Oak Wainscoting: Not Just for the Rich

Oak wainscoting was so expensive that only the extremely wealthy could afford to have this type of panelling installed in their homes. There is just something so classy about dark wood panels, contrasting with the flatter panelling. Dining rooms, living rooms, home offices and even bedrooms can benefit from this beautiful type of wainscoting.

Most people would never even consider hiring a contractor in these hard times. But do not let the recession stop you from fixing up your dream home. There are lots of easy solutions to get great oak wainscoting at a fraction of the cost. You can do this yourself-without spending thousands of dollars on material and labor-as long as you can handle some basic tools.

Modern oak wainscoting combines thin or thick veneers over a core of stable wood or wheat board cores. Some wainscoting material is made from recycled wood or product. These veneers can be easily stained to the color you prefer or to match other details and trim in the room.

If you want to go the traditional way, there are solid oak or mahogany panels available as well. Besides being a little heavier on the budget, these can also have a tendency to crack or split over time. These panels also require well made walls since they are heavier than modern wainscoting.

You can also buy complete panels and oak wainscoting kits that are a breeze to install. The only hard work involved is making sure that the edges are plumb and straight when it comes to installation. Whichever panelling you decide to install, make sure you select the best type of trim to go with it. There are lots of different types to choose from and you can stain them to match the panel.

Make sure you have the following in your toolbox:
• Level
• Carpenter’s chalk – pencil
• Hammer
• Finishing nails
• Adhesive
• Wood Saw
• Miter Box
• Measuring tape/ruler

When installing pre cut oak wainscoting, make sure to stain the wood before you begin the project. You cannot install wood that has not been completely dried. Leave the wood in the room a day or so before you begin your oak wainscoting project to acclimate.

Using your level, measuring tape or ruler, measure from the floor up to where you would like the trim to be. It is important to use the level to make sure that the edges are plumb and the panelling is even.

Mark the areas for the panels to make sure you have an exact fit and do not end up with weird corners. Do not rely on the measuring tape and leave clear marks in pencil. Make the keyhole cuts for outlets and wires then proceed to install with the adhesive and nails. Once this is dry, you can install your chair trim or molding.

It is that easy and most kits have step by step instructions that you can follow even if you have minimal carpentry experience. You too can have a beautiful oak wainscoted room that everyone will envy.

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