wainscoting walls with plywood


Old 08-08-05, 03:38 PM
Linda Reinaman
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wainscoting walls with plywood

I am in the middle of stripping all of the windows, doors
and permanent woodwork of paint and have stained them
in red mahogany stain. I want to do wainscoting on all
the walls, but I don't like the beaded board or the other
type of pre-fab wainscoting out there. I have come up
with the idea of purchasing the good plywood, and
staining it with the red mahogany and then cutting it
to fit my walls. I will start by using 1"x6" boards with
base moulding for the baseboard, then use the 2 1/2'
plywood for the wainscoting and adding a rectangular
design of base cap on the wainscoting, and then
chair railing to top it off. Has anyone ever done this
before, using plywood and not some pre-fab or
paneling for the wainscoting? I can't be the first
person who wants to do this, but everywhere I look,
I can't seem to find anyone who knows info on this
and if it will look right? Help!!!! I would also like
to know how to run the grain, should I put the grain
up and down or crossways? Anyone with any
ideas, please let me know!!!!
Thanx a bunch, Linnie
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Old 08-08-05, 04:07 PM
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If you cut your 2 1/2" strips out of plywood, you should rip it 2 1/2" x 96", then cut them to length and install them vertically. You might be able to purchase oak screen moulding, which is a plain 1/4 x 3/4 moulding... or they make some fancy mouldings that are 3/4 wide.

I'm not quite picturing what you're trying to do... make colonial picture frames, or have a vertical board and batten look? A drawing would be good.
Old 08-10-05, 09:12 AM
Linda Reinaman
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Wainscoting walls

Hi Xsleeper,

First of all thanx for the reply. I am relatively inept when it comes to the computer. So a picture or drawing is out; I would be here for a century figuring out how to do that.
But, I will try to explain what I am trying to achieve.
Have you ever been to an old library, or an older home that has wainscoting, or even what is known as wall framing? Just baseboard, then rectangles nailed directly to the drywall, and then chair railing, then it is usually painted white or another color. Well, that is the look I am going for, except with real wood attached to the drywall and I want to use the good plywood. My thought would be to cut the plywood to pieces of 2ft.6in. high and then add that to the wall directly against the 1in. by 6in. baseboard. Before nailing it to the wall, I would add the rectangles on it to look like the library or wall framing look. Then I would add the chair railing above the wainscoting plywood. Does that make anymore sense ? There is a restaurant called "Ruby Tuesdays", and they have done this with the inside, except they did it the whole way up the wall. I just want to add it to the lower 36 in. or so of my wall. As I said, I have all the windows, doors, etc. stripped of paint and stained red mahogany, so I need to do this to make it all match!!
Once again, thanx for responding, and any other help will be accepted!!! Thank you, Linnie
Old 08-10-05, 05:19 PM
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Thanks for the explanation- now I have a better idea of what your are talking about. The method I've used is fairly simple.

First thing I would do is build out your baseboard. Install some cheap 3/4 filler material around the bottom edge of the room first. If your baseboard is 6" tall, rip some OSB or particle board 6" wide, or just use a 1x6... and install it as a filler below the panels:

The panels: Cut your 4x8 sheets of 3/4 oak plywood or oak fibercore into 4" x 96" strips. To make one panel, you would cut two rails 48" long, and two stiles 32" long. (For each 4x96 rip, you'll get either 2 rails or 3 stiles) You could either clamp and pocketscrew these together and install them as a unit, or just nail & glue them to the drywall as you go. These panels would create a 24x48 rectangle in the middle. Inside this area, you can install a 24" x 48" piece of 1/4" oak plywood. Around the edge of that, 1/2" panel moulding is installed, which "picture frames" the inside edge of the panel. Your chair rail would be installed on top of this, and could simply be made from oak 1x2 by routering a 1/4" round over on the front edges. Lastly, your baseboard would go on, covering up the filler material mentioned above.

Here's a link to help you picture it: http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/thexsl...&.dnm=68e9.jpg

Since you will be putting these panels end to end, you'd put up the first one and then just add 2 more rails to it, and keep on going. The dimensions I used, 32" and 48" make the best use of a piece of plywood without creating a lot of scrap, but you could certainly adjust the sizes to your liking. Often, it will look best if you divide walls into equal sections when you do this, unless the room is large enough to have several 24x48 panels in a row, then it doesn't look odd when the ones on the ends are made smaller.

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