I did it! I had help. Thanks to Jenni and Jeremy for physical and moral support at the saw. I’m so lucky they were willing to help put up the wainscoting shadow boxes. Let me also thank, Papa Bear, who despite refusing to participate in any DIY endeavor, calling me crazy, and repeatedly advising me to just suck it up and pay the pros, ended up taking care of the babies so I could devote the whole day to nursing and home improving. He has also been doing a bang-up job of complimenting the dining room whenever he passes–per my instruction.
After four different people in my church offered me the use of their miter saws, when the day came nobody was reachable. I ended up having to rent a saw from Home Depot. The smallest increment of rental time you can get is 4 hours, and I brought it in (with Jenni and Jeremy’s help) well under that.
I had to take a deep breath before trying the saw out, and maybe an even deeper breath before priming over the red. Farewell, red. We hardly knew ye. In point of fact, we knew thee 8.5 years in three different houses.
Using the saw was scary the first time and then, no big deal. Very easy. Jenni and Jeremy did a great job helping me translate my diagrams into reality. Then I tried gluing the shadowboxes on. What a joke! My walls were so bowed, there was no way it was going to even help. The finishing nails worked great, although I wish I had had a better nail sink instead of my improvised one.
Since the glue didn’t remotely work, having two people there to hold the molding whilst one person hammered almost made up for not having a brad gun. Caulking is both an aggravating mess and vitally important. Caulking covers a multitude of sins.
It took two thick coats of primer and two thick coats of paint to cover the red walls. I kind of miss the red, but I concede that red dining rooms are way out right now, and that neutrals sell, and so forth. I’m going to have to get all the new furnishings and decorations put up before I will like the plain color though. Needs more personality.
Cutting went very quickly, getting them installed an caulked took much longer. You can really see a difference between this primed but unpainted look, and the finished product below.
I love the wainscoting! I feel like I’m in Europe, or the White House. I am addicted. I want to buy a miter saw when we get a bigger house and trim that house within an inch of its life! Double crown moldings, board and batten, raised panel boxes, ceiling trays, pillars and anything else I can think of.
Did I mention I stayed under budget? The professionals who bid on the job wanted to charge me over a thousand dollars, but I hoped to finish it all for under $250. I already had some painting supplies from previous projects such as painting the dining room red in the first place, so these were my expenses:
Liquid Nails $3.47
Caulking Gun $1.97
Finishing Nails $1.30
4 hour rental of compound miter saw $35.20
Paint and primer $105.17
Hurray for boring neutrals!