Father’s Day fixer upper – wainscoting DIY

This past Father’s Day weekend, Mrs. Pear Tree and the kidlets were out-of-town, attending a friend’s graduation. So I had the whole place to myself for two days – and while the cats were away, the mouse could play!

I took this opportunity to finish a large project that began back in November with Oliver’s bedroom closet conversion into a reading nook. Now, a complete overhaul of the rest of the room was the focus.

The plan: Lori-Anne had an idea in mind and supplied me with a single photo of a young boys room, that had the look and colours she was thinking of. The biggest feature of this room was the wainscoting and it was my job to try and emulate that look, on a very tight budget. After coming off a run of Flip or Flop and Love It or List It episodes, I was up for the challenge.

So began the research for various panel and paint options. I ended up going with primed Alexandria moulding panels from Home Depot that had rounded edges on both edges, in various widths. At 56 cents per foot, it was a very affordable option. I then had Cloverdale Paints match the Sherwin Williams paint swatches featured in the photo (perfectly I might add) and purchased from them as their prices are not only better, you get a discount as a BCAA member.

A few finishing nails, some spackle, painters tape, a few screws and several Youtube videos on DIY wainscoting later, I was ready to tackle this.

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Well look at what we have here…

Now with any home improvement project, you can run into unforeseen challenges. Mine was a large hole in the wall from the doorknob, which Oliver cleverly hid for some time with one of his glow-in-the-dark stars. To fix, some simple calculations in spacing the panels allowed for a panel to completely cover the hole, and I moved on.

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A little paint and this may not look so bad…

Another challenge was the shelf I wanted to create along the South wall to showcase Oliver’s Lego creations. It needed to be strong, screwed into as many studs behind the drywall as I could find, and, of course, cheap. Most options I found trying to finish it, with a nice chair rail design or wood shelf brackets, were too expensive. In the end some simple metal shelf brackets and a straight piece of unfinished board did the trick. I placed the brackets in line with the panels and knot holes were easily filled and sanded. The shelf turned out fantastic for just $15, and progress continued.

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After two long and exhausting nights and days, I managed to finish the room and get almost everything back in place for the big unveil, just 20 minutes before everyone arrived home Sunday evening. Here are the results:

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No more dents and holes, the room now has more character and is fit for a young boy growing into a young man over the next few years. With a huge smile on his face, Oliver ran over and gave me the biggest hug he could muster… THAT is what Father’s Day is all about.

– Kyle

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One Comment

  1. Great job Kyle, looks terrific!

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