Our Dark DIYed Wainscoting Reveal

Our DIYed full-wall wainscoting is done, and on time!  As Chris and I were talking about the entire project, we were so pleasantly surprised with how fast it went.  We dedicated a couple hours to it on Monday and Tuesday night and then yesterday, I sanded and painted and it was done before Chris got home from work. Painting definitely took the longest. Although it could be because Chris was at work, or maybe it was because Greta was “helping” me.  Either way, it’s done and besides loving how quick the project was–the result leaves even more to love.
Here’s where we were a week ago:

Granted, the gallery wall was short-lived and we didn’t even share it with you until after we took it down and moved the majority to the laundry room. And for a real shocker, here’s how the room looked a couple months ago before we decided to embark on this revamp.

We were especially inspired by these two images I pinned months ago (sourced here and here) and were anxious to DIY a similar look in our own home.


Ha! I can’t help but think, after looking at that picture snapped in August, that we have crossed over to the dark side.  Although, I think we prefer “sophisticated.”  Here’s how our living room is lookin’ today, donning its new wainscoting :


The room feels so much larger.  And…taller. And more sophisticated with a casual twist–which is how we like it. When it came to painting the panels, I used a small foam roller for all of the fronts and my handy Wooster shortcut brush to get in the inside edges.

Luckily (and magically) we still had enough in the gallon of paint we purchased when we painted the room to cover the wainscoting–all 2 and a half coats it took.  For reference sake, the color is from Kwal Paints and it is called Crave.  We went with a matte finish which gets bonus points for hiding wall imperfections–we especially love it because it disguises the slight orange peel texture of our walls.

I even remembered to snap a picture last night, so you could see how the paint color and new architectural detail of the wainscoting translates from day to dark. During the day, the paint color is a a deep charcoal navy with green undertones and the wainscoting gets a lot of natural light from our large window–which creates yummy (yummy? who am I!?) shadows because of it.

At night, the paint transforms into a soft black and between our lamps on the fauxdenza and our arc floor lamp, the wainscoting is well lit and the details are still very much present.  We worried about the details getting lost in all of the shadows with such a dark paint color, but maybe (we don’t really have anything to compare it to) the darker paint color accentuates the wainscoting and makes for a bigger contrast?  Who knows.  Point is–it works and we have zero regrets going dark in this room.  In fact, we may just start advocating for dark paint.  Too many white walls in this world (says the girl who painted her studio white this summer)!!!

Budget wise, the project cost us $117.86.  That includes all the lumber and the bottle of liquid nails we used to adhere the boards to the wall before following up with a nail gun.  Everything else, including the nail gun, paint, spackle and caulk we had on hand.

Considering the wainscoting will double as art on this wall–we don’t plan on hanging anything else on this wall–we’re sayin’ $117 is a pretty big bang for our buck.  Don’t you think?
We aren’t calling this room a wrap. But for now, there’s 2 days until our party and we’re happy with where the room is now compared with two months ago. And definitely happy enough to take a rest from projects and start focusing on spider webs and cake balls decorated like eyes.
Has anyone else DIYed wainscoting in their home?
Wanting to do something similar in your own house? You can check out how we DIYed this sucker in  part 1 here and part 2 here.

73 Comments

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    SpikesnSparkles

    looks great – super sophisticated and chic! i’m hoping to do a similar project in my bedroom, if i ever get around to it!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Anne @ Planting Sequoias

    Fave project of yours to date. This takes your house from basic builder to something much, much more awesome! I could see some chunky ornate antique framed oil paintings on it down the road if you ever want to switch it up but I like it the way it is now. Great work!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Kate Lundquist

    Oh that’s good. Really really good.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Thanks so much, Anne! Good point about the art, too. I’ve seen great examples of paintings hung on wainscoting, but for now, we’ll let the architectural details shine alone.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Haha. Thanks, Kate!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Get around to it. You’ll love it.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Heather Gearhart

    Dude that is awesome! Like really awesome. You totally gave me the wainscoting bug and I need a place to do that in my house!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Laura

    Absolutely gorgeous. Well done!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Christina Laming Shelton

    Amazing!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    meaganbriggs3

    Stunning!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Victoria Bradley-Morris

    lovely and elegant

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Meggan S.

