wainscoting before and after

After rejecting so many other possible molding combinations, we are very happy with how this turned out.

[This is part of Our Kitchen Molding Makeover series.]

We’ve finished installing our homemade, mdf wainscoting on the kitchen brick wall.  Our molding choices were based on Andre Palladio’s interpretation of the Doric architectural order.


You won’t believe how inexpensive it was to make the wainscoting and pilasters.  We bought all the moldings and mdf from Lowes.

how to install wainscoting

We are considering painting the flat-stock part of the baseboard a dark blue.

We’re not sure what the final paint combination will be on the moldings and wall, but we’ve been drooling over rooms designed by Robert Adam, and so will find our final inspiration somewhere in his work.

If you’re in mood for some serious molding eye-candy, then do a Google image search for “Robert Adam rooms,” and then come back and comment with your thoughts on his style.

Below are some before and after pictures taken from different angles.

wainscoting before and after pictures

Before priming the wainscoting and pilasters.

Our decorating goal was to find a way to separate our vague dining/kitchen area from the hallway on the right, and do it in a way that looked balanced.  The pilasters and pedestals configured this way did the job perfectly.

The picture rail is anchored into the brick wall so well that I’m confident we could safely hang a water buffalo from it.  Instead, this weekend Jennifer bought some beautiful nineteenth-century, hand-painted, French plates that may find their way onto the wall.

wainscoting before and after pictures

It will be so exciting to put the kitchen back in order and hang plates from the picture rail.

Below  The simple bed molding (the primed molding below the rail cap) should be available any place that sells moldings.  Except in Tucson, where none could be found.  I had to modify an ogee crown molding from Lowes to get this profile.

Beffore and after wainscoting pictures

I’ll be posting step by step instructions that show how I built the wainscoting and pilasters.

Take a close look at that baseboard cap.  Did I install a cabinet crown molding upside down as a baseboard cap?  Yes I did!  This is one of the few instances you can use this molding profile oriented this way.  Do not, however, install your ogee crown molding this way on your ceiling.

before and after wainscoting pictures

I’ve some more sanding to do before I can caulk all of the little gaps.

This weekend Jennifer and I will invade Tucson paint stores, and try out a bunch of samples for the trim and walls.  I’ll also be working on the step by step installation sequences for the wainscoting, pilasters and baseboard this week, so if you’re interested in seeing how we put it all together, complete with material prices, then subscribe to us via email.