Hiding Plumbing Access With Wainscoting

Submitted by The Modern Parsonage

How to hide an eyesore with wainscoting


When we renovated our den, we discovered that the water main for the house sat behind wood paneling that the previous owners had cut and reattached whenever access to it was needed. Since we were dry walling the whole room, we figured that we’d just tack up a door in the space when the time came.


Hiding plumbing access with wainscoting

The problem we encountered when the time came was that a plain Jane door was inevitably going to look out of place, particularly in a room that we’d just immaculately designed put so much effort into beautifying. Then inspiration struck. Blogs across the Internet sang praises of faux wainscoting. Our old apartment had faux wainscoting. Little square doors look a lot like faux wainscoting. Maybe this was the solution. Scott whipped out his mathematics prowess (and a miter saw) and got to work framing out the door.Hiding plumbing access with wainscoting-2

We attached four cabinet-grade magnets to the door and studs to make a detachable panel that was useful, but also easily camouflaged. The next step was installing the trim.

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We used a combination of adhesive and finishing nails to hold the squares in place and – trust me – they aren’t going anywhere. Scott filled the gaps with DAP caulk and it was time for me to inherit the wall for priming and painting.

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See? We’re getting there! All told, the wall needed one coat of primer and three coats of wall/trim white paint, but the results are fantastic.

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Here it is with the open door, looking useful. But oh!

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Also pretty darn gorgeous. I would encourage anyone with a similar dilemma to think outside the box (no pun intended) and incorporate some kind of design element to spruce up an otherwise boring solution. Not only do we have a beautiful wall, but it’s also a great foyer space for the backyard entrance. I already have visions of an upholstered bench to round out the space.

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Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. Fantastic idea!!!!! You solved a problem that is going to arise at my house before it happened. Thank you for all you super ideas ! !!
    Pinned and tweeted your genius.

  2. Hey there I am so thrilled I found your web site, I really found you by
    mistake, while I was researching on Google for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and
    a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

    1. Hi Joan! We have a great community over on Facebook who love to help with questions like this, so if you’ll send me a picture and some general details with your question, I’d be happy to post it over there for some feedback! Email me at hello@remodelaholic.com. Thanks!

  3. Good Idea. Would have been better to use one of those magnetic push door catches rather than a handle for a cleaner look.

  4. Wish you went more into detail about how you made the door. How do you remove the door without damaging the trim around it?

    1. Hi Stacey – this is an old post from a guest whose blog isn’t available anymore, so I’m sorry we can’t offer a lot more help! It sounds like the door fits right inside the trim frame, held in place by small magnets so it lifts right out.