Friday, April 12, 2013

How to Build Raised Paneling, and Dining Room Reveal…Sort of.

You ready to see what I’ve been up to in my dining room? 
I’m not 100% finished in there, but it sure is getting close! (that’s why I said, “ sort of reveal”) :0)

Here my raised paneled wainscoting!!

How to build raised paneling

This was not nearly as hard as it looks in the picture! It was more time consuming than hard.  Here’s how I did it!…

I basically put up pre-primed MDF boards horizontally at 65” high, all the way around the room. (make SURE and use a level…this is a MUST!) I bought the boards at Lowes and they are 3 1/2” wide, and the 8 foot long ones are a little less than$7.00 each. Then I used the same boards vertically, and spaced them 14” apart. (14” is what I used for my room, I took the measurements around the different walls in the room and started dividing them by different numbers to see which one came the closest to giving me full rectangles. I didn’t want a little sliver left at one edge of a wall.)  Knowing I wanted a perfect square in the upper portion of my paneling, I came down 14” and put a horizontal piece, like this….

how to build raised panels

I had some really nice baseboards that I didn’t feel like tearing up, so I just put a piece of the MDF board on top of it and found a little piece of trim that fit in between the two to hide the little gap.  I did that first, before installing any of the vertical pieces. You can also see where I installed a horizontal piece under my window sill…I just took off the original skirting and put in the MDF piece. See how tall my baseboards look now…..

judges wainscoting

I also used the same kind of trim that I put on the baseboards to hide the gap, around the top edge of the wainscoting to finish it off…you can see it in the picture below. 

how to build wainscotting

As you can also see in the picture above, I took regular cove molding and finished out the inside of each square and rectangle around the room. I mitered each corner and used caulk to hide any little imperfections when I was finished. I would highly recommend having an electric miter/chop saw for this job, but it could be done with a miter box, but it would take a lot longer.

Here’s a picture of the cove molding I used,  you can find it at if you’d like more information about it.

cove molding

Here’s a close up of the mitered corners inside the squares and rectangles.  If you can cut a 45 degree corner, you can do this. 

how to miter a corner

When figuring out how wide apart you want your vertical boards to go, take into consideration where your outlets are…you can see in the picture below, I made sure to miss the outlets, cause it’s much easier to figure it in at that point, than to try and work around them with the wood.

raised paneling

After all your wood is installed and all the cracks are caulked,  it’s time to find a cute 20 year old helper/son to start priming! (doesn’t he look thrilled to have his momma taking his picture?!)
  Winking smile

board and batton

We just primed all the painted walls because the MDF pieces had already been pre-primed….this, my friends, is why I purchase the pre-primed MDF…….oh the amount of time it saves!

how to build a window seat

From that point, we just painted it with a good quality paint…I used Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic, in a color I found at Lowes called, Betsy’s Linen.  (Sherwin Williams color matched it for me) It’s the same color I painted the Window Seat when I built it, you can see that process HERE.

Here’s the dining room now with all the wainscoting up and painted. 

raised paneling

OH!!! I forgot to show you guys my dining room table I got a while back!! See it in the photo above! It’s from Pottery Barn and it was originally $1,700.00, but I got it from a lady on Craigslist for $250.00!! I was over the moon when I found it! It extends all the way out to 108”, but I have one of the leaves out of it, because it’s just too big for my room with all the leaves in it.  (this puppy weighs almost 200lbs!…solid wood!)  happy happy happy!

Ok…back to the dining room!  I’ve been working on projects for this room for  a LONG time….you can see the “how to” on the monogram pictures I made from antique buttons HERE, and I tell you how I diamond tufted the chairs HERE. (but just look at that lovely wainscoting…sigh. So much work, but SO worth it!)

how to tuft a chair

I still have some sewing left to do in here……I’m still thinking I might do the roman shades instead of the blinds, and I have to do something above the curtains……..right now you can see the rod. :-/ I’m thinking maybe a cornice or tailored valance.

how to build a window seat

I found the curtains on clearance a while back at JC Penneys, they’re tan and cream ticking. They were only like $10 a panel…so I bought 10 or 12 panels…I forget exactly.   I have enough to make the roman shades now if I get in a sewing mood. (anyone else have to be in a mood to sew, or is it just me?!)

