Wainscoting Ideas & Inspiration

Wainscoting Ideas & Inspiration

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

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

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

Beautifully painted wainscoting, 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 color.

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

Traditional Wainscoting In the Bedroom and Beyond

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

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

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

Dark Paint Colors & Wainscoting

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

Here, wainscoting that reaches two-thirds of the way up the wall injects eye-catching color 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 wainscoting paint combinations to try include:
A sitting area with gray wainscoting, white-painted walls, trim, and ceiling with wood beams, a brown door, print chair, and decorative plates.

Monochromatic Wainscoting & Walls

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

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

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

All-One-Color Wall & Wainscoting

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

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

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

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

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

Go bold with color 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 color inspiration for “feign”-scoting? A mix of jewel tones adds drama. Try:
“Whether you want a pop of color or dramatic contrast, you can achieve a beautiful transformation with the power of wainscoting.”

Arianna Cesa, Color & Design Expert

Looking for the Perfect Wainscoting Color Combination?

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

Use color samples to help you narrow down your selections and find wainscoting paint colors 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 wainscoting to walls, cabinets to tables, this paint offers a hard, furniture-like finish.

A selection of Benjamin Moore paint color samples.

Order Color Samples Online

Buy one or more color samples to help finalize your choice of color—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 color combinations to upgrade any interior space.