Installing Wainscoting

By Robert Robillard on Finish Carpentry

Designing With Wainscoting Trim

Probably one of my favorite finish carpentry activities is installing wainscoting.   An even better activity is to make raised panel wainscoting in the shop and later install it onsite.

Wainscoting is a broad term referring to trim that is added to the bottom quarter of the wall. The type of material used can be wood paneling, trim or intricate molding.

Types of Wainscoting

Wainscoting can be a simple beaded type, or a flat panel as shown below or an elegant and formal raised panel.


Photo: concordcarpenter

Interiors have used wainscoting for architectural design and visual appeal since the late 1500s. Though there is no structural purpose for wainscoting, the added feature adds contrast and design to a wall.


Photo: concordcarpenter

Wainscoting is commonly painted to match existing trim in a home; however, employing different paint colors and treatments adds character and personality to a home’s interior design.


Photo: concordcarpenter

Wainscoting adds instant architectural detail and interest to a wall.


Photo:Isaac Goodale House, Ipswich, Massachusetts

A raised panel appearance, wainscoting becomes formal.


Photo:Isaac Goodale House, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Dark stained wainscoting adds a masculine touch for a man’s room or den.


Photo: concordcarpenter

White painted wainscoting against pastel walls becomes a youthful, feminine combination.


Photo: concordcarpenter

With a bead board appearance, wainscoting evokes the beach and lake.


Photo: concordcarpenter

How the wainscoting is designed and finished makes it usable in almost any room in the house.


Photo: concordcarpenter

Applied moldings: See Faux wainscoting

 

~ concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href="https://profiles.google.com/concordcarpenter"

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