple molding combined to mimic ornate profiles. Consider, for example, the wall frame, the thin rectangle first used by the British in the 1750s to give the illusion of wood paneling after plaster walls came into vogue. If you have a plain room, you don't need to hire a pro—or be one yourself—to get this bit of custom carpentry. As This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows on the following pages, all you need is a miter saw and a nail gun. Then, in just one weekend, you'll be able to add timeless character to a house of any age.
Install Wall Frames
Friday: Smooth and prime the wall where the frames will go, then create an aesthetically pleasing layout. Once you have the frame sizes established, calculate how much material you will need and go shopping.
Saturday: Create a jig to help you build the frames square and tight. Cut all the molding to size
and build all the frames.
Sunday: Glue and nail all the frames to the wall, fill and sand the nail holes, and paint the area
below the chair rail.