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Wainscotting on curved wall


quickcurrent's Avatar
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08-01-07, 09:57 AM   #1  
Wainscotting on curved wall

I would like to do my entrance with faux wainscotting and continue it all the way to the top of a curved staircase.

The straight walls present no problem, but the curved wall going up the staircase does. In addition to the curvature of the wall, there is also the twist because of the molding having to go up at the same angle as the stairs.

I understand that there are places that will take some solid wood molding and shape it to the correct curvature and twist in a shop using soaking and drying techniques to make it fit my wall. But that carries a big price tag!

Does anyone know of a molding (wood, MDF, but not plastic) and procedure that can be used by the do-it-yourselfer for a curved stairway?

Thanks

 
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08-05-07, 07:29 PM   #2  
It seems that that are no faux wainscotting experts here !!!

 
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08-06-07, 04:14 AM   #3  
Use a narrow wainscoat that comes in single strips instead of the sheets. This will at least get you started. The tricky part is how to cap the top to finish the installation. I'm sure that is what is stumping the crowd.

Also, a few pictures of the area would assist in giving us a visual of what you are trying to accomplish.

 
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08-06-07, 03:56 PM   #4  
Not sure of the molding you want to use, but we use a putty looking WM366 case molding for curved door tops. Looks like wood after finishing and molds for weird shapes (not drastic, but curves). Check with your local lumber yard for access to such products, as the big boxes will just look at you funny.

 
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08-06-07, 08:03 PM   #5  
I have a spiral staircase with a standard wall on the outside and oak railings on the inside. I want to do the foyer with a top rail with squares/rectangles made of either the same molding or a smaller section molding to attach to the area between the top rail and the baseboard. Then I want this faux wainscotting to continue all the way to the top of the stairs, otherwise it'll look funny if I end it abruptly at the bottom of the stairs. I have not yet picked out any moldings and am open to suggestions. And, yes, the top rail is what poses the biggest challenge.

I have already talked to a specialized lumber yard that has a large shop in the back. That's where I learned that the curved portion can be done as a custom job and they even referred me to a company that can do that. But I know that'll cost plenty.

All pictures I have seen with this sort of treatment have been straight, except I did see one in a movie a while back done not only from the waist down but all the way to the ceiling! No doubt that was one of those costly custom jobs.

So I am wondering if there is a way for a DIYer to do this sort of thing. Someone at Home Depot suggested I try MDF for a top rail, but I doubt that'll work. I was hoping that someone here has done this before and could shed some light on this subject.

Thanks

 
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08-06-07, 11:10 PM   #6  
You should reconsider the use of flexible moldings like polystyrene. If it's to be painted then it will be no different in appearance than wood. The plastics are commonly used in expensive offices and hotels. If the customer wants the look of wood they have the faux finisher come by and grain it.

Curved moldings made from wood usually have to built up as a laminate from pieces thin enough to bend. Custom molding knives have to made to produce a profile that can be sliced into thin pieces and then reassembled on the wall with glue and clamps. Trimming a curved stairway is a serious project for guys with lots of tools and experience.

Take another look at plastic if you want to do this yourself.

 
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08-07-07, 07:17 PM   #7  
Yes I want to paint it all white. Where would I find the polystyrene you're referring to Jan2?

 
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10-27-07, 11:12 AM   #8  
For those of you that want to do a curved staircase wall with faux wainscotting, here is what I've done successfully and you can too.

I picked up some solid wood chair rail from Home Depot. I found the mahogany at an unbeatable 98 cents per foot, cheaper than even finger-jointed pine! Solid pine was pricier yet. The finger-jointed pine would not have done the trick, I don't think, because the finger joints might have come apart anyways. I soaked a 12 foot (to match the length of the curve) mahogany length in my swimming pool for three days to give it a good soaking so it would curve. Then I took it out and wiped off any water on the surface and, with the help of my family members, pressed the molding to the wall, after locating all the vertical studs behind the drywall (8 inch centers through the curve), drilled pilot holes through the hard mahogany molding and nailed the molding to the wall at the studs using 2 inch finishing spiral nails through the pilot holes. Looks great. I have yet to do the squares, but that should be a breeze compared to the chair rail. Please note that the chair rail swelled by nearly 1/4 inch in width, so after installing the soaked length of chair rail, it's essential to let it shrink back to its dry state before attaching any further pieces to it otherwise joints will open up when it shrinks.

Since my previous post, I called in two hot-shot companies specializing in faux wainscotting using MDF trim in my area to see if they could do the curved wall. At first both salesmen told me they'd do it using short little pieces of chair rail to do the curve (in effect not doing a proper curve!), then one ended up saying they couldn't do the curve at all! The other ended up telling me they'd use a rubberized bendable material through the curve not the short little pieces he had told about before. Obviously, I lost faith in both of these clowns, and decided to do it myself the way I had asked them to do it using real solid wood. It always amazes me that these companies that make a living out of doing this type of work are incapable of doing a curved wall properly !!!

Now comes the good part, the cost for them to do all the walls I want done using MDF and some rubberized bendable material (plastic is what I think) - about $2,000.

The cost of buying real hardwood from Home Hepot and doing it myself about $300.00.

My opinion of "pros" dwindles day by day, LMFAO.

I hope this helps others that may be considering their own professional faux wainscotting job.

 
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