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Cozy Office DIY Wainscot

By adding a stylish paint design and wainscot, Sarah, from Sarah Flips It, transformed her at-home office into her dream workspace.

Check out the step-by-step to her project below!

An office space with blue cabinets and wainscotting

Supplies Needed

  • Sarah Merrell measuring a wall

    Measure and Space

    Determine the height and length of your wainscot. Knowing the measurements and spacing of the boards on your wall will help you estimate how much MDF is needed.

  • Sarah Merrell Cutting a Board

    Cut the Boards

    I started by cutting my baseboard and installing it using a laser level to ensure it was perfectly level before adding the vertical boards. If you already have baseboards installed, cut your vertical pieces to the desired height. Do the same for the top horizontal pieces.

    Pro Tip: Use the first board as a guide to ensure each board is exactly the same height, rather than using a measuring tape to re-measure each board.

  • Sarah Merrel Marking where the boards for the wainscotting will go on the wall

    Mark the Spots

    Using a pencil, mark the spacing of each vertical board on the wall. Once you’re happy with the spacing marks, turn on your laser level and line up the vertical laser line on the first pencil mark. 

  • Sarah Merrell Nailing Boards to the wall to create wainscotting

    Nail Boards

    Take your first vertical board and make sure the laser is hitting right in the middle. Using 1-2 in. brad nails, nail the board to the wall. Repeat this process with each vertical board. Once those are finished, move onto the horizontal top board.

  • Sarah Merrell filling in nail holes

    Fill in Nail Holes & Caulk the Seams

    Using wood filler or spackle, fill all the nail holes. Once dry, sand down the excess wood filler with a sanding block, wipe off any remaining wood dust and start caulking. I recommend cutting the caulk tube tip at an angle.

  • Sarah Merrell taping off part of the wainscotting with Green FrogTape Multisurface painters tape

    Tape with FrogTape®

    Once the caulk has dried completely, use FrogTape® Multi-Surface Painter's Tape over the top and bottom of the wall. I usually tape a little closer than normal on the bottom and push the tape under the baseboards using a spackle knife. This ensures you don’t get any paint on the flooring.

  • Sarah Merrell Painting the Wainscotting blue with a roller

    Prime and Paint

    For my project, I used the color Coffee Nook by Magnolia in a semi-gloss finish. I started by painting all the seams with a paint brush and then going over the middle with a roller.

  • Sarah Merrell pulling the green FrogTape Multisurface Painters tape off of the wainscotting to reveal a crisp paint line.

    Peel Off the Tape

    To wrap up, I peeled off all the FrogTape® to reveal the design.

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