Four Ways to Save
Get the look of wainscoting without the pricey panels

1. Painted on planks
Roll vertical stripes in alternating hues over the lower third of your wall for a cheery two-tone plank effect. A horizontal painted band mimics a cap rail.

2. Wall frames
Install a chair rail and glue and nail frames made from decorative panel moldings beneath it. Paint the chair rail and everything below the same color for the look of raised-panel wainscoting.

3. Faux flat panel
Glue and nail rails, stiles