Gearing up for wainscoting / board & batten

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Old 10-05-16, 12:57 PM
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Gearing up for wainscoting / board & batten

Hey guys,

I'm having my dining room tray ceiling torn out, and as a result of some light remodeling work in the same room which will basically give me a blank slate carpentry-wise, I'll finally be able to try my hand at installing some form of wainscoting in the room.

The casing that I intend to install in the room (and eventually throughout the house) is a variation of WindsorOne's Classical Craftsman theme... rounded-over 3/4" thick side casing, and a header composed of a simple stop, frieze, and mildly decorative cornice. So I'm trying to keep this particular casework in mind as I plan my wainscoting, and I *think* I've decided that a simple board & batten approach is probably a better match for this casework than built-up or recessed wainscoting. I say this for a couple reasons, but if nothing else because at 3/4" thick, my casing probably wouldn't look right with wainscoting that jutts out at 1 or 1.5".

As another point of reference, I would love to install a simple coffered ceiling in the room as part of this, but I want this to tie in with the rest of the design elements here.

So my specific questions at this point:

1. Am I on the right track here conceptually in terms of what I'm thinking about, design- and style-wise? Are there any other considerations I should weigh at this point? I've never installed wainscot before and I'm trying to sponge up what I can.
2. A technical point... I've heard that instead of putting up 1/4" panels for the base of a wainscot or board & batten, you can simply use the existing drywall if it's been smoothed. If my side casing is 3/4", this seems like something I should consider so as to create as much depth in my wainscot as possible. What are the options for smoothing this drywall out to simulate the panels... just sanding, or something else?

Thanks guys!
 
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Old 10-05-16, 01:03 PM
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#1 - I've never installed wainscotting but have painted a lot of it. More times than not it's a faux wainscotting using base cap over drywall to simulate the panels, with chair rail defining the top.

#2 - if the drywall has a texture I'd skim coat it with joint compound, then sand/prime. Generally latex paint doesn't sand all that well.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 01:07 PM
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A simple way to do it is to use the drywall as your panel, and make a 1x4 frame (maybe 1x6 or 1x8 on bottom... think about what you want your baseboard to do... wrap around the wainscotting or have the wainscotting be the baseboard on that wall) joined together with pocket screws or biscuits. If the wall is rough and needs to be skimmed and sanded, you might do that first to make life easy.

The inside perimeter of the panels can either be caulked to the wall or trimmed with a moulding... then caulked to the wall... 1/2" quarter round usually looks good.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 01:36 PM
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You two guys are great. I remember you from when you helped me with my patio door casing job earlier this year.

Skimming & sanding the drywall makes sense to me. I hadn't thought about pocket screwing or biscuiting the wainscot frame together, but I assume this is to give the assembly added strength since otherwise it's only fastened to the studs every 16"...?

So far, it doesn't sound like there are any showstoppers or big "watch-outs". That's a good sign.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 02:32 PM
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Yes, you will surely come up with a panel / rail / stile design that doesn't perfectly align with the studs, so by making and assembling large pieces like a panel, you will be able to nail that panel to each stud where possible, and use a little construction adhesive behind areas that have no surface to nail to.

Plan to either miss your outlets so they land within the panel, or you will need to notch them, extend the boxes. Some customers I have worked for wanted the outlets removed from 16" up on the wall, (patch holes in drywall) and placed down closer to the floor- horizontally in the baseboard.

Casing is installed first... your wainscoting will butt up to it. Casing fits tight to the floor and if baseshoe is used on the perimeter of the floor, it stops at the outside edge of the casing.
 
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Old 10-05-16, 04:57 PM
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I would go with the pocket hole screws and glue, no clamping is required. The original Kreg clamps are best for aligning the joints.
The pocket screws are stronger, but also allow you to attach the frame to the wall as a unit, you're not relying on any one section to secure it.
By preassembling the framework and then attaching it to the wall, it also makes the wall look straighter.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 03:10 AM
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Maybe it's indicative of the carpenters that I've gone behind but most just used a pin nailer to build the squares and then glue/nail them to the wall.

With a little planning you should be able to size/locate your 'squares' so they don't intersect with any electrical outlets.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 06:25 AM
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Switching gears for a second, an I right that it generally looks best if the wainscoting frame & cap is thinner than side casing where they butt together? That is, if my casing is 3/4", should I try to come up with a wainscoting assembly that is thinner than this? I've seen lots of examples where a wainscoting cap is thicker and then has to be cut back or notched like a window stool, for example, but I'm not sure this is ideal. Just trying to plan correctly in advance.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 06:55 AM
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Your rails and stiles can be 3/4" like your casing is, but if the edge of your casing has a roundover, that will be the problem, as it may not look good where they meet. The cap will almost always be notched so that a "horn" extends out onto the casing 1/2-3/4".

If the rails and stiles are 1/2" thick it solves the problem of meeting the roundover, but a thinner profile may look a little anemic. 1/2" is also harder to join into a panel. You can do it a piece at a time with glue, nailing only to the drywall, like marksr said... it just won't be nice and tight to the wall and will require more caulk along the edges.
 
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Old 10-06-16, 12:09 PM
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I've got a router table. What if I rounded over the edge of the 3/4" wainscot material only where it butted against the casing? Then I'd have two roundovers meeting... would that be a nice fix?
 
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Old 10-06-16, 01:01 PM
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If you like the way that looks.
 
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Old 10-22-16, 05:49 AM
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OK, I've been kicking around thoughts here for a few days. As I mentioned, the house in general will have a rounded-over 3/4" thick casing. As I see it, I think I've accepted the idea that it would be best to use a different casing for this room to better accommodate the wainscoting, which I think I would like to use 3/4" frames and raised panels. Here are two options I've thought of:

1. Use 1" thick stock instead (also adjusting my entablature to compensate, which will get a little hairy). This would definitely set apart my casing from the wainscoting, which I imagine looks good. However, will it be weird or noticeable if the other rooms in the house use 3/4" casing instead?

2. Use square 3/4" stock which eliminates the roundover. This way I don't have to adjust my entablature. In this case, however, I don't see how I could use a baseboard that looks good at the door transitions unless I install plinth blocks... which I will probably have in the rest of the house anyway.

Do you guys like one of these options better then the other?
 

Last edited by impecunious; 10-22-16 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 10-22-16, 03:13 PM
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If it makes your life easier, go with the 1" thick trim. It will look fine and give you a edge to caulk where it meets the wainscoting.
 
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