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Raised panel wainscoting is a panel style of decorative wall adornment that is installed on the lower portion of walls and sometimes stairwells. This type of wainscoting can add architectural style to otherwise simple walls. Wainscoting gives an otherwise typical wall a touch of interest and elegance. Many homes, especially newer ones, are built without a lot of character in the way of moldings and adornments, and wainscoting is one way to solve this problem.
Each section of raised panel wainscoting includes some type of design made of strips of wood, set in decorative patterns, and attached to a flat expanse of wood that covers the majority of the wall. Many types of raised panel wainscoting are simple, with strips of vertical wood set in rows, while others include strips of wood that form decorative patterns such as large squares, and even more complex designs such as carved molding.
Raised panel wainscoting is traditionally seen along stairways and in formal rooms such as dining and living rooms. However, with the present-day ease of installation, this type of wall panel can be used in more informal spaces as well. Greater numbers of homeowners are choosing wainscoting as a solution to protect high traffic areas such family rooms, bathrooms, entries, and kitchens.
The original purpose of wainscoting was to protect walls. Because it is made of wood and typically stained and sealed, it is easier to clean than painted walls. Additionally, it lasts longer than wallpaper and paint because it is made of a more solid material.
The installation of wainscoting was traditionally an expensive and time-consuming task. Often a professional carpenter was required and wainscoting was installed piece by piece, with designs being created and applied by hand. However, there are many raised panel wainscoting kits now available that make it a cost-effective solution for do-it-yourself homeowners.
Wood panels are available at most home improvement stores, and usually require simple installation, which includes simple adhesive or nails, and some caulking and filling of holes. Some newer types of wainscoting are made not of wood, but of medium-density fiberboard, a more cost-effective wood material made by setting softer woods together with wax and resin under high temperatures and pressure. While some raised panel wainscoting comes already finished, depending up on the type of material used, it may be necessary to paint or stain the entire panel upon installation. Once the main parts of the wainscoting are installed, it will be necessary to install or replace baseboards and chair rails, which will also need to be caulked, filled, and painted or stained to match.
I just love wainscoting. I have it throughout my dining room and kitchen. It is such a classic piece of decoration. The most popular is the raised panel. I got mine from Wainscot Solutions, Inc in Connecticut. It was easy! They installed it and everything- there was no mess and it was in in one day instead of two weeks.
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