Wainscotting Ideas & Inspiration

Wainscotting Ideas & Inspiration

Whether it’s a touch of traditionalism or a pop of colour, the perfect wainscotting and wall pairing in any space makes an elegant statement. Here are five wainscotting ideas to give your space a refresh and add personality to your walls.

Decorative wood panelling—or wainscotting—typically takes up one-third or more of a wall and was originally used to protect walls from damage.

Today, wainscotting has moved beyond functionality to be an elegant decorative detail in many homes, from traditional to contemporary style spaces.

Beautifully painted wainscotting, whether achieved by a pro or DIY, adds visual interest and personality to your home and elevates the look of your walls with contrast and colour.

Not sure where to start? Here’s a look at five wainscotting ideas for transforming your space with paint.
A sunny bedroom with a yellow-painted wall and ceiling, white wainscotting and trim, yellow and white bedding, two reading lamps and side tables.

Traditional Wainscotting In the Bedroom and Beyond

Common in older homes, traditional wainscotting typically consists of white or off-white painted panelling on the lower walls paired with a different colour on the upper walls.

In this sunny bedroom, traditional style wainscotting in a board and batten panelling mimics a headboard in bright Atrium White OC-145, contrasting the cheerful upper wall in Beacon Hill Damask HC-2, from our Historical Colour Collection.

Other traditional paint pairings we love include:
An entryway with dark green-painted wainscotting, white walls and trim, a large window, and a bench with a throw and pillows.

Dark Paint Colours & Wainscotting

If you want a more modern take on traditional wainscotting, try bolder, darker paint colours for a dose of drama.

Here, wainscotting that reaches two-thirds of the way up the wall injects eye-catching colour to this chic entryway in Cedar Mountains 706, a cool sage. Fresh Cloud White OC-130, on the upper wall, provides elegant contrast.

Other deeper hued wainscotting paint combinations to try include:
A sitting area with gray wainscotting, white-painted walls, trim, and ceiling with wood beams, a brown door, print chair, and decorative plates.

Monochromatic Wainscotting & Walls

A monochromatic colour combination uses various tints and shades of the same colour and is another popular design choice for wainscotting.

Monochromatic colour schemes work great with neutrals and grays, like the Barren Plain 2111-60 wainscotting and Calm 2111-70 wall combination in the cozy living room corner seen here.

Other monochromatic colour schemes for wainscotting we love include:
A hallway with dark gray painted walls, wainscotting and door, a bright red chair, and a blue and white striped rug.

All-One-Colour Wall & Wainscotting

For a modern, clean look, consider using the same colour on the walls, wainscotting, trim, and doors for a sleek, streamlined colour flow.

Take the impact of an all-one-colour look further with bold hues as seen here in dark blue-gray Soot 2129-20 on the beadboard, a common type of wainscotting used in modern farmhouses. Add dimension to one-colour design with different finishes.

Other bold colours we love for a one-colour look include:
An office with a two-tone green painted wall, a white door, a modern desk with shelves and coloured vases, and a green chair.

“Feign”-scotting-Fake It ‘Til You Make It!

If your space doesn't have wainscotting, why not create your own! Put on your DIY hat and add "feign"-scotting to your space. Use the power of paint to mimic the contrast that wainscotting provides in a space—without the traditional millwork.

Go bold with colour combinations for maximum visual impact. Here, a stylish home office uses a grounding green hue on the lower wall with Cushing Green HC-125, and a brighter green on the upper wall in Crystalline AF-485.

Looking for more colour inspiration for “feign”-scotting? A mix of jewel tones adds drama. Try:
“Whether you want a pop of colour or dramatic contrast, you can achieve a beautiful transformation with the power of wainscotting.”

Arianna Cesa, Colour & Design Expert

Looking for the Perfect Wainscotting Colour Combination?

Choosing the best wainscotting paint colour for your space can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Benjamin Moore’s Affinity® Collection takes the guesswork out of selecting colour combinations, with 144 paint colours that have been expertly curated to mix and match seamlessly, resulting in beautiful results every time.

Use colour samples to help you narrow down your selections and find wainscotting paint colours you’ll love.

As always, visit your locally owned Benjamin Moore Store for help with all your painting needs.

ADVANCE® Interior Paint

ADVANCE® Interior Paint

From wainscotting to walls, cabinets to tables, this paint offers a hard, furniture-like finish.

A selection of Benjamin Moore paint colour samples.

Order Colour Samples Online

Buy one or more colour samples to help finalize your choice of colour—and ensure peace of mind.

Neutral living room with white walls and an off white wall mantel, and a white circle coffee table in between two cream couches.

Ideas and Inspiration for Interiors

Use vibrant hues and stunning colour combinations to upgrade any interior space.