How Much Does it Cost to Paint Wainscoting?

The average cost of painting a wall is around $150 to $300. Wainscoting typically covers only about the lower third of a wall.

How much does it cost to paint wainscoting? Usually about $50 to $150 per wall depending on how long the wall is. The type of paint used also determines the cost. There are cheaper paints that can do the work. The overall project costs are also affected by labor charges. You can choose to do the painting on your own to save on labor costs in which case a wall might only cost $10-20.

It is necessary that you understand other factors about the whole wainscoting process.

What do I Need to Know before I Get Wainscoting?

Wainscoting is decorative wood panels. The lower end of the walls is fitted with wood panels. There is usually a baseboard that is laid on the floor then panels are installed on top of the baseboard and a chair rail on top. There are choices for the kind of wainscoting that you can choose. It ranges from the type of wood for the type of trim that you want to apply.

Each style has its own needs. You can take the simple wainscoting style. The method will need decorative molding for the trim and the chair rail. The other factor that you will have to factor in, is the finish that you will get for the wainscoting. You can paint over it or get the wood finish.

The Process of Installing Wainscoting

The whole process of installing wainscoting is time-consuming. The method also differs from one style to another. The designs for wainscoting also vary. Some models take a lot of work. The simplest forms require a baseboard and panels that you lay between the upper trim and the baseboard.

You will have to measure out panels before you cut it into pieces to avoid losses. The full process can be time-consuming depending on the style you pick. A sophisticated design may have so many interlocking panels that may be a lot more expensive to install.

The Cost of Wainscoting

First of all, wainscoting requires some materials. Depending on the square area of your home, you need to get wood for the baseboards, chair rail and the panel boards. The size of the area set for wainscoting should be used to determine the wood you order. You also need to have some extra wood for any damages that may need replacement during the process. The choice of materials will affect the cost of the overall project.

The second parts of the cost are other installation equipment. You have to get the baseboard molding, sanding tools, nails and paint for the finishes. These are going to be useful when you are installing the panels. Consider also having a tape measure to measure out the wood and some cutting device that will help you cut the wood into the required pieces.

Labor costs are also an essential part of the process. You need to hire someone if you cannot do it all by yourself. The professional can charge you according to the amount of work available. Take, for instance, a whole house project; the labor costs will be higher than for just a room or two. The labor costs differ from one area to another. You can even save yourself all the trouble and get a professional on contract and make a payment for the whole project. They will charge you from$1000 to $5000. This will save you a lot of time and headache.

Finishing the wainscoting is also another factor that you need to consider. You can pick a finish that suits your budget and your needs. The hardwood finish can be a bit expensive.  However, the finish is elegant and versatile, and it is more efficient than simple paint. If you need the wainscoting to last long, you may opt for this option.

How Can you Cut on a Wainscoting Project?

You can get a great fit of cost on wainscoting. All you need is to make all the right moves. First of all, you can save up by picking a simple design or one that does not require a lot of material. Some models need decorating which can take time and consume money.  You also need to pick wood that is readily available and cost-effective. You can save up on wood by using reclaimed wood.

Reclaimed wood costs 50% less than standard lumber. A dull finish is also a great money saver. Choosing a hardwood finish will require more than just painting over it. When trying to save up, it is important not to compromise on the quality. Cheap is expensive. Go for proper protective wood treatment that will ensure that the wood will not fall apart after a short period.

Choosing a professional or doing the project yourself will also affect the costs. You may start on your own and end up messing up the materials which translate to waste. A professional can save you money. However, if the process is not complicated, then you can get it done yourself. Try using the accurate estimates and get an allowance for any wastes. Factor in every cost and tools that you may need for the project to ensure that there are no inconveniences.

Importance of Painting on your Wainscoting

Wainscoting is a great way to make your home warm. The paint serves as a way to blend in the wood to the rest of the wall. The wood also needs to be coated for protection against elements that can damage it. You also need the paint to tie together all the design elements in your home. Good paint can help your wainscoting last long. Although staining is another alternative, painting is less expensive as there are fewer maintenance costs. Painted wainscoting is better for people who are looking fora cheaper and flexible option.


Painting on wainscoting is a great way to save up on the overall project costs. Choosing the right paint can be a task. You have to pick good paint that will serve the purpose. The best way to pick paint is to consider if it will protect the wood. There are also cheap paints that do not work well on wood. Get the right paint by having a professional recommend a trusted brand. You can also explore which ones will work well with the type of wood you are using.

Luke Miller

Luke Miller is a writer, real estate professional, rental property investor, and home renovation enthusiast based in Phoenix, Arizona. He grew up in Iowa in a self-sufficient household where he learned the skills to do everything from plumbing, drywall, to basic handyman repair for everyday problems. He enjoys sharing his vast experience and his continuous learning with fellow DIY enthusiasts.

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