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How to Install Shaker-Style Wainscot (page 2 of 3)

Add character and depth to walls in your favorite room by installing a 40-inch-tall Shaker-style wainscot wall covering.

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Step 4: Setting the Baseboard

The 8" baseboard is installed in similar fashion to the top rail. Start from one end of the wall and attach the baseboard along the floor using the finish nail gun to secure the first section, hitting the marked wall studs. Hide the seam again with two bevel cuts at the ends to create the scarf joint. Continue installing the baseboard into the corner(s). Match the bevel cut(s) to create a clean 90-degree turn, if continuing along a second wall.

Step 5: Setting the Stiles

Typical spacing between stiles ranges from 18 to 28 inches apart. The variables that may help determine the choice of spacing include the wall width, location of window trim, wall receptacles, TV and telephone cable boxes and wall vents.

Builder's Tip: It may be helpful to lay out a visual template on the wall, identifying where the stiles will be located. This can be done by marking the wall with a pencil to visualize the stile location. Another helpful technique is to pull out a long strip of painter's tape and attach it to the top of the baseboard, on the front face. Then pull out the tape measure and lay it on the floor from wall to wall. Mark the tape where the stiles will be located. A third helpful tip in setting stiles is to cut a "block" or "spacing" template and place it atop the baseboard to mark the next stile location.

When working around window trim and wall receptacles, logic prevails. To cut a stile under the window, place a shortened length of stile atop the baseboard. Mark the stile where the cut will be made to fit the window trim. When cutting stiles around wall receptacles, use the pencil to outline the cut locations on the wall, then transfer the cut lines onto the stile. Once the outline of the wall receptacle has been transferred to the stile, drill the opening with a 3/8" bit, then cut out the opening with a jigsaw or coping saw.

Safety Tip: When nailing stiles around wall receptacles, it is important to hit the wall studs adjacent to the receptacle. Receptacles are typically nailed to a wall stud before the drywall is installed.

Continue setting stiles along the wall at the desired spacing until the Shaker-style wall covering is complete.

Step 6: Setting the Cap Rail and Trim Mold (Optional)

To complete the project, a dado cap rail may be placed atop the top rail. Miter cuts for inside the corner wraps with the cap rail are required. Trim molding under the cap rail may be used as an optional decorative. Not all Shaker-style wall coverings include the decorative trim piece. In the Blog Cabin 2011 family room, wainscot was trimmed out with a stained molding to offset the color scheme.