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

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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