help with board/batten or frame/panel wainscoting - help! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 17 Old 09-09-2010, 04:11 PM Thread Starter
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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!

Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 Old 09-09-2010, 05:34 PM
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WELCOME TO THE FORUM

Basically, you could just use " Birch or Maple plywood, secured with brad nails and construction adhesive, right on top of the drywall. Being painted, you could use MDF, which would be less expensive. For the moulding, you could use any clear solid wood. Pine if you can get it clear, or Poplar would be better. The moulding can be " which would be thick enough to profile if you choose. It can be applied with 1" brad nails to the plywood. You could also use a small bead of panel adhesive. For some mouldings MDF would be acceptable, but it's not as durable as solid wood.






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Last edited by cabinetman; 09-09-2010 at 05:37 PM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 09-09-2010, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply. I was told by another person that the 1/4 inch would be too thin and would develop high and low spots (little hills or rolls - in other words - it would not stay flat). But I thought, if each piece is only 4' wide, and nailed to the studs- surely it would stay flat?

Also, I have received differing thougts on teh MDF. Doesn't it look awfully smooth - and thus somewhat fake? Or is there really no difference in appearance between painted birch/maple and painted mdf?

Sorry to ask more questions.
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post #4 of 17 Old 09-09-2010, 06:26 PM
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If you want grain to read through, use plywood.






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post #5 of 17 Old 09-09-2010, 10:06 PM
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Hi moabird67

By all means leave the sheetrock on the wall, since it will all be painted all you have to do is install your top and bottom rail and then place your stiles in appropriate places. Are you simply trying to install flat-panel wainscoting, between 36 inches to 60 inches high? If that is the case then simply lay out your panels to whatever you wish them to be. Because more than likely you will not be hitting a stud with your Stiles then what I would do is place a small amount of caulking or glue on the back side of the Stiles as you install them, then pin them with nails at an angle through the wood and sheetrock just to hold them till the glue are caulking sets, for this I would use an 1 1/2 inch nail so you will not hit a water line our wire. Then of course all you have to do is cap off the top. And by the way 2 inch nails should be sufficient. Since it will all be painted any type of material will work. MDF or fingerjoint pine. I would also suggest that you use a 1x6 for the bottom rail and a 1x4 for the top rail and Stiles. I hope this advice helps for this little project you are thinking about doing. I welcome any feedback you might have after it is done. Hope to hear from you later, happy woodworking. As mentioned earlier you were worried about how MDF may look fake but let's be honest when things are painted with a brush or roller it pretty much all has the same textures unless of course you are using a weathered wood which will have a definitive woodgrain, but all in all especially if cost is a factor then I would use as mentioned earlier MDF or fingerjoint pine to be cost-effective.

You will have to forgive me, as I am also new to the forum. I have been doing interior trim professionally for over 25 years, anyhow I am wondering if you have any type of air nailers that you will be installing this with, if not forget about the MDF unless you want to pilot drill for each and every nail. MDF is a very dense material Hintze the D in MDF, of course this is no problem for air nailers. If you can rent a air compressor and air nailer this will help the project tremendously as you will have no hammer marks in the wood, not to mention you will not have to set the nails. Just a thought! I could sit here and talk to you a lot about what I would and wouldn't do, but enough said.

Last edited by woodjoiner; 09-09-2010 at 10:42 PM. Reason: adding a thought
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post #6 of 17 Old 09-10-2010, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both very much.

To Woodjoiner:

The wainscoting is to be about 42 inches high including cap in the living but 5 1/2 to 6 feet in the dining room. Is this a problem? I was thinking the 4 x 8 plywood would just need to be turned vertically in the dining. Maybe there is too much potential for warping with it that tall?

Do you also recommend 1/4 inch thickness for the plywood or MDF panels?

I just purchased a nailer at Woodcraft that shoots 18 gauge brads up to 2 inches long. I don't know if this is what I need or not. The guy who helped me seemed to think so, but I am completely confused (about what gauge nail to use in a given instance) after reading different articles.
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post #7 of 17 Old 09-10-2010, 02:30 AM
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Hey again, just to clarify a few things. Is there drywall already on the walls? If so as mentioned earlier I would leave the sheetrock on the wall forget about the plywood or MDF backer and just install the rails, stiles and cap. I would also recommend that you not exceed 60 inches in height, but that's just me. If the sheetrock is not on the walls then anything a half inch in thickness would be appropriate as most sheetrock is a half-inch thick and you would need this above the wainscot. As previously mentioned it the sheetrock is allready on the wall by all means leave it.
The addition of the new air nailer sounds great and will be very productive and efficient in this project and many others. The 18gauge and it's 2 inch capacity should be sufficient for most all of your projects. However a rule of thumb typically speaking is that the nail should go into the supporting wood equal to or more than total length that it goes through to get to that supporting wood, if that makes any sense. For instance you are putting a cleet on the wall that is 3/4" to support a shelf or anything to support weight and it then goes through a 1/2" of sheetrock well then add the 3/4" and the1/2" together it would be 1 1/4" so double that and you have 2 1/2 inches. Now these figures are primarily for gun nails i.e. air nailer nails. And this is a rule of thumb for support however in the case of the wainscot as mentioned earlier to inches should be sufficient. Now keep in mind if you go through 3/4" of wood and go directly into would thin 2 inches is more than adequate. Now these are just my opinions, and you know what they say about opinions. If you want to know my opinion on anything else feel free to ask. As always happy woodworking.
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post #8 of 17 Old 09-10-2010, 01:20 PM
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Good article on wainscoting on the Kreg video.
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post #9 of 17 Old 10-12-2010, 04:27 PM
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I think you are making this harder than it has to be. All you have do is cut you sheet rock top an bottom and in the middle for your taller ones cut 4" wide cuts install 1/2"x4"x8 foot ply wood or how ever long you need them to your expossed studs then just attach your borads to these perlins and you will be flush with the sheet rock..Uncle Mel

