How to create a wainscot effect with wallpaper

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Wainscoting is a wall treatment which is very decorative and has a genuine use over and above just the beauty. Wainscoting uses wood panels that are installed to the walls; they run from the top of the baseboard to the height of a chair back. The traditional use for wainscoting was to protect the walls from any damage that would be caused when chairs were pushed back and impacted the surface. Wainscoting is still used extensively, especially in dining rooms where chairs are often pushed back and they inadvertently come into contact with the wall.

Although it is still done with wood paneling it can also be done with wall paper in Hawaii and get the same effect. Although wood is good, wallpaper is equally as good if installed properly with a chair rail cap. Genuine wood paneling can be very expensive and difficult to adhere to existing walls. Plaster walls in particular do not take to nails well and usually the paneling must be installed with an adhesive. Installing wall paper in Hawaii that gives the effect of wainscoting is not difficult.


Obviously the first thing is to select the wallpaper and trim. Measure the walls of the room and determine the height that you want; this is measured from the top of the baseboard to the trim line, often between 36 and 40 inches. A simple calculation will give you the amount of paper you need in square feet. For wainscoting it is best to buy durable, hardwearing wallpaper that is easy to clean.

Select the appropriate trim, called the chair rail. Purchase ample to go completely around the walls of the room. If you don’t have already have them while you are out buy wallpaper hanging tools.

The paper:

The wallpaper is hung exactly the way it is when the entire wall is being covered. The paper is cut to length and either pasted or ran through water if you have selected pre-pasted wallpaper. Install the paper starting flush at the baseboard. Smooth the paper into position and rub it off with a dry cloth. Continue hanging the paper until this phase is completed.

The chair rail:

Trim the wallpaper so that it is all the same height from the baseboard. Measure and cut to length the chair rail molding. When this is installed place it so that about half the depth of the molding covers the top of the paper. If you use bare wood molding it is suggested that it be painted or stained before it is applied to the wall.

Architectural Surfaces, Inc. has a collection of wide range of high quality paper available when considering for wainscoting or complete room wall paper in Hawaii.