29th January 2018

How to Create & Install Wainscoting Wall Panelling

Raised panel wainscoting lifts any room and gives it greater architectural beauty. If you are wanting to achieve this look, we have created this easy to follow DIY video showing how to install it yourself. You may be surprised at how simple and inexpensive it is to apply wainscoting in your home!


Chair Rail – CR22, Size – 68x21mm, material – FJ Pine primed

Inlay Mould – IN23, Size – 42x15mm, material – FJ Pine primed

Architrave – SK450, Size – 66x18mm, material – FJ Pine primed

Skirting – SK450, Size – 135x18mm, material – FJ Pine primed


  • Vertical and horizontal spacer blocks 90mm wide (for marking out spacings between inlay mouldings on all wall panels).
  • Height Measurement stick (distance between top of skirting and underside of chair rail).
  • Hammer or Nail Gun
  • PVA Glue
  • Short nails
  • Stud finder


  1. Establish height of Chair Rail, measure and mark on wall.

Formula – height from top of floor to top of Chair rail = 100mm either side of 2/5 from floor to ceiling height, therefore 2400 divided by 5 = 480mm multiplied by 2 = 940mm. The recommended height of chair rail from floor will then be anywhere between 840mm and 1040mm. This video shows 970mm.

Intrim TIP ~ For a 2400mm floor to ceiling height, we recommend anywhere between 900mm to 1000mm above finished floor level to the top of chair rail.

  1. Measure down the width/height of chair rail. 70mm for CR22 is used in this video.
  2. Measure the distance between top of skirting and underside of chair rail.

Formula = (Measurement established in step 1) MINUS (height/width of skirting plus height/width of chair rail).

Formula for the project = 970mm – (skirting 135mm + chair rail 70mm = 205mm) = 765mm

  1. Cut height stick to this length. 765mm for the measurement in the video.
  2. Mark underside of chair rail onto wall with height stick.
  3. Measure overall length of chair rail.
  4. Cut chair rail to length.
  5. Cut slight bevel on front face of chair rail so it meets with architrave thickness.

Tilt saw over on 45 degrees to perform this bevel cut.

This is a 3mm bevel.

Formula = chair rail thickness @ 21mm thick less the architrave thickness @ 18mm = 3 x 3mm bevel cut.

  1. Locate studs with stud finder at chair rail height and mark on wall.
  2. Position chair rail in place using height stick and fix in place.
  3. Nail at stud locations.
  4. Set out wall panels for inlay moulds using 90mm spacers.
  5. Marking top right corner of end wall panel.
  6. Marking bottom right corner of end wall panel.
  7. Marking top and bottom left corners of end wall panel.
  8. Marking out all 4 external corners for the end wall panels of this overall wall section.
  9. Tack a nail in on the left vertical mark of left hand end wall panel.
  10. Hook tape measure on nail and measure overall distance of wall panel ends.
  11. Mark out individual wall panels on wall section.

Intrim TIP ~ Recommended individual panel length/width should be 1000mm maximum.

This wall section is 2441mm long, so overall will require 3 panels. This means we will need to allow for 2 more 90mm spaces between the 3 wall panels.

Formula – Overall distance of all panels = 2441mm less (2 @ 90mm spaces = 180mm) = 2261mm, therefore 2261mm divided by 3 panels = 753mm long/wide for each panel.

  1. Mark out width of individual wall panels.
  2. Confirm height of each wall panel. In the video it will be 585mm.

Formula = overall distance between top of skirting and underside of chair rail less (2 @ 90mm spaces = 180mm) E.g. 765mm (as in step 3) less 180mm = 585mm

  1. Set out each wall panel at 753mm long/wide x 585mm high

Measure length/width of 753mm from vertical mark of first end wall panel and mark.

Mark the start of second panel by positioning the 90mm spacer at the vertical mark of the previous wall panel.

  1. Cut a 45 degree mitre cut on each end of each inlay mould.

E.g. The overall length of the long points for the vertical inlay mould components = 585mm as determined in step 21. Overall length of the long points for the horizontal inlay mould components = 753mm as determined in step 19.

You will require 2 vertical and 2 horizontal pieces of inlay mould to create each rectangular panel on the wall. E.g. this wall section requires 3 wall panels, therefore 3 wall panels x 2 vertical inlay moulds/panel = 6 pieces of inlay mould @ 585mm long, and 3 wall panels x 2 horizontal inlay moulds/panel = 6 pieces of inlay mould @ 753mm long.

  1. Use initial cut lengths of inlay mould as templates.

The original vertical inlay mould cut to 585mm long, should be the same throughout the project as long as the distance between the top of skirting and underside of chair rail is consistent throughout.

The original horizontal inlay mould cut to length will be the same for that particular wall section length only. These lengths will need to be adjusted to suit each individual wall section length.

  1. Layout inlay moulds close to installation area.
  2. Begin installing inlay moulds to form rectangular wall panels using the 90mm spacers.

Place glue on back face of a piece of vertical inlay mould and back face of a piece of horizontal inlay mould. Position the 2 @ 90mm spacers in the corner and nail both inlay moulds in place to form the first corner of wall panel. Use short nails and fix nails on slight angle to gain more holding power to plaster while glue dries.

  1. Continue to fix next wall panel using 90mm spacers, repeating steps from above.
  2. Fix the final wall panel for this section of wall using 90mm spacers, repeating steps from above.
  3. Completed wainscoting panels on section of wall. Ready for painting.

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