How To Terminate Wainscoting – A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you looking to add some elegant charm to your dining room or hallway?

Wainscoting is a great way to achieve that classic look, but it can be tricky to terminate properly. Without the right termination, your wainscoting can end up looking awkward and unfinished.

In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks for terminating wainscoting with style and finesse. From choosing the right trim to installing picture molding, we’ve got you covered.

So let’s dive in and learn how to terminate wainscoting like a pro!

How To Terminate Wainscoting

When it comes to terminating wainscoting, there are a few key factors to consider. First and foremost, you need to choose the right trim to end against. Without a proper termination point, your wainscoting will look incomplete and unprofessional.

One option is to use a small strip of matching wood with a rabbet down one edge and slightly profiled on the other. This will go over the beadboard and finish off the look. The size of the strip will depend on your chair rail, cap, and base moldings, so be sure to adjust accordingly.

Another option is to use casings to frame off the wainscoting. This will give the illusion that the wainscoting is made of regular 4/4 tongue and groove instead of thin plywood or MDF.

If you have inside corners, you can either miter the two pieces of chair rail or cut one full-length with a square end-cut and cope the next chair rail against it. A nail gun will make the work go faster and be more accurate than a hammer and nail.

Picture molding is another great option for terminating wainscoting. You can make panels any size you want, which makes it easy to plan around electrical outlets or other features along the wall. Just apply picture-frame molding and chair rail directly to your wall surface with adhesive and nails.

Understanding Wainscoting Termination

One important aspect to consider when terminating wainscoting is the width of the chair rail molding at the top. It should be less wide than the baseboard, as this creates a visually pleasing balance between the two moldings.

It’s also important to note that if you have beadboard paneling for wainscoting with a chair rail, the doorways should be trimmed out. The two design elements do not go together, and not having door trim will make the wainscoting look incomplete no matter what termination method you choose.

Ultimately, the termination method you choose will depend on your personal preference and the specific design of your space. However, it’s crucial to choose a termination point that complements your wainscoting and gives it a polished, finished look.

Choosing The Right Trim For Your Wainscoting

When it comes to choosing the right trim for your wainscoting termination, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, consider the style of your wainscoting and the overall aesthetic of the room. If you have a traditional or classic style, a matching wood strip or casings may be the best option. If you have a more modern or contemporary style, picture molding may be a better fit.

Another factor to consider is the size and profile of your chair rail, cap, and base moldings. You want your termination trim to be proportional and cohesive with the rest of your wainscoting. If you have larger moldings, a wider termination strip or casing may be necessary to create a balanced look.

If you opt for picture molding as your termination trim, keep in mind that spacing is key. You want to space the boxes evenly and not less than 2 inches on the ends. This will create a cohesive and visually pleasing look.

Ultimately, the right trim for your wainscoting termination will depend on your personal style and the specific details of your wainscoting installation. Take time to consider all options and choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences.

Installing Picture Molding For A Polished Finish

If you want to achieve a polished finish for your wainscoting, picture molding is a great option to consider. Here’s how to install it:

1. Start by measuring the length of the wall where you want to install the picture molding. Cut the molding to size using a saw.

2. Apply adhesive to the back of the molding and press it firmly against the wall. Use nails or a nail gun to secure it in place.

3. Repeat this process for each piece of molding, making sure to leave enough space between each piece for the chair rail.

4. Once all of the molding is installed, measure and cut the chair rail to size. Apply adhesive to the back of the chair rail and press it firmly against the wall, making sure it lines up with the top edge of the picture molding.

5. Use nails or a nail gun to secure the chair rail in place.

6. Repeat this process for each section of wainscoting.

7. Finally, fill in any nail holes or gaps with wood filler. Sand down any rough spots and paint or stain the wainscoting as desired.

By following these steps, you can install picture molding for a polished finish on your wainscoting. Remember to take your time and measure carefully to ensure a professional-looking result.

Finishing Touches: Painting And Sealing Your Wainscoting

Once you have installed your wainscoting and terminated it properly, it’s time to give it a finishing touch with paint and sealant. The key to success when painting raised panel wainscot is in the prep work. Before you start painting, make sure to clean, prime, and sand the wainscoting to ensure that the paint adheres well.

To prevent unsightly gaps from ruining the look of your wall, you will need to seal the four sides of every wainscot panel with caulk before you paint. This will ensure a professional finish. Maison de Pax recommends using two coats of top-quality enamel paint to finish the job.

After painting, it’s important to add shoe molding or quarter round at the bottom of the baseboard to conceal any gaps. Attach it to the baseboard every few feet. Install the top molding by resting it on a ridge along the top of the panel segments. The adjoining corner pieces should fit together at the corner of the walls, since the top pieces are miter cut for a snug fit. Slide the top piece in place and when it’s aligned properly, secure it to the wall with a brad nailer. Secure the crown cap along the top molding.

Once you have installed all panels and moldings, caulk any gaps at the corners using a caulking gun. You can paint over it later to match the paint of the molding. Replace outlet covers if necessary.

If you have unfinished Oak, Maple or Cherry wainscoting, fill all nail holes and splices with matching stainable wood filler. Avoid getting filler on the surface around the hole. Sand wood filler patches smooth to the veneer surface with 180-grit paper, taking care not to sand through the veneer. Apply stain, sealer and clear finish coat, lightly sanding between coats with 220-grit paper. We recommend applying a light coat of lemon oil or furniture oil to replenish the natural sheen, especially in dry environments. Use of wax polish may cause buildup and dull the finish sheen.

If you have factory finished Oak, Maple or Cherry wainscoting, use touch-up materials included to conceal fastener holes.

For paintable surfaces, prime any surface to be painted that is not factory-primed before installation, then sand with 180-grit paper. After installation, apply one coat of paint to panels and let it dry thoroughly before sanding with 220-grit paper. Fill all nail holes with a paintable vinyl-based spackle. Finish coat all parts together. Gentle household cleaners may be used if required.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your wainscoting has a professional and polished finish that will enhance any room in your home.