99.9% of homes in Cary, North Carolina have dining rooms. Formal dining rooms. (Ok, I made that stat up, but I bet I’m right). When we bought our first house (ever), we also had to buy a dining table, and of course decorate the dining room. So far you’ve seen the curtains I’ve made for the room:

You’ve seen the rhinoceros head I made and mounted:

And today I’ll show you my wainscot (it sounds so naughty, ha!):

This is my wainscot. Yes, in my chaotic creative mind, I do believe its stylish. I love the geometry and symmetry the interlocking squares create.I love that it only cost me my sanity the price of painters tape.  I think it provides a modern, quirky touch to the traditional  formal dining room. It adds a little drama. Especially when you add the rhino and curtains:


I’m sure you can figure out how I painted it, but if not, here’s all you need to know- it takes freaking forever.

Tools You Need:

Large Level, Measuring Tape, Ruler, Pencil, Painter’s Tape (I used the green Frog Tape because I heard it works best), TIME, Paint brushes, Paint (I used left-overs)

(I owned all of the above, except the Frog Tape. I bought about 4 rolls @ $6 each.)

Step 1:

Paint the lower wall, chair railing down, with white paint. Do not use a high-gloss paint. (I did because that was the white paint I had left over for painting some trim and it made it very hard to get clean lines later)

Step 2:

Determine how many boxes you want on the wall and using your measuring tape and level, trace the pattern out.

*tip: for determining widths and spacing, I used the width of the Frog Tape and Level

Step 3:

Tape off the portion you want to stay white. Another option would to just make stencil out of poster board or something, but I didn’t think that would give me crisp clean lines. Knowing what I know now, I would try to make a stencil.

Step 4:

Paint over your tape. The grey paint I used was a combo of left-over paint from other projects. I used Lighthouse Shadow, Cold Stone, and Shark Loop. Each is grey, though throughout the day they each look like the same shade of light blue. The dining room is the  “grey-ist” room in the house, and of course, my favorite shade. Happy accident.

Step 5:

Let paint dry, but don’t let it set. Then pull tape up.

Step 6:

If you’re lucky, you’re done. The lines will be crisp and even.

If you have OCD, you are just at the beginning. Seriously. You’ll see smudges, and curves where lines should be straight. So slight that a normal paintbrush is too big to fix. So…

Step 7:

Rummage your kids watercolors, find the teeny tiny brush and paint over each and every line to perfection…or until you get so tired, you stop. (yes, I chose option b.)

I’ve got 2 more major projects to share with my DIY Dining room.

Next week, I’ll share my DIY chandelier…it involves brass and coffee filters. The second, project…well, I’m still gathering my courage to attempt. I’ll keep you posted. Literally.

This project has been linked to the following blogs:

The Shabby Nest