• Michelle Foley

DIY Raised Panel Wainscoting

One easy thing we have done around the house to add a little design detail is to add raised panel wainscoting to certain rooms. Again anyone who is mildly handy could definitely do these boxes themselves. So here's a quick post on how to:

Equipment List:

Chop Saw

Nail Gun

Tape Measure

Caulking Gun


Materials List:

2" wall molding (specific amount depending on the size of the wall and the number of boxes you wish to do)

Brad nails (small thin nails used in nail gun)


Wood glue

Paint and painting supplies- we used a true white in a semi gloss finish

First and foremost you want to decide how many boxes you want to put on your wall; the size of the wall will determine how many you should do. Measure out your wall and make sure each box is the same size and that you leave equal space in between each box. Then before marking where each box will go, you should paint the wall with your color of choice (you will paint the raised molding once it's on the wall). After the space is painted you should mark on your wall where each box will start and end. From there grab a level and make sure that your boxes are going to be straight! Draw your line in pencil to make sure you keep it level when mounting.

Then comes the cutting with the chop saw. You want to work on one box at a time, making sure the angles are accurate and the pieces will fit together correctly before you mount anything on the wall. You want to cut the ends at a 45 degree angle, so that when you put them together they make a 90 degree angle at each corner. Once you know you have cut the two joining pieces correctly and that they will fit together, it's time to mount them.

My husband suggests using a little bit of wood glue, and of course having help to hold the pieces on the wall straight. From there you want to nail in each corner, starting at the seams, and add a few more nails into the middle of the board. Do this, one piece at a time, until you form a perfect box. Continue these steps for the remaining boxes, and just make sure you have help with the mounting.

After all the boxes are mounted you will want to get out the caulking gun and caulk the edges of each box so that when you paint it there won't be any gaps between the wood and the wall. This will help the boxes to look like they're "built into" the wall. A tip for caulking; have a wet paper towel with you so that you can run it over the caulked seam to smooth the finish.

Once the boxes are up, caulked, and dry after caulking, you will want to paint the boxes. All you need to paint the molding on the wall is a regular paint brush; make sure you keep it as smooth as possible. We used a White Semi-Gloss for our boxes. But you can really use any paint you like.


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Rockville Centre, NY, USA

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