how to put in raised panels

Here’s the wainscoting in the corner of the room….see how there are full blocks everywhere except where the light switch is….there was no way to make them full everywhere, and that seemed to be a good place to make the smaller one. :0) (I’m still working on the décor in that area…something just isn’t working for me over there and I’m not sure what yet.  I put the antique pot rack over the buffet, but haven’t found anything to hang on it yet. Any suggestions? Or does it look right there at all?  It’s tricky finding just the right thing to hang over wainscoting when you go this tall, but I LOVE it! I decided to go with white ironstone and silver in this can see some on the shelf I built that spans above the buffet.

farmhouse decor

Here are a few more pictures around the room.  It’s been a long time getting here, but I like how it’s coming together!

farmhouse decorating ideas

Look at that gorgeous, chunky leg on that table! :0)  (and yes, that is the same rug that Marian has over at Miss Mustard Seed… had it one day, and I was lucky enough to grab one!)

decor steals

So there ya have it… to install raised panel wainscoting, and my “sort of” dining room reveal!

miss mustard seed

Wanna see a before pic and after just for fun?!

BEFORE: (a little too formal for my taste)

dining room ideas

DURING: (the building of the window seat)

farmhouse ideas

AFTER: (wainscoting complete)

farmhouse dining room

AFTER: (window seat complete)

dining room reveal

I’d say that’s a pretty big transformation!


PS..I have another HUGE project that I’m working on right now, but it’s not for my house.  Details soon!


Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

It looks so amazing! I love it! I've been wanting to do this in a room in my house but am not sure which one!

May I suggest one thing? The shelf over your doorway that extends to the wall? A cornice or bracket would keep the shelf from looking like it was floating...

I love your style!



Pam said...

Wow....looks amazing! Really good. Thank you for sharing step by step also....I have a place I have been thinking on doing somewhat like this. Yours looks so neat.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my, your dining room is gorgeous. I love everything. That dining table is fabulous too. Hugs, Marty

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

Love, love, love the walls, Missy! You are so very talented!! The room looks beautiful!

Marilyn said...

Big transformation?!! I'd say it is a MAJOR transformation (at the very least)--my mind can not even come close to the math involved at the moment with your measurements. It is a Friday, after all, and you know what that means for a teacher? The brain is not able to work--especially mine--as I realized I have less than five weeks of school left before I retire. Your room looks fantastic and the table? Oh, my!! Have a great weekend and am glad to hear that the surgery has helped your husband.♥♫

My Repurposed Life said...

Missy--I didn't need to see the before, because I remember it well. When I was reading your post I kept saying to myself oh my gosh, this is such a different room. I LOVE the new look. It's perfect.
that cove molding makes all the difference in the world... amazing! simply perfect!
table? what a steal, you lucky, lucky girl!

ps no-reply because blogger doesn't like me anymore. :(

NanaDiana said...

Missy- THAT is gorgeous. You guys did a wonderful looks so much better. The formal was beautiful, too, but this is so fresh and lovely. What a great table and perfect find for the money- xo Diana

Cindy said...

GASP! It's BEAUTIFUL! I love the white wainscoting with the red on the walls, sooo yummy. It really looks great with the pillows and everything... and i can't believe you found that amazing Pottery Barn table for 250.00! The legs on it are wonderful!


lala said...

Oh, thank you so very much for sharing this transformation!!! I have been trying to get my husband to do this for quite some time. After showing him your post, he finally agreed (we already purchased the preprimed MDF), can't wait to get started!!!
I really like your rug - has it held up well with the chairs moving on it? My dining room gets used on a daily basis, & I was wondering if it could stand up to continual use.

A Southern Rose said...

How beautiful! I love it. Y'all did a great job. Now I have to go catch up on all of your older posts to see what you've been up to. :)

Lee Laurie

A Southern Rose said...

Your dining room turned out so beautiful. Love It!

Lee Laurie

A Southern Rose said...

It turned out beautiful! You are so talented. I love it.

Lee Laurie

Teresa@magazineyourhome said...

Missy, thank you for sending me the link to this post. I LOVE the rug in your dining room! The whole room is lovely. Thanks also for the tutorial on the raised panel walls, they look so rich, love 'em!

Barbara @ 21 Rosemary Lane said...

Oh I love this look! I've been thinking about doing something like this in my living perfect to find your tutorial! Thank you! Found you over at TTG SNP and am now a new follower!
Have a great weekend...(I am so bookmarking this page as well!)
XO Barbara

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