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Cheap Wainscoting

Homeowners are re-discovering the advantages of cheap wainscoting. Installing wainscoting on heavy traffic walls provides a quick and easy fix for holes, crumbling drywall or plaster. Wainscoting can give a modern room an elegant old house appearance.

Types of Wainscot

Today there are many types of wainscot available. Plastic wainscot is available in many varieties and finishes. This type of cheap wainscoting can be used in high moisture areas like the bathroom or kitchen. Wood wainscot panels are available in pre-cut sections, cut to fit panels, both finished and unfinished. Wainscot panels are available in heights ranging from 30 to 36 inches tall. Beadboard wainscot has vertical grooves that help produce a professional finish. Some wainscots come in 4 x 8 foot sections that are cut to fit. Fiberboard wainscot is the least expensive but will require painting.

High Traffic Areas

Every home has high traffic areas where scuffs, dings and marks are made on the lower walls. Mud porches, bathrooms, hallways and kitchens are a few of the most common high traffic areas where wainscoting can help hide those types of marks. Installing wainscoting provides an easily cleaned surface that helps to protect the wall. Plastic wainscot is more durable than wood and may be the answer for bathrooms and kitchen areas. Unlike wood, plastic wainscot is impervious to moisture damage. Adding wall protection is only one reason to install wainscot. Wainscot panels added to any room will produce a completely new look at a cost well below redecorating.


Installing cheap wainscot is easy and is not time consuming. Preparing and finishing the wainscot and preparing the walls for wainscot are what take the most time. Unfinished wainscot will have to be sanded and finished before installation. Allowing the finish to completely dry is important. Paint and varnish if not properly dried, may allow fingerprints, dust and debris to adhere to the finish.

Electrical Outlets

It may also be necessary to move electrical wall outlets before you install the wainscot panels so that the outlets rest on the flat surface of the panel. It may be necessary to cut holes in the wainscot panels to allow for electrical outlets. Once you have moved any outlets and finished the wainscot panels installation may begin.


Be sure to research the style or method of putting up your wainscoting kit. Some times the baseboard is the first section to be installed when putting up some wainscoting kits. Ensure that the baseboard is level as the baseboard is the foundation for the wainscot panels. Once the baseboard is in place the flat wainscot panels are attached to the wall using a wood adhesive. Cheap wainscoting kits may not include adhesive. Be sure to check the kit contents prior to leaving the hardware store. A variety of adhesives are available for both plastic and wood.

Finishing the Installation

Some beadboard panels, the flat sections of wainscot, have tongue and grooved edges allowing the sections to match up perfectly. Once the panels are installed, the top molding is put up. Using finishing nails, the top molding strip is placed on top of the flat panel sections. Baseboard, Shoe molding or small rounded trim, is placed along the bottom edge of the floor.

Cheap wainscoting is an easy alternative to give any room a new look. Protecting walls in high traffic areas, covering blemishes or damages is easy using wainscot panels.

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