What Color Should Wainscoting Be? Tips From Interior Designers

Wainscoting is a classic design element that can add depth and character to any room. But when it comes to choosing the right color for your wainscoting, the options can be overwhelming.

Should you go with a traditional white or cream, or opt for a bold and contrasting color? The answer depends on the style of your room and your personal preferences.

In this article, we’ll explore different color options for wainscoting and provide tips on how to choose the perfect hue for your space.

So, let’s dive in and discover what color should wainscoting be!

What Color Should Wainscoting Be

When it comes to choosing the color of your wainscoting, there are a few factors to consider. First and foremost, you’ll want to think about the overall style of your room. Traditional wainscoting is typically white or cream, but if you’re going for a more modern or eclectic look, you may want to consider a bolder color.

Another important factor to consider is the color of your walls. If you have a bold or busy wallpaper or paint color on your walls, you may want to opt for a more subtle wainscoting color to balance out the space. On the other hand, if your walls are a neutral or muted tone, you may want to choose a wainscoting color that adds some visual interest and depth.

Here are some color options to consider for your wainscoting:

1. White or Cream: Classic and timeless, white or cream wainscoting is a safe bet for any room. It pairs well with any wall color and adds a touch of elegance and sophistication.

2. Contrasting Color: If you want your wainscoting to make a statement, consider choosing a contrasting color. For example, if your walls are a light blue, you could choose a navy blue for your wainscoting. This creates a bold and eye-catching look.

3. Same Color as Walls: For a more subtle look, consider painting your wainscoting the same color as your walls. This creates a cohesive and seamless look that can be especially effective in smaller rooms.

4. Neutral Color: If you want something more interesting than white or cream but still want to keep things subtle, consider a neutral color like gray or beige for your wainscoting.

Ultimately, the color of your wainscoting should complement the overall style and color scheme of your room. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and finishes until you find the perfect match!

Consider The Style Of Your Room

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing the color of your wainscoting is the style of your room. Traditional wainscoting is typically white or cream, which can add a classic and elegant touch to any space. However, if you’re going for a more modern or eclectic look, you may want to consider a bolder color for your wainscoting.

For example, if you have a minimalist or industrial-style room, you may want to consider a monochromatic color scheme for your wainscoting. This can create a clean and contemporary look that complements the overall aesthetic of the space. On the other hand, if you have a bohemian or eclectic-style room, you may want to experiment with brighter colors or patterns for your wainscoting to add some visual interest and texture.

It’s also important to consider the architectural style of your room when choosing the color of your wainscoting. If you have a historic or traditional-style room, white or cream wainscoting may be the most appropriate choice to maintain the authenticity of the space. However, if you have a more modern or transitional-style room, you may have more flexibility to choose a bolder or more unique color for your wainscoting.

Ultimately, the color of your wainscoting should complement the overall style and vibe of your room. Take into account the existing colors and patterns in your space, as well as any architectural details, when making your decision. With some careful consideration and experimentation, you can find the perfect color for your wainscoting that enhances the beauty and functionality of your room.

Traditional White Or Cream: Classic And Timeless

When it comes to traditional wainscoting, white or cream is the go-to color choice for many homeowners. These classic and timeless colors never go out of style and can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any room. White or cream wainscoting pairs well with any wall color and can work in a variety of decorating styles, from traditional to modern.

One advantage of choosing white or cream for your wainscoting is that it creates a clean and crisp look. This is especially effective in smaller rooms, where darker colors can make the space feel cramped and claustrophobic. White or cream wainscoting can also help to brighten up a room by reflecting light and making the space feel more open and airy.

Another benefit of traditional white or cream wainscoting is that it allows you to play with color on your walls and accessories. With a neutral base, you can add pops of color through artwork, throw pillows, or curtains without overwhelming the space. This makes it easy to update your decor over time without having to worry about clashing with your wainscoting.

Bold And Contrasting: Making A Statement With Color

If you’re looking to make a statement with your wainscoting, consider choosing a bold and contrasting color. This can add some drama and visual interest to your space, especially if you have a more neutral or muted color scheme in the rest of the room.

One option is to choose a complementary color scheme, such as navy blue wainscoting against burnt orange walls. This can be particularly effective with picture-frame-molding wainscot, which allows for more negative space and prevents the accent color from becoming overwhelming.

Another option is to layer in a bold paint color on top of your wainscoting. Deep blues like Hale Navy or trendy colors like Spilled Wine can add texture and personality to your walls. For a cozy and immersive look, consider a monochrome color scheme.

If you have wood or MDF wainscoting, you can paint it any hue of your choosing or leave it bare to showcase its natural beauty. Stained wainscoting can be particularly effective in traditional entryways and hallways, especially when paired with ornate mirrors and grand chandeliers.

To highlight rich molding, consider using a different hue on the entire wall area and using white or a pale color on just the molding. This creates maximum contrast and draws attention to delicate molding.

Finally, if you have unique characteristics of wainscoting and crown molding in your home, consider using them to create stunning accent walls. Charcoal gray is a serious statement color that can be lightened and highlighted with bright white elements in the room.

Matching Wainscoting To Wall Color: Creating A Cohesive Look

One effective way to create a cohesive look in your room is to match your wainscoting color to your wall color. This technique can help tie together furniture and decor of diverse styles and create a unified look. When selecting a wainscoting color, it’s important to consider the existing coloring and style of the room. Choosing a color that complements the existing style of the room can create a harmonious and visually pleasing space.

If you have bold or intensely colored walls, matching your wainscoting color to your wall color can help accentuate the strong hue and bring visual relief. On the other hand, if your walls are light or pastel, matching your wainscoting color to your wall color can make the color look cleaner and clearer while introducing a subtle contrast.

It’s important to note that when selecting a white paint color for trim, there are many options beyond just stark white. Most paint manufacturers offer a range of whites that vary from warm to cool. To pick the right white trim color, start with the paint chip of your wall color and hold it up to a variety of white or pale neutral chips to see which ones you like. Creamy white tones pair well with warm or intense colors and earthy neutrals, while clear or crisp whites make good partners for cool colors, both saturated and muted.

Choosing The Right Finish: Matte Or Glossy?

When it comes to choosing the right finish for your wainscoting, there are two main options to consider: matte or glossy. Matte finishes are non-reflective and have a smooth appearance, which can help to hide imperfections in the wainscoting. They are best used in low traffic areas, on ceilings, and in adult bedrooms. However, they cannot be wiped down with a wet sponge as the paint will come off with any type of cleaner.

On the other hand, glossy finishes like semi-gloss or gloss offer more durability and reflective properties than matte finishes. They are better suited for areas that are more trafficked or need to be washed regularly, such as a kitchen or bathroom. Glossy finishes create a harder shell and are easier to wipe down, making them ideal for areas that may get splashed with water.

When it comes to selecting the right finish for your wainscoting, it’s important to consider both function and personal preference. If you want a more elegant and reflective look, a high gloss finish may be the way to go. However, if you prefer a more subtle and forgiving look that can hide imperfections, a matte finish may be the better choice.

Ultimately, the decision between matte or glossy finishes will depend on your individual needs and preferences. It’s always a good idea to test out different finishes and colors on a small area before committing to a larger project to ensure that you’re happy with the final result.