How To Update Wainscoting – A Step-By-Step Guide

Wainscoting is a classic feature in many homes, adding elegance and charm to any room. However, over time, it can start to feel outdated or overwhelming.

If you’re looking for ways to update your wainscoting without completely replacing it, there are plenty of options to consider. From painting to adding wallpaper, there are simple and affordable ways to give your wainscoting a fresh new look.

In this article, we’ll explore some creative ideas for updating your wainscoting and transforming your space. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s get started!

How To Update Wainscoting

One of the easiest ways to update your wainscoting is by painting it. Whether you want to stick with a classic white or add a bold pop of color, painting your wainscoting can completely transform the look of your room. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider using a stencil or adding a pattern to your wainscoting for a unique touch.

Another option is to add wallpaper to your wainscoting. This can be a great way to add texture and pattern to your space without overwhelming it. Consider using a grass cloth or hand-painted silk wallpaper for a luxurious look, or opt for a bold print to make a statement.

If you’re not ready to commit to painting or wallpapering your wainscoting, consider adding thin panels over the top. This can be a great way to update the look of your wainscoting without damaging the original woodwork.

When updating your wainscoting, it’s important to consider the overall design of your space. If you have other patterns and colors in the room, choose a paint color or wallpaper that complements them. For example, if you have a bold patterned wallpaper, consider painting your wainscoting in a neutral shade that will balance out the space.

Painting Your Wainscoting

Painting your wainscoting is a great way to update its look and give your room a fresh new feel. Before you begin, make sure to gather all the necessary materials, including paint, primer, brushes, and painter’s tape.

Start by preparing the surface of your wainscoting. Clean it thoroughly with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or dust. If your wainscoting has any rough spots or imperfections, use sandpaper to smooth them out.

Next, apply a coat of primer to your wainscoting. This will help the paint adhere better and give you a smoother finish. Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

Once the primer is dry, it’s time to apply the paint. Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the paint in even strokes, working from top to bottom. Start by painting along the top and bottom edges where the wainscoting meets the wall and floor. Then, move on to painting the indented panels and the molding around them.

Be sure to use up-and-down strokes on the vertical areas and back-and-forth strokes on the horizontal areas. This will help you achieve a smooth, even finish. If you’re using a dark color, you may need to apply a second coat of paint to get full coverage.

After you’ve finished painting your wainscoting, remove any painter’s tape immediately to prevent any paint from peeling off with the tape. Allow the paint to dry and cure completely before returning the area to everyday use.

Adding Wallpaper To Your Wainscoting

If you want to add a touch of elegance and style to your wainscoting, consider adding wallpaper to it. Wallpaper can be a great way to add texture, pattern, and color to your walls, and when paired with wainscoting, it can create a stunning and sophisticated look.

When choosing wallpaper for your wainscoting, consider the style of your room. If you have a traditional or classic space, opt for a subtle pattern or a solid color that complements the rest of the decor. If you have a more modern or eclectic style, consider a bold print or a textured wallpaper to add visual interest.

When installing wallpaper on your wainscoting, it’s important to properly prepare the surface. Make sure the wainscoting is clean and free of any debris or dust before applying the wallpaper. You may also need to sand down any rough areas or fill in any holes or gaps with wood filler.

To ensure that the wallpaper adheres properly to the wainscoting, use a high-quality wallpaper adhesive and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. It’s also important to take your time and work slowly, smoothing out any bubbles or wrinkles as you go.

When it comes to choosing the right type of wallpaper for your wainscoting, there are several options to consider. Vinyl wallpapers are durable and easy to clean, making them a great choice for high-traffic areas like hallways or bathrooms. Grasscloth wallpapers can add texture and warmth to your space, while hand-painted silk wallpapers can create a luxurious and sophisticated look.

Stenciling Your Wainscoting

Stenciling your wainscoting is a great way to add a unique and personalized touch to your walls. First, choose a stencil that complements the style of your room. There are many different stencil designs available, from traditional to modern, so take your time selecting the right one.

