$100 Room Challenge: Adding Wainscot Trim Wall

$100 Room Challenge: Adding Wainscot Trim Wall 

This week on the $100 Room Challenge we will be showing how we are adding wainscot trim to our master toilet room, to change the entire look of the space. This is one DIY you won’t want to miss. 

This week we are taking on the first steps in our $100 Room Challenge. We will be adding in wainscot trim, about half way up the wall, which is a little higher than a standard chair rail height. We have purchased all of our material to do this portion of the challenge for $53.70 which is over half our budget just on the molding, eek. Check out the full DIY below and see the amazing before and after pictures. 

Weeks at a Glance: 

WEEK  1    WEEK 2    WEEK 3   WEEK 4


Here we have the before pictures that I posted last week in our launch post. As you can see the “throne room” is not anything grand, it is your basic white box.  We have added a few shelves for storage, which we plan to keep, and the tile floor is beautiful but it lacks a certain amount of visual interest.  Today we will be adding visual interest by installing a basic set of wainscot trim; which we have done in previous projects like the Kitchen Island Upgrade last year. This is a super easy and inexpensive DIY, that pretty much any one can do with the proper tools. It can literally be completed in a weekend, and will add a ton visual interest and character to your home without breaking the bank, so perfect for a $100 Room Challenge.

*Please note that this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. These involve no extra cost to you, but may result in me receiving a small commission – for which I am very grateful! You can view my full advertising disclosure here.


 Our first step was to determine how high we wanted the wainscot panels to go up the wall. Now I am going to be completely honest here, when I say there is a bigger scope to the entire Master Bathroom project that entails another upgrade being done to this space, even after this $100 Room challenge is complete. So taking this into account for the next step of that project I know we wanted the height of the wainscot panel to be directly under the switch plate cover, and that is all I am going to say about the future project for now……lol, I know such a tease!We placed the top trim piece at the desired height, all the way around the bathroom. This was done with ultra thin finishing nails and a nail gun, for speed. I should also say, at this point that we pre-marked all the studs using a stud finder and a pencil, below the chair rail line, which allows you to make sure you are nailing directly into a stud and creates minimal holes to be filled later. To make life a little easier we removed the lower shelf, because to create the panel behind the toilet we would need to remove the tank. Which is a simple process, you drain the tank and unbolt it from the seat portion, we sat the tank aside in our bathtub to prevent it from being accidentally knocked over during the project.  To make the wainscot boxes look visually correct within the space we decided it would be three panels on each of the side walls and one large panel on the back wall. Which is fine since they are separate walls, as long as you keep your spacing between the panels consistent, that is the key. To make this part of the project move quicker I recommend a laser level, you set it once and you are done.  Ron made all the measurements and put light pencils marks on the walls designating the four corner of the wainscot boxes. Then since the 6 boxes (3 per wall)  were exactly the same you could make all your cuts at the same time. The top and bottom pieces are the same measurements and the sides are also the same, so you are cutting 12 of each piece for the two side walls. The back wall was the only set that was different and that was to fit the wall with the same 3 1/2” gap to the corners of the wall, to look consist with the other panels. Once you have all your cuts, it is just tacking the pieces up with the nail gun, which is super quick. Once the pieces were in in place we filled all the gaps and nail holes with caulk. Then we allowed it to dry over night before we started the painting process. So the entire first part of the process maybe took about a half a day, 3-4 hours tops. It is amazing at what a difference just the trim makes on the walls at this point.  So the next morning we got up bright and early; we decided to go ahead and remove the shelves for the time being, since the next step will require full access to the back wall, seeing that I have decided that the back wall will be my accent wall for this room. Then we painted all of the wainscot panels the same color as our trim. I am not adding paint into the budget, since we already owned a 5 gallon bucket of trim paint for our entire home. I think most people will have touch up trim paint already, and most builders leave behind a 5 gallon bucket as they did for our home. It is kind of like paint supplies, I will not be counting those either since I always re use my favorite orange roller bucket, roller and my Purdy paint brushes are always cared for properly. This way I always get a nice long life out of them.  Honestly, if you take care of your tools, that alone will save you a ton of money on reoccurring projects like painting.As you can see the Wainscot is up and painted. I am absolutely loving the result so far! It really dresses up this little toilet room and I can not wait to expand on the concept for this project into the rest of the bathroom too, I got some big plans on the horizon. Next week for $100 Room Challenge, we will be adding in the hand stenciled accent wall, courtesy of Cutting Edge Stencils.   

*I was compensated for this post. This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. These involve no extra cost to you, but may result in me receiving a small commission – for which I am very grateful! You can view my full advertising disclosure here.







  1. Spot on with this write-up, І truly believe that your website needs so much more attention. I know that I will be returning to seek more great advice like this thanks!

  2. I’ve been talking about doing just this in our upstairs bathroom. You make it look so easy that I almost want to get started on it right now! Thanks for the tips – can’t wait to try it myself!

  3. I love how the wainscot trim adds detail to the room. It really draws your eye. Such a simple and inexpensive idea!

  4. Such a great idea I really like the way it dress up this simple space and makes it feel larger, I really can’t wait to see the stencil project! I have been wanting to try one so bad this may be the push I need.

  5. That was one heck of a small but amazing improvement. Taking notes for future house. Thanks for this one!

  6. Thank you Erin it has been a fun challenge so far and I am super excited to post all about the stencil next week. I am hoping to put sneak peeks in my instagram stories this week too.

  7. I have always wanted to do this to our guest bathroom! It came out great!

  8. This is awesome! Your bathroom looks beautiful! It inspires me to think about what I could do, small changes we could make to some of our rooms to make them look better. Thanks for sharing!

  9. The bathroom looks amazing! It looks like you’ve spent a fortune on it. You’ve got some serious design skills! So impressed!

  10. Such an amazing tutorial, I wish I had the knack for matching and decorating, as far as my expertise goes though; I am great at cleaning and organizing! Hahaha

  11. Awesome way to add a little omfff to the bathroom. I also love the idea that you mentioned you did the same thing to your kitchen island. I think you may have inspired me to recreate a look like this for the kitchen. Thanks so much! ❤️

  12. Wow this looks so good, and really dresses up that space. I love how simple this project is and impactful.

  13. Jen it looks amazing! I love this look, planning on doing something similar in my bedroom someday. I can’t wait to see it next week after the stencil!

  14. It is looking really nice, but you always do the nicest projects. I love to see your DIY’s. I really do love that you guys actaully do your own construction that it a true blogger talent and makes your blog more interesting!

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