My Nest

My Nest
My Nest





Family Room Makeover

Fresh Paint & DIY Wainscoting

Hey friends! I am super excited about all the little projects going on this fall in our home and I can't wait to share them with you. The best part is that I made so many impactful changes and only spent about $300. Woo hoo! 

About two years ago we decided to take our boring family room to new heights with a custom shiplap fireplace and built-ins. We hired a master carpenter and he did an amazing job (full post here).  To truly understand the full impact of the changes made, check out this BEFORE pic below...

We built our home in 2013 and purchased it knowing that we would have to add to it over the years. Our home has great bones but we knew we couldn't afford all of our ideas all at once. So after building our fireplace we were happy with the room as is. In the past few months I decided I wanted to add a board & batten wainscoting to the family room. It seemed easy enough on Pinterest so my husband and I went for it! I'm so glad we did because the transformation was incredible. For paint we chose  Dover White by Sherwin Williams for the wainscoting and Cracked Pepper by Behr for the walls. I'll walk you through the transformation below but for now, check out some after pics below!

The Result

The Process

For this project we decided to use poplar. It's inexpensive, the color is light and it comes pre-cut at Home Depot in a variety of lengths and sizes. We purchased 2" x 4' strips for the vertical strips. I opted for 1/2" thickness because my floor molding is 3/4" thick and I wanted the strips slightly recessed. We used 3" x 4' board for the horizontal and created a lip on the top out of 1" x 2" poplar in 6' lengths. Having everything already cut was awesome and saved us a lot of time! The total cost for the lumber, primer, caulk and wood putty was $155.

We decided to space the batten 18" apart and measured accordingly throughout the room. We used a laser level, traditional level, liquid nails and a friend's nail gun to do the job. This is what the room looked like with the board and batten in place.

After the boards were nailed and in place, the next step was to prime everything. In all honesty this step took some time. We used a paint friendly caulk first to fill all the seams and gaps. After letting that dry for about 20 minutes I started priming. I used Kilz brand and it really sealed everything up nicely. WARNING: The walls look a little crazy with only primer. Don't worry - it all comes together with the paint!!

After the priming was complete we we ready to paint. As mentioned earlier, we painted the wainscoting Dover White by Sherwin Williams and decided on Cracked Pepper by Behr for the walls. The contrast of the light and dark is very dramatic and feels very elegant. I don't have any wall decor hung yet but that will come soon.

The Details


Neutral Autumn decor 

View into our kitchen

View from the rear of the home

There you have it folks! A dramatic DIY makeover that cost $225 in total including paint and painting supplies. I painted everything myself so I saved a lot of money there! Stay tuned for my next post on paint details for the rest of our first floor as well as our DIY kitchen backsplash (you can spy a little bit of that in the pictures above). Thanks for stopping by!! xo Laura

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