The Best Color Ideas for Your Home Wainscoting

One of the most effective ways to transform the looks of a room is to change the color of the walls. And don’t forget that walls don’t come alone. They come with bead boards, moldings, arched openings, window casing, and ceiling trims. The secret of adding an architectural interest and making the room warmer is to combine the right colors.

But then again not all rooms are the same and thus finding the right combination of colors is a tad difficult. The wrong color and you might bring a low ceiling even further down. So there is a lot to take into account before you actually paint a room.

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How to add architectural interest by painting the wainscoting panels

Traditionally, classic wainscoting panels are white. And this continues to be a great idea, but not the only one. The key to succeeding with your painting projects in rooms with wainscoted walls is to consider the architectural effects. In order to do that you must take into account the architectural structure of the space.

  • Is the ceiling low and you want to push it up? In this case, the upper parts of the wall, including the ceiling molding must be white or painted with light colors.
  • Is the ceiling high and you want to bring it down? In this case, the upper parts of the wall must be painted in darker shades. You can even paint the sunken parts of the coffered ceiling in a darker shade.

But what if the flat panel already covers the 2/3 of an average sized wall? With rather low ceilings, tall wainscotings and contrasting colors will only bring the ceiling lower. What you should do to avoid that is paint both the wainscot and wall the same color – preferably white or a light shade. AlexMoulding.com offered so many wainscoting styles that you can consider for making an excellent decoration for your home.

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Which wall decors and elements affect the color choices?

  • If you plan to paint the wall panel wainscoting but there is a wallpaper right above it, be extra careful with the colors you choose. The more complex the pattern and the darker the color of the wallpaper’s texture, the lighter the wainscoting should be.
  • And then the colors you choose for both the wainscot and wall depend on the size of the room and how much natural light comes in. Small rooms need lighter colors to look larger. Natural light helps. So if there are rather big windows in the room, you can use darker shades.
  • If you don’t have wainscoted walls but want to paint them to create the impression that there is a board, draw the line at 1/3 up the wall and use contrasting colors as to not bring the ceiling down – unless this is your intention.

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What’s your intention when painting a room?

If you aim at enhancing drama, dare to use intense colors and dark shades. But don’t forget that the color of the wall will act as the backdrop of any wall décor. And artwork adds color too.

If you want to pinpoint the presence of the raised panel, paint it dark. Don’t be afraid to paint the wainscoting black or dark blue. If you have the syndrome of white walls only but want to make color changes, invest in light gray. It’s elegant, brings out the beauty of wainscots, and will add a splash of architectural interest.

Which room are we talking about?

Want to paint the bedroom? Bathroom? Living room? The beadboard wainscoting in the bathroom is traditionally white. But not necessarily white. You can paint it black, gray, or green. Whatever makes your day! But when it comes to bedrooms, you need a color to relax you. Choose blue and white combos, but also grays and whites, or all white. For any other room in the house, you need to consider the ceiling height, the room size, but also the decorative style.

For example: in the dining room, you might have a recessed panel covering the entire wall. You don’t have to keep it white even if the ceiling is not high. But you should prefer light shades, like gray or beige.

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The importance of colors to your life

Colors have a tendency to bring out emotional reactions. As a rule of thumb, dark shades are more dramatic and shrink rooms while whites and light shades evoke happy feelings and enlarge the space. So, your choices depend on the room, its height and size, and how much sunlight comes in. What’s vital is to create an environment you like and feel comfortable in. So, apart from choosing the colors you like in regard to the above factors, pay attention to the color of the trims.

The traditional idea is to match the color of the wainscoting baseboard and the ceiling moulding. But who said that a black wainscot along with the chair rail and baseboard won’t match with a white ceiling trim? It all depends on your taste and the room architectural structure.

Two tips before your wainscoting painting efforts

  • If you plan wainscoting installation now, paint the board before you install it.
  • Semi-gloss colors are perhaps the best idea. Oil based ones are very hard to apply but then again recommended if the wainscoting wasn’t primed.