The Ultimate Guide to Wainscoting: 25+ Stylish Wainscoting Ideas


The Ultimate Guide to Wainscoting: 25+ wainscoting ideas and styles | #wainscoting #inspiration #design #walls @Remodelaholic

The Ultimate Guide to Wainscoting:
25+ Stylish Wainscoting Ideas

Wainscoting is a classic way to add texture and interest to the walls of any room. Deciding what style and height of wainscoting, however, can be as tricky as choosing the color of paint! We’ve rounded up nearly 40 stylish wainscoting ideas that we’ve shown here on Remodelaholic to help you decide what look is best for your home.

Why Wainscoting?

Wainscoting can be used for many different reasons. Most commonly, wainscoting  is used to add interest and texture, even without adding color, such as this full paneled wall, shared with us by Decor Chick:

diy paneled wall, Decor Chick on Remodelaholic

Adding a little extra wainscoting can help dress up a standard chair rail and make it an architectural feature:

decorative wall panel wainscoting, My Cottage Charm on Remodelaholicshared by My Cottage Charm

Wainscoting helps enhance the structure and design of the room. Merely by splitting the wall into two sections and giving the eye a line to follow, wainscoting helps the room feel bigger. Molding and wall treatments can also help a tall space feel fitting instead of echoey-large, such as this tall 7-foot wainscoting in this extra-tall 14-foot entryway, shared by Design Dump.

tall wainscoting in a tall entry, Design Dump on Remodelaholic

Wainscoting can also be a wonderful solution to disguising some of your home’s quirks, such as oddly placed utility access points. The Modern Parsonage shared how they hid their plumbing access by dressing it up to match the wainscoting.

hide plumbing access with wainscoting, The Modern Parsonage on Remodelaholic

Taller wainscoting with a ledge on top provides a great place to add decor, especially if you intend to switch it out frequently.

beadboard wainscoting with ledge, Tell'er All About It on Remodelaholic wainscoting ledge, 33 Shades of Green on Remodelaholic

guest room updates by Tell’er All About It  | home tour by 33 Shades of Green

And styles? There are so many different styles of wainscoting!

Beadboard Wainscot

Beadboard is a wonderful wainscot material because it is quick to install and doesn’t require as much of the measuring and math as many of the other styles of wainscoting do.

Simple Beautiful Home installed beadboard wainscoting in a half bath remodel.

half bath remodel with beadboard wainscoting, Simple Beautiful Home on Remodelaholic

And The Reformed Ranch installed a tall beadboard wainscot in a farmhouse dining room.

industrial farmhouse dining room beadboard wainscoting, The Reformed Ranch on Remodelaholic

You can also add a ledge to beadboard wainscoting like we did in our Logan House bathroom

beadboard wainscoting with ledge, Remodelaholic

or install the beadboard horizontally like we did in the half bath that we added to our Logan House.

half bath remodel with horizontal beadboard wainscoting, Remodelaholic

And if you’re going for a different look, just paint the beadboard black like The DIY Diaries did in their modern powder room:

black beadboard wainscoting, The DIY Diaries on Remodelaholic

See more great wainscoting ideas on the next page –>

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Meet the Author: Cassity

Cassity started Remodelaholic with her husband, Justin, to share their love for knocking out walls together. She is an interior designer, wife, and mother of two. She and Justin have remodeled three Read More


  1. says

    I love pretty much ALL of these ideas, and I would like to do something similar in my home. But I don’t know where to stop/start. My home is almost all exposed/open concept on the first floor. If I just wanted this in the dining room (which is 3 walls, with one wall a half open ‘window’ to the family room) I’m not sure if it would look alright since its open to the family room, kitchen and the main hallway. Are there any design tips for how many rooms or spaces in a home should have wainscoting to keep the design consistent?

  2. Kelly says

    I LOVE the look of wainscoting and want to put it everywhere on my main floor. Kitchen, dining, living room, powder room. Do you think that will be over doing it?

    • says

      Kelly, I think that would be too much, but you should just try doing some accent walls first and see if you would want to do more. Right now we just have it on our two walls. I did a room in my dads house and we just chose to do the window wall and it turned out great with just one wall.

  3. Karen Jones says

    Stylish indeed! These are some authentic examples of wainscoting I’ve come across. Really great designs and worthwhile to incorporate. Thanks for sharing this post with us!

  4. Mark says

    Can this be done in a full bath or will the humidity ruin the wood? Are there alternative products that are meant for such a purpose? What about within the tub area itself?

    • says

      Mark which wainscoting in particular are you talking about. It would probably be best to use a ceramic type product right next to a tub, but in a powder room, it should be fine.

  5. says

    We just finished wainscoting in our baby’s nursery! We’re amateur DIY-ers and we found it was actually easier than expected. It’s a pretty incredible transformation! Cheers, Anne

  6. Troy Thompson says

    I think these ideas are amazing! Wainscoting can give a room a whole different feel. It can be modern as well as antique looking! Great stuff :)

  7. Marie Hansen says

    Cassidy, I love this post. I am going to do your full wall board and batten in my basement. It is exactly what I wanted. It’s nice to have a picture reference. How far apart are you boards? It looks as though they are only about 12 inches. Is this correct or are they farther? I love your blog and tell all my friends about it. Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. Guerrina says

    I love several wainscoting styles. So far I’ve done board and batten in my back hall. I will be doing the half bath off that hall using beadboard and will also do half wall between kitchen and dining room. I find it allows me to use darker shades on the upper walls and not feel closed in.

  9. Theresa DeCarli says

    I want to know if I can use wainscoting in a bathroom. Not around the tub but on the two opposite walls. Will the humidity hurt. What do you recommend?? The total boards will be 4×8 sheets,,,behind the toilet and vanity and also the opposite wall. Thanks

    • Cass says

      As long as everything is primed and painted well (both sides if you are using something like MDF, I’d say) you should be fine! We’ve done wainscoting in our bathrooms and never had a problem.

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