How to paint wainscoting?


We are going to install wainscoting in our living room, and using the 1/3 method for height, are putting the wainscoting up to not quite a third of the way up around the windows in the room. So, my question is probably more of a personal choice, but I'm wanting opinions/advice! Do you paint the window trim the same color of the wainscoting or the same color of the walls? Thanks you.

  8 answers
  • P Caswell P Caswell on Feb 03, 2019

    I would.

  • on Feb 03, 2019

    It depends on the look you’re going for. I would type wainscotting into Pinterest and see what you like best. In general painting it the wall color is a bit more sophisticated and painting it a constrasting color is more casual. But it truly depends on what else is going on In The room.

  • William William on Feb 03, 2019

    Wainscoting is basically an architectural detail just as door and window trim. Since the wainscoting will be butting up to door and window trim they should all be be the same color. Painting the window trim same color as the walls will lose the windows, look unfinished, and look flat.


    • 1cs1267 1cs1267 on Feb 03, 2019

      This is a 30 year old farmhouse style small home … it was built to give homage to the old farmhouse I grew up in … so would you still paint the trim the same color as the wainscoting? I plan on painting the wainscoting a soft cream color, the walls and ceiling either a very light moss green or a very light grey/blue (haven't entirely made up my mind on the wall color!) The floors in this house are natural color tongue and groove pine.

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on Feb 03, 2019

    I wouldn't paint it the same color as the rest of the wall, you want your hard work to stand out not blend in. I'm with William, do the wainscoting in the same color as the trim.

  • William William on Feb 03, 2019

    Yes I would. Otherwise the windows get lost. I would want the windows and wainscoting to make a statement and stand out from the wall color. Love your choice of colors for the walls. Get some sample jars and paint them around the room and see what they look like at different light and times of the day.

  • 1cs1267 1cs1267 on Feb 03, 2019

    Thanks William! I'm a senior, doing all this remodel on my own!!! It takes me awhile, but I do as good as work as hiring someone. I have 100 plus year old wooden oak doors, and I have spent hours sanding, cleaning and treating the wood … NO PAINT ON THEM, that would be a sin in my opinion. As a female, I seek out a lot of advice, too!!! I even pulled out windows and entry doors, reinsulated, reinstalled and put up new trim. Unfortunately, I don't have tools other than a skill saw (yep, a trip to the ED one evening!) but oh well. Thanks, again, for your advice.

  • Rymea Rymea on Feb 04, 2019

    I was going to say paint the window and door trim same as the wainscoting but if you aren't painting the doors now I'm thinking the trim should match the doors. It definitely puts a new spin on it.