I build wooden coin banks http://[email protected]
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post #10 of 17 Old 10-13-2010, 11:15 PM
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Leave sheet rock alone

Do not take the sheet rock off the wall. If the wall finish is smooth you can get by without putting plywood panels in place. I recently finished a project where I used 1/4" mdf panels and trimmed the boxes with panel molding. I like mdf over plywood because it is smoother and you do not have to worry about having the plywood grain going in the same direction, plus it is cheaper and paints easier.

http://www.apexcarpentryinc.com
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 10:41 AM
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I'm also doing wainscoting but am a beginner woodworker so my advice is to be suspect. :)

I went to this site which sells premade MDF wainscoting pieces. Although I'm milling my own components out of MDF their site was very helpful. [EliteTrimworks.com]

I'm doing the raised panels wainscoting out of 3/4" Medite (sometimes called 3D) MDF. This Medite I think is generally available in the western states and is milled out of the Northwest. It's is double refined MDF (whatever that is). It's specifically made to hold for routered edges. They use it to make those carved signs out of. For some reason 1/2", my first choice, wasn't readily available.

I rigged for high quality blades, bits and dust extraction and quite frankly it's been a dream working with this stuff. The cutting and routering has been flawless. Not so much as a splinter and it mills so smooth I don't even need to sand. My raised panels are gorgeous.

The only downside up to this point is you have to use a solvent based primer which I hate solvent based anything. (painting whoose) Also, those sheets are over a hundred pounds apiece which is tough for a older, lone worker.

Today, with a break in the weather, I spray prime. Wish me luck. I'll get back to you on how this stuff nails.
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post #12 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 10:46 AM
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Nice paneling

BTW, CVBrew2, you're design is gorgeous. I have a small kitchen strip to do and I might steal your design if you don't mind.

I wanted to use beaded board for the interior panels but your application, narrower interior flat panels looks pretty darn nice. Beaded interior panels with your narrow spacing might be a tad busy. What do you think?
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post #13 of 17 Old 11-01-2010, 09:59 PM
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A couple of things.

First, if you want the wood grain in the panels and therefore will be using plywood, it needs to run vertical in the 4' section as well, just so it doesn't look funny IMO.

Second, As cabinetman said, you can use panel adhesive on the back of 1/4" plywood rather than just nailing on the studs in order to prevent any warping/waving. From your reply to his post, I wasn't sure if you caught that part.

You can install your plywood almost like you are using contact cement. Apply the panel adhesive to the back, press the plywood to the wall then remove it, let the panel adhesive dry for a couple of minutes, but not more than that, then press it back into place and it will pretty much stick by itself, just pop a few brads along the studs to be sure it doesn't pop off while the adhesive finishes drying.

Every 5-10 minutes for the first 45 minutes, press on the plywood periodically in between the studs to be sure the glue is holding if you have spots that want to pop off.
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post #14 of 17 Old 11-02-2010, 12:18 AM
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you can also get 1/8 in textured skins for panels if you want textured panels. i did a simple one im my laundry room. ( dont know how to post pics in here you can see it in my photo's )
i agree with those that said dont remove sheetrock, totally not needed.
cfbrew2-nice wall
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post #15 of 17 Old 11-04-2010, 08:48 PM
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1/4" mdf over the drywall. stile and rails can be planted right on top, or you could leave a gap for expansion/contraction.

If you use 3/4" for your stile/rail, you could then apply a 1/2" panel mould.

Cap it with a chair rail and your done.

I've done quite a bit of paint grade wainscot, have had just drywall as the panel before. IMO it all looks the same when painted.

Around here it seems all we use is MDF. Haven't had any issues, unless you beat the hell out of your mouldings once they're installed.
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post #16 of 17 Old 04-10-2020, 01:38 PM
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What if you are trying to cover textured walls? The previous owners of my home painted with something in the paint that feels like sand, but I have been told is probably some sort of styrofoam. It is impossible to sand off and I hate it. I am doing everything I can throughout the home to cover this where it was done. My hope is not to have to just rip it all out. It makes for uneven unreliable surfaces in some spots as well. I am thinking I can use a thin layer of plywood and cover it but I am torn on how best to do that. My home is a late mid century spanish/tuscan with arches and I am trying to recapture that look so I don't want to just use white I was hoping to stain a dark with a high gloss poly and then do the ceiling in beadboard possibly.
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post #17 of 17 Old 04-10-2020, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Macom-Teague View Post
What if you are trying to cover textured walls? The previous owners of my home painted with something in the paint that feels like sand, but I have been told is probably some sort of styrofoam. It is impossible to sand off and I hate it. I am doing everything I can throughout the home to cover this where it was done. My hope is not to have to just rip it all out. It makes for uneven unreliable surfaces in some spots as well. I am thinking I can use a thin layer of plywood and cover it but I am torn on how best to do that. My home is a late mid century spanish/tuscan with arches and I am trying to recapture that look so I don't want to just use white I was hoping to stain a dark with a high gloss poly and then do the ceiling in beadboard possibly.

If you are using plywood, MDF, or whatever then the texture of the drywall does not matter.


Only if you are leaving the drywall exposed does it matter.'


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