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Wainscoting Styles Wainscoting Types | Manolo for the Home

Wainscoting: An Illustrated Primer

For an easy update, you can’t beat wainscoting (especially the fakey stuff that doesn’t need much other than cutting down to size, though of course it doesn’t look as sharp as the real deal). But what is wainscoting, exactly? And how do you say it? According to Webster’s, the proper pronunciation is not waynescahtting but rather waynescoating – though either is acceptable in a pinch. As to what it is, wainscoting is paneling typically applied to the lower three feet of a wall below a chair rail and above the baseboard molding, though it can be much taller. According to Wikipedia, the original purpose of wainscoting was to cover the lower part of walls which, in houses constructed with poor or nonexistent damp-proof courses, are often affected by rising dampness. Nowadays, it’s purely decorative.

Here’s what it looks like:


Raised panel wainscoting (via)


Flat panel wainscoting (via)



Overlay panel wainscoting (via)


Board and batten wainscoting (via)


Beadboard wainscoting (via)


Combination wainscoting (via)


Other wainscoting (via)

3 Responses to “Wainscoting: An Illustrated Primer”

  1. Kai Jones June 11, 2010 at 10:16 am #

    I like it…right up until I think about dusting it. Flat walls for me!

  2. Pam June 13, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    It really adds depth and texture to a wall. These are great variations and ideas!

  3. La Petite Acadienne June 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    One thing that’s really great about wainscoting is if you want to paint a room a darker colour, and find it too overwhelming, some crisp white wainscoting brightens it up again and makes it feel less oppressive.