    That’s fantastsic! Even better than I expected! Like I mentioned before, we did a similar look in our bedroom in white and it was the best thing ever. I took me a lot longer for a MUCH smaller wall, I’m definitely a novice DIYer. :) I think it’s great!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Linda Carrion

    I must admit that I was skeptical when you first floated the idea, but wow! I am sold. I agree with all other adjectives used in previous comments. It really does add an element of richness and sophistication! Great job!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Jessie McKinley

    LOVE!!!! It looks amazing. We’ve done the same thing in our bedroom (paint color: Martha Stewart Zinc–because of you! haha) and I’m sold. It totally transforms the room.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Katie

    This is AMAZING!!! Way to take a risk!! I would be so scared to paint a room this dark, but with the natural light and great lighting… I can’t imagine it any other way! AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Cindy Medrano

    Love it! It looks great!!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Wendy & Alex

    Looks good! Is it weird of me that I like that the left outlet sits right in the middle of the board? It sounds like you made pretty quick work of painting, but did you ever consider buying/using a sprayer? I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy one and this might have put me over the edge to actually make the purchase.

    As for wainscoting in our house…Yep! And we love it! We did it on our main staircase and built an integrated handrail at the top of it. We then continued the same look for wainscoting into our guest bathroom that is right next to the stairs. Here’s the post where we covered it.
    http://www.oldtownhome.com/2011/6/1/Hold-On-Tight-Staircase-Wainscoting-and-Handrail-Project/

    We’re also considering a very wide beadboard, or possibly even a tile wainscoting in our master bathroom. Only time will tell on that one.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Wendy & Alex

    Looks good! Is it weird of me that I like that the left outlet sits right in the middle of the board? It sounds like you made pretty quick work of painting, but did you ever consider buying/using a sprayer? I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy one and this might have put me over the edge to actually make the purchase.

    As for wainscoting in our house…Yep! And we love it! We did it on our main staircase and built an integrated handrail at the top of it. We then continued the same look for wainscoting into our guest bathroom that is right next to the stairs. Here’s the post where we covered it.
    http://www.oldtownhome.com/2011/6/1/Hold-On-Tight-Staircase-Wainscoting-and-Handrail-Project/

    We’re also considering a very wide beadboard, or possibly even a tile wainscoting in our master bathroom. Only time will tell on that one.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Thanks Meggan. We were on a deadline, so that definitely lit a fire under us. Haha.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Thanks so much, Linda!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Yes, I hopped over to yours the other day and it looked so nice! Well done!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Yours looks amazing!! Wow! We actually have a paint sprayer but because we only had about a quart of paint left and paint sprayers guzzle paint like crazy, I thought I had better just do it the old fashioned way so we didn’t have to go buy more paint.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Awww, thanks. Yes, I heard that bug is contagious. ;)

  • It looks absolutely FABULOUS!!! I think I’m in love! Wow, just wow!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Lily

    This room looks absolutely fabulous!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Caitlin @ Desert Domicile

    Gorgeous! I love it! I bet your guests are going to be amazed at how far this room and your laundry room/bathroom have come in such a short period of time!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Callie @ HouseCapades

    Oh my gosh it is faaabulous!! I cannot believe how different the room looks, and it’s starting to look soo put together! Wow. Awesome job! That first ‘after’ photo especially looks straight out of a magazine!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Cassandra

    This is absolutely beautiful and unique… so amazed you pulled it off in such a time crunch. I swear you’re super woman! Love this room. I can’t wait to see what project you tackle next! Kitchen remodel perhaps??????????

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Oh thanks, Cassandra. We’d love to tackle the kitchen SOON! But we don’t want to have the chaos during the holidays. Maybe first project of 2013? It NEEDS it!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Ahhhh!!! I’m officially blushing. Thanks lady.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    I don’t know how many of our guests read our blog, but we’re definitely celebrating the time-crunch-successes!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Thanks Lily!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Kristine Metcalf

    i LOVE how you’ve done this living room! that wall is incredible! i am always impressed how you guys tackle a project and get it done. inspiring for sure. it is a gorgeous space.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Sarah B

    It looks so good! I can’t believe how fast y’all did that. What happened to the coffee table? I might have missed that somewhere along the line…

    I also wanted to say thanks for being so authentic and real. I love how you don’t have a lot of “filler” posts or sponsored stuff. I can always count on wanting to read your whole post when you pop up in my reader! So, thanks!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Oh Sarah, you just validated a lot of decisions we have made in the past few months. Thank you for recognizing and reading! As for the coffee table….you didn’t miss anything. We moved it to the garage for the project and then I may have put it up on the online classifieds. Hahahaha. We’ll keep you posted.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Janine

    What a great job you guys have done…this looks amazing!! Love the changes you are making. Also, while I read quite a few design blogs, I rarely comment but wanted to take a minute to tell you i agree 100% with what Sarah B has said about your blog content etc. I don’t ever leave here disappointed! Enjoy your upcoming party.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Melinda Page

    I had a feeling this was going to turn out amazing and it did. What a transformation. That wall is fantastic. I love how the light bounces off all the different angles and although it seemed like a fairly simple process the overall look, looks very expensive and complicated. I love it.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    andreaandreakrisourchaos

