Mike & Sandie's Foyer: Wainscoting

Renovation Diary

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Name: Mike and Sandie
Type of Project: Foyer renovation
Location: Saskatoon; Saskatchewan, Canada
Type of building: 2 1/2 story single-family home, built in 1919

The Renovation Diaries are a collaboration with our community in which we feature your step by step renovation progress and provide monetary support towards getting it done in style. See all of our Reno Diaries here.

Cladding the lower half of the walls in appliqued wainscoting took much more attention than leaving the walls bare, but the result is pretty slick! We’ve been able to pick away at it bit by bit as we mosey along (it also continues up the staircase and into the 2nd floor hall), which has been great to keep the energy flowing. It’s been like a puzzle we can put in piece by piece when we had a few minutes here and there: fun with immediate results.

Wainscoting, part 1 - baseboards and chair rail installed.
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Wainscoting part 2 - vertical pieces added, and baseboard removed to install flooring.
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Part 3 - the baseboard is back.
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Quarter rounds installed.
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Primed and painted!
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First the baseboards were dry-fitted and the chair rail leveled and fastened. Uppy-downy pieces were fastened next, creating the “panels”. Baseboards were removed to install the marble flooring and then re-attached, and then the quarter rounds were painted and installed. Finally we filled all the nail holes, and primed and painted it all. The walls (as well as the floors) of this nearly-100-year-old prairie beast are wonky doodle dandy: old plaster & lath with curves like a lady. Va-va-voom! Much caulk & wood filler were called upon where our carpentry skills failed. And now here she is: painted pretty in fresh bright Ultra White (Behr).

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We are lovin’ the character boost the contoured panels lend to her already established personality. At 32” high, the chair rail sits at a classic height... and by keeping it the same height as the adjacent living room, there is continuous flow between rooms, even if they are different colours. The panels seem to have accentuated the 9’ ceilings, and the white-ness of them adds a crisp light attitude. To complete the ensemble we added a plaster ring moulding at the newly-positioned light because we are awesome like that, dig.

The plaster molding at the light fixture.
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The pending results of the renovation are becoming apparent now. Our new space has already had a huge impact on how we receive and are received into our home. The new foyer is open, light, and luxe in comparison to the dark cavern of old and busted neglected house it once was. We took a stroll down memory lane at the “before” photos and big smiles grew upon our weary paint-speckled faces. The work is showing, and it is really feeling good!

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Next up is tackling that tricksy staircase surface... finally. We're terrified (to try something new) and exited (to get it finished) all at the same time! Giddyup!

Estimated time for project: 10 weeks
Time remaining: 6 weeks

Check out the full series (so far) and be sure to join us tomorrow for installment #9 of Mike and Sandie's Foyer Renovation.

(Images and diary text: Mike and Sandie)

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Renovation Diary: Mike & Sandie's Foyer

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