Day 17–Add some wainscoting to your home

31 days button

This post is part of a 31 day series – “31 days to decorate your home on a budget.”  You can read all the posts in this series here.

And if you don’t want to miss a post you can subscribe by email, join me on facebook, or follow this blog in your reader.  Thanks for reading along!

Along with paint, wainscoting (or decorative trim) is another way you can make a huge impact in your room for a fairly cheap price.

The official definition of wainscot or wainscoting is “the lower three or four feet (about one meter) of an interior wall when finished differently from the remainder of the wall.”  Smile 

Here are some examples of wainscoting:

Beadboard  (a panel with a recessed “bead” or ridge running up it)

Board and Batten (paneling that has alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips, called battens. The boards are usually (but not always) one foot wide.)

Pinned Image

Tutorial over at Lovely Crafty Home

Boxes made of trim (or picture frame molding)

Pinned Image


and pretty much any variation of the above methods! Smile

Much of what you will see in décor blogs is what is called faux wainscoting.  Meaning instead of installing a panel on a wall then putting a small board to cover up the seam of the panels (why buy and install a thin panel of wood over a perfectly good wall??) – most people do it the cheaper/easier way by just installing the thin boards right on the walls themselves, giving the illusion of real board and batten.

Here is the current wainscoting in our home (I have plans to add more! 🙂

My husband helped me add picture frame wainscoting in the dining room last year (the chair rail was already installed when we bought the house.)


Then a year later I changed my mind and painted all white underneath the chair rail.


Check out my dining room reveal here.

I added beadboard and a recycled chair rail to our laundry room.


But this is actually not real beadboard… it’s beadboard wallpaper!  Can you tell the difference? Smile  It is MUCH cheaper and easier to install than real beadboard.  You can sometimes find it at Home Depot or Lowe’s, or online, and Rhoda sells it in her online shop here.


And I have my own form of board and batten in our guest bath.  (Reveal of this bathroom here.)    And yes, I installed this all by myself – I am pretty good friends with the miter saw especially since he has allowed me to keep all my fingers!  Winking smile


And just because I love looking at gorgeous molding and wainscoting, here is some more eye candy from around the web:


Beadboard can be used in kitchens – on islands, as a backsplash, on the front or side of cabinets, and on the wall!

Spacious Kitchen

Beadboard wall with open shelves

Beadboard wall from The House of Smiths

Pinned Image

Love Thrifty Décor Chick’s beadboard backsplash!

Beadboard is gorgeous in bathrooms

Simply Perfect

picture from BHG

as a ceiling

Or beadboard can be used in family rooms or living rooms

living rooms - photo gallery picture ledge white sofa orange blue green floral pillows tall beadboard glass lamp round accent wood table blue walls


picture from Decor Pad

and be sure to save your scraps, cause you can use them to make all kinds of adorable crafts! Smile

Pinned Image

 Love this art sold on etsy

Pinned Image

Beadboard candy corn

Board and Batten

There are tons of variations on board and batten!  Some have just vertical boards with a ledge on the top, some feature vertical and horizontal boards.


I love this board and batten wall that Tonya of Love of Family & Home did.  Isn’t her gallery wall amazing too?

Board and batten can be boxes like what she did or just straight up and down planks.  Honestly it can be whatever YOU want it to be. 🙂

Nester’s board and batten wainscoting

cg loft bench after

Love this entrywall that Centsational Girl did

Wainscoting is usually white but this red is amazing!

Pinned Image

Thifty Decor Chick’s board and batten in her office.

Faux Wainscoting boxes or picture frame molding

This is another type of wainscoting sometimes called picture frame molding.  Basically you add boxes of trim to the wall and then paint it all out in white or have white boxes on a colored wall.

Dining room by Yellow Cap Cod

wainscoting before and after

Centsational Girl’s picture frame wainscoting

House of Smith’s did a wallpaper treatment inside her picture frame molding

The cost varies depending on the size of your room and materials needed.  If you buy a sheet of MDF and have it cut into strips it is much cheaper than buying the precut boards.   The beadboard wallpaper in my laundry room was less than $20, and I think the boards bought for the bathroom cost about $30 (I bought the precut, not even realizing I could have bought a whole sheet for under $20),  and I can’t remember the dining room cost but I want to say less than $50 and it was a lot of trim!

And I won’t leave you in suspense on how to do this in your home!

Here are some great tutorials:

So how about you?  Do you have any wainscoting in your home?  If so, what kind?

And if you could add any wainscoting in your home, which one would you do and where? 



  1. Hey, Christina!! Great examples of all these wall treatments. Thanks for the shout-out for that fab beadboard wallpaper I’m still in love with. So happy you used it too. You’ve got some super shots of so many treatments all in one spot.

  2. Simply desire to say your article is as astounding. The clarity for your post is just
    excellent and i could suppose you’re a professional on this
    subject. Well along with your permission allow me to clutch your RSS feed to keep updated with approaching post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the enjoyable work.
    incarcari freon recently posted..incarcari freonMy Profile

  3. I’m new to all this and I want to put wainscot on my living room wall. I’m gonna do it myself so I don’t really know what trim to use to make the picture frame- like boxes. Can u give me a few ideas on what trim I can actually use to do that with? There is so many I’ve looked at but I’m a newbie and not very good at this jus yet. Thanks!


Speak Your Mind


CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.