DIY Projects

June 22, 2010

DIY Wall Panelling

Our guest blogger, Nancy Wilson, recently won the Glade® Spring Fresh Decorating Contest. In addition to winning a House & Home design consultation and a Glade® Gift Basket, she also won an opportunity to blog on

About a year and a half ago, my husband and I left Calgary to move back home to the Maritimes — to be closer to family, friends, and the water. We bought a house in Halifax and fell in love with the area and the property — we didn’t purchase the home for the things that often attract a buyer, such as a beautiful kitchen, nice bathrooms or an attractive exterior.

We have plans ready to do the major renovations, but felt we should be financially responsible and hold off. In the meantime, then, we have taken on smaller projects that we can manage ourselves. When one is finished, we stand back and look at the results of our efforts, and are motivated to do another.  

Photo Blog June 22 DIY Wall Panelling Wood

This is a progress photo of our latest project. This room was used as a chapel by the previous homeowner, the Catholic archbishop. I guess not everyone can say they had a chapel in their home! Although we have transformed it into a home office, I still giggle a little when I see the room noted as the chapel on the home security system panel.

Originally, I simply wanted to paint over the existing, stained-oak plywood wall panelling, but have since changed my mind. One day, I came into the office and a piece of 3-1/2” white trim from another project was leaning up against the wall. Inspiration hit — we could make the oak panelling look like wainscotting! As I knew the width I wanted, I made several pieces of paper 3-1/2” wide and the height of the wall panels and played around until I was happy with the placement. As per our usual arrangement, I came up with the idea and my husband made it happen. The existing trim was notched at the bottom; new 3-1/2” pieces of trim were placed vertically over the oak (about 16” on centre), and horizontally across the top. We installed a cap piece for additional depth with a 1/2” reveal.

It took a couple of days and about $200 in materials (MDF, adhesive, caulking. Now it’s time for me to do my part again: I will fill the nail holes, prime, and paint the wood and trim in the existing trim colour, Pittsburgh Paints’ Crumb Cookie (217-1).

I think this wall treatment upgraded the office to a “study” with a library-like feel. I may even change the home security panel to say chapel/study.

For more tips on wainscotting, check out House & Home’s DIY Wainscotting article.

Find more great DIY projects in our Design section, and search our Online TV segments By Topic, then select DIY.