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I work as a finish carpenter in the Santa Barbara, Calif., area. Although some of my finish work has included installing the cheap, faux-walnut panels found on the walls of mobile homes and basements, I've also had the pleasure of working with intricate hardwood paneling and ornate frame-and-panel wainscoting. On those occasions, I've had to use a couple of tricks to prepare the out-of-true walls to receive the paneling. Spot Check It's crucial to thoroughly check the floor, walls, and ceiling of the room for level, plumb, and square. I start at the floor and use a builder's level or water level to locate the highest point in the flooring. Because I've been caught before, I also make