Entryway Wainscot- 1 Day DIY project!

This quick little DIY project made such a big impact on our entryway, that I wanted to share a quick how-to post on it!  Our entryway from downstairs is kind of a weird spot in our house, because we switched its location from the interior to the exterior when we built our staircase.  To do that, we blasted through an old closet into what is now the kitchen, but that resulted in a half-plaster, half-“needs to be sheetrocked” wall.  We’re quickly learning that plaster and sheetrock just never seem to meet up properly, and that fact combined with our terrible mudding skills (seriously, how do people learn to be good at it?  Those folks are worth their weight in gold, I swear it!) result in weird-looking walls.   This area was no exception, and it was starting to drive us both a little crazy looking at it.  It also is such a small space, and just needed a little more interest.  

So, after thinking for awhile that the entryway needed some love , and getting started on holiday decorating, I came up with the bright idea to add wainscoting to make the space feel more intentional and purposeful, and also give us a spot to hang our stockings (and if it ever actually gets cold here in New Orleans, we can hang coats/scarves/whatever there too!).
This project took me about 3 hours total, which is awesome, and half of that was waiting for paint to dry and watching fixer-upper, haha.  We had some leftover pre-pasted wallpaper and trim pieces so I didn’t even need to hit the store, but everything is inexpensive, so it’s a pretty cheap-o update as well.
Pre-pasted wallpaper just needs water to be activated, so I cut two pieces to size (making sure the pattern would match), and stuck them on there.  It matches up pretty well, but I placed the seam where I knew I’d have a trim piece to a) help hide the slight imperfection and b) help keep it in place (you know how wallpaper seams sometimes come loose, just to drive you batty?).  So then it was just starting with the baseboard, and working my way up with my trim pieces.  I made two sections with 3 pieces of 1×3 vertical trim, with the wallpaper adding the visual interest in the squares it made, then did a horizontal piece of about the same thickness as the baseboard (1×8 in our case), but added a piece of chair rail to the top to give it a little more weight/visual interest and act as a mini-shelf. I used our new battery operated finish nailer to tack everything into place, which seriously is the best tool we’ve ever purchased. If you have a little more width in your space you could add a little more shelf-width to the top portion, which could act as a perfect picture rail or for storing small items.
I filled in the top-section of the wall with a large-scale photograph of an area in Mike’s hometown that we love, and voila, this area is 100% nicer to look at, and your eye is drawn upward so that the space doesn’t feel as cramped as it did before!  This made such a huge impact for such a little amount of work-  don’t we all wish every household project could be like that!?  🙂

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