Next, prepare your wainscoting for stenciling by cleaning it thoroughly and allowing it to dry completely. Apply a base coat of paint in the color of your choice and allow it to dry before beginning the stenciling process.

When stenciling, use a small foam roller or stencil brush to apply paint to the stencil. Be sure to use a light touch and apply the paint evenly to avoid bleeding or smudging. Start at the top of your wainscoting and work your way down, aligning the stencil carefully each time.

Once you have completed your stenciling, allow the paint to dry completely before adding any additional coats or finishes. Consider adding a clear protective coat over the top of your stenciling to help it last longer and resist wear and tear.

Stenciling your wainscoting is a fun and creative way to update your space without breaking the bank. With a little patience and attention to detail, you can create a beautiful and unique look that will impress all who enter your home.

Installing New Trim Or Molding

If you’re looking to give your wainscoting a more custom look, you can install new trim or molding. Prefabricated molding pieces are readily available, but for a truly unique finish, you can create your own using wood glue and a few pieces of trim.

To start, use chair rail molding designed to sit atop paneling. It should have an L-shape in the back to sit flush with the wall and the beadboard. Trim pieces will need to be specially cut to fit seamlessly into the corners. Use a chop saw or a circular saw with the blade set to make a 45-degree cut.

Once you have your trim pieces ready, it’s time to install them. Begin by attaching shoe molding, also known as quarter round, at the bottom of the baseboard to conceal any gaps. Attach it to the baseboard every few feet. Next, install the top molding. The top piece rests on a ridge along the top of the panel segments. The adjoining corner pieces fit together at the corner of the walls, since the top pieces are miter cut for a snug fit.

Slide the top piece in place and when it’s aligned properly, secure it to the wall with a brad nailer. Secure the crown cap along the top molding. Caulk any gaps at the corners using a caulking gun. You can paint over it later to match the paint of the molding.

Finally, replace outlet covers for a seamless finish. With these simple steps, you can give your wainscoting a completely new look that is sure to impress.

Incorporating Artwork Or Mirrors With Your Wainscoting

Incorporating artwork or mirrors with your wainscoting can add an extra layer of interest and style to your space. If you have a large blank wall above your wainscoting, consider hanging a piece of artwork or a mirror to fill the space. This can help draw the eye up and make the room feel taller.

When choosing artwork or a mirror, consider the style of your wainscoting and the overall design of your space. If you have a more traditional wainscoting style, consider choosing a classic piece of artwork or a decorative mirror with intricate details. If your wainscoting has a more modern feel, opt for a sleek and simple piece of artwork or a minimalistic mirror.

Another option is to incorporate artwork or mirrors within the panels of your wainscoting. This can be a great way to add visual interest and break up the monotony of the woodwork. Consider adding a small framed piece of artwork or a decorative mirror in one or two of the panels for a subtle yet impactful touch.

When hanging artwork or mirrors with your wainscoting, be sure to consider the height and placement. Hang artwork at eye level, and position mirrors so they reflect something interesting in the room, such as a chandelier or piece of furniture.

Updating Your Wainscoting With Different Textures

If you’re looking to update your wainscoting with a textured look, there are several options to consider. One option is to use a textured wallpaper on your wainscoting. This can add depth and interest to your walls without overwhelming the space. Consider using a grass cloth or a textured vinyl wallpaper for a modern look.

Another option is to use beadboard wainscoting, which features vertical panels with grooves, or beads, between them. This type of wainscoting adds texture and interest to your walls, and can be painted or left natural for a classic look.

If you want to add even more texture to your wainscoting, consider using a wood paneling with a unique grain pattern. This can add warmth and dimension to your walls, and can be stained or painted to match your decor.

Finally, if you want to add a subtle texture to your wainscoting, consider using a matte or satin finish paint instead of a glossy finish. This can add depth and interest to your walls without being too overwhelming.

When updating your wainscoting with different textures, it’s important to consider the overall style of your space. Choose textures that complement the other elements in the room, and avoid using too many different textures that may clash. With the right textures, you can create a beautiful and unique look that will make your space stand out.