help with board/batten or frame/panel wainscoting - help!
I am a newbie to woodworking, and want to install simple frame and panel or board and batten wainscoting(narrow stiles/rails over a flat panel - no mitered trims involved), all of which is to be painted. I have several questions about it, if anyone can help.
1. Is it necessary to remove the drywall and replace it with the plywood (as my trim book seem to indicate). Or, can I simply put the plywood over the existing drywall (nailed to the studs underneath, of course)? Obviously, this will stick out farther, but my door and window casings are going to be replaced anyway, so I can beef them up to match as necessary. Or perhaps it is just as easy to cut the drywall and start fresh, with all pipes and wires in plain view. If this is the case, do I just sprayfoam the seam to keep the air in and bugs out?
All of this leads to my next question, which is:
2. What thickness should the plywood and stiles/rails be? If over the drywall, is 1/2 plywood adequate to resist warping if nailed to the studs every 14 inches? Should the stiles be 1/4 inch deep? Thinner? Thicker? If I take off the drywall, should I use 3/4 inch plywood? Does it matter? Is lattice too thin to use for the stiles?
Also, I don't know what variety of plywood to purchase. I need something with a smooth paint-grade finish. The first paint-grade (the kind suitable for trim, cabinet faces, paneling, etc) plywood option I could find at Home Depot was the birch plywood. There did not appear to be any cheaper plywood (like paint-grade white pine), unless I missed it. Which leads to my third question, which is:
3. Is birch plywood what one would normally use for painted wainscoting panels (where only the face of the plywood is visible)? As for the stiles and rails, does it matter if these are white pine while the plywood is birch? Once painted, can you tell the difference?
Finally, I have no clue what gauge nails to use for all of this. Which leads to my last question:
4. If the plywood is placed over the existing drywall, will 2" nails work? What gauge? And what gauge finish nails would be used to apply the stiles to the plywood? Do I need two different nail guns, or is there one I can purchase that will work for both?
Any help would be greatly appreciated!