Get the Look of Wainscoting for Less

Get the Look of Wainscoting for Less

Photo Images: THR & Sons


When we built a home years ago my brother suggested some cost cutting carpentry illusions that gave us the look of custom raised wainscoting panels in the dining room and up the stairway. It's fairly commonplace now but at the time, it was a clever construction cost cutting idea.

created at: 2009-05-18

Wainscoting was originally used to camouflage what was known as rising damp, a wicking effect on interior walls. Even though the causes of rising damp have long been solved, the use of wainscoting continues for its style and visual interest.

The trick we used was to use inexpensive half-round trim to outline 'panels' on the lower 1/3 of the drywall. We painted the trim and drywall a soft white and painted the top 2/3 of the wall taupe.

It resembled raised panel wainscoting for a fraction of the cost. Check out these photos of various wainscoting styles you could achieve for less if you are, or have access to, a handy carpenter.

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ModHomeEcTeacher on Jun 10, 2010:

Jenn-I hear you.

Jenn on Jun 10, 2010:

That's is a great tip! However I'd suggest a methong that is so much easier and creates no mess! Wainscot Solutions in Connecticut has these full panels that are custom made. They are delivered to the house fully assembled and are able to be applied to the wall with hardly any skills which is GREAT because as much as I LOVE LOVE my husband... he's not the handiest guy ever...

ModHomeEcTeacher on May 18, 2009:

Oh yeah, there are so many tricky tricks that most untrained eyes won't notice. I forgot about the one to imitate crown molding.

dewonangus on May 18, 2009:

Great tip!  Another one that I like for the look of a crown moulding is to apply half-round trim about 4-6 inches below the ceiling.  Then paint the wall and trim piece the same colour.  I haven't tried this, but it looked good on TV when I watched it being done.

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