    This looks SO awesome!!! It definitely adds a level of sophistication and architectural detailing that kick this room up a notch. I loooooooooove it!!!!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    kate

    Wow – you all are on fire lately with the makeovers! I hope you are so so so pleased with your room! As I mentioned in the comments here yesterday, we’re adding wainscoting to our house this weekend. Pretty sure it’s going to take more than 3 days start to finish :)

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Morgan {Style Oyster}

    This looks AWESOME. Yes we have DIY-ed wainscoting (or at least my hubby has) in our dining room and one of our bathrooms. He also did beadboard with trim in our office. I am lucky to have a carpenter for a hubby! xoxo http://www.styleoyster.blogspot.com

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Susan M

    wow. It looks amazing! I love it!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Andi

    Julie…it is SO STRIKING with the size and shape of the window too. (I don’t know what that shape is even called…) And You know what I was thikning…to do that kind of a room right, I think window light is everything. You nailed it. No pun intended. And love how it transforms day to night, I’m sharing this with friends here in Mexico! So proud to call you sister

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Audrey

    Dude. LOOOOOVVVEEE!!

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Kelly @ A Swell Place to Dwell

    Oh, it looks fantastic! The living room is really coming together – love it so much more than the purple.

  • Reply October 25, 2012

    Tiana @ muse-decor.com

    This looks amazing!!! You guys did a great job.

  • Holy. Crap. The room looks HUGE! Fantastic job, you guys. I can’t believe it cost $117. I thought a job like this would be, like, $800! I’m in trouble when we buy a house someday…

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    steph

    this looks AMAZING. Not sure if you can help me work this through… but we did a board and batten effect in our kitchen along the back wall. We have a smallish townhouse. When sitting in the living room looking at the tv, you can see a portion of the kitchen back wall. Having done this wainscoting yourself, do you think it would be too much to do this in our living room knowing the board and batten look is nearby? This may make no sense without photos… :)

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    I think it could look great as long as you used similar boards. For instance, if we were to do a treatment elsewhere, we’d use the same width of boards with the straight shaker-style edges. Go for it!

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Oh Lexy. You crack me up daily.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Ditto! Sometimes we have to go crazy with ideas before we settle in on one that feels like us.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Thanks dude! :)

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Thanks Andi-girl! You little sweetie. That window was a challenge when we first moved in. How do we dress it?! But we have loved making it a valuable part of the room.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Lucky girl!

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Can’t wait to see/hear how it turns out!

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Yessss! Thanks so much.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    So simple. Thanks Melinda!

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Chris loves Julia

    Thanks Janine. You made my day.

  • Reply October 26, 2012

    Kim @ Yellow Brick Home

    Woweee, looks good, lady!

  • Reply October 27, 2012

    Diana @ Boy + Girl

    Stunning! I love this transformation!
    http://boyplusgirldesign.com

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Allison @ House of Hepworths

    Oh Em Geee I freaking love this. Fantastic.

    Allison @ houseofhepworths.com

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Ashli Garbrandt

    Wow I just found you on Younghouselove for the Pinterest Challenge and I am seriously in love with this idea! Beautiful dark color too!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Ashli Garbrandt

    I just discovered your blog from Younghouselove’s Pinterest Challenge! I am seriously in love with this idea! Love the beautiful, dark wall color too, it definitely adds sophistication!

    Ashli
    thegrayhouseontheleft.blogspot.com

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Andrea

    I love the dark wall. it makes the room feel cozy.

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Sarah Fogle

    What a dramatic addition to the room. Loving it.

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    tracy

    WOW! This is one of our next “big” projects around here and I love your finished wall. The dark color looks great! Thanks for some new inspiration and motivation to get on that!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    homemadeginger

    Can I say…WOW!!! Really beautiful job. The room is absolutely stunning. Version:1.0

    I would LOVE for you to link this up at my Ginger Jamboree Link Party!!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Delightfully Noted

    Stunning!! I agree it adds sophistication to the room. Great job!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Dacia @ Lemon Drop Life

    Love this! You guys made the perfect choice!!

  • Reply October 30, 2012

    Tamsyn Riley

    So dark and moody, I love it!! I can’t believe you did it so cheaply too :)

  • Reply November 28, 2012

    London Escorts

    Why are you redoing it…it looks fantastic to me

  • Reply February 8, 2013

    Taylor de Sa

    This is really fabulous! I love that it makes the entire room look dramatic and a little moody.

  • Reply March 1, 2013

    farrah

    This is so elegant! I love a good dark wall. Mercer by Ralph Lauren is my favorite, we’ve used it several times throughout the house.

  • Reply July 12, 2013

    Anonymous

    This is so beautiful. I would like to know about the long white cabinets along the right hand side of the room? Is this a hack of some kind? Almost looks like plain cabinets that you painted and put a top on. Would love to know.

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