classin up the walls

Hello friends! A few weeks ago I mentioned our latest house project that we were “almost” done with, promising thorough photo documentation. Well truth be told, we’ve still got a little more paint to throw on the walls, but it’s pretty much done, and I’ve been eager to show you what we’ve been working on, so there you have it. This project has been on our list since we moved in, but it’s one of those updates that–while really exciting to Jeremy and me–is probably not going to be super noticeable to peeps who visit our place. Here is a picture of our hallway about a month ago:

IMG_2176Not a bad hallway. But we were hoping to tear down the white paneling in order to install our own real wainscoting. A couple reasons: a) we thought real wainscoting would look sharper, b) we thought [even fake] wainscoting shouldn’t go quite so far up the walls (and so we wanted to lower the height of what ran along the walls), and c) there were some awkward/unfinished elements to the current paneling. Case in point:

IMG_2175The random stop to the paneling about a foot shy of the edge of the wall. Also, the horrid vinyl “baseboard” (which was not a board at all) left a nasty gap between the floor and the paneling:

IMG_2180Yikes. So anyways, we were excited to tackle this project, and figured it shouldn’t be too terribly difficult. We planned on following the example of Young House Love’s Board & Batten project, which made planning relatively simple. But we’d need to demo our current paneling before really getting started, so we set up. And I protected my pregnant self from possibly hazardous dust particles (this one’s for you, ma).


IMG_2212As we started tearing down the paneling, we ran into a little snag. Plaster. Lots of plaster underneath all that paneling.


So we decided we’d have to knock out some of this plaster in order to install a bit of drywalling, which would allow us to make the wainscoting shorter than the paneling had been. In the end, it required a lot more time and energy (and mess), but it actually turned out to be a fun learning experience for me. I had never installed drywall, and had no idea how simple it would be. Here’s what was under the plaster:

IMG_2203After taking out all the plaster we thought should be removed, we got to drywalling. Jer was in charge of cutting and installing the drywall pieces, and I was on taping, mudding, and sanding to make it look like these sections of wall had been here all along.


IMG_2218After all the drywalling, the Jer assembled and installed all the pieces of the wainscoting while I continued sanding and sweeping along the way. Here are some shots of the process:




IMG_2241After lots of caulking and lots of painting, we’re pretty much done. We have one more coat of wall paint including a few touch ups along the border of the wainscoting, and of course we need to re-hang everything that was initially on these walls. But other than those details, we’re good to go. For dramatic effect, here’s the before shot again:


And voila! The finished-ish product:


And here’s from standing up in the kitchen, for a bit of a different perspective.

IMG_2347This was probably my favorite project we’ve done so far. It felt really great to do so much straight up manual labor for a decent amount of hours. All the hard work made the finished product even more satisfying, and we’re happy with how it turned out. Hope you enjoyed the little update!



  1. jean moore · April 15, 2013

    Wow! That looks amazing!! I didn’t realize you’d gone all the way into the kitchen too – smart. I think it will definately be noticable when we come to visit next. Great job to you both!! And yes, isn’t good old fashioned labor satisfying. It’s times like that you realize God created us to work. XX to you both, Ma Moore

  2. Amy Carr · April 15, 2013

    Erin! It looks SO good! And congrats on being prego – hope things continue to go well for you guys, love seeing your house become a home more and more. 🙂
    – Amy Carr

  3. · April 15, 2013

    This looks soooo good!!! Do you want to teach Matt and I how to do house projects to class up our house?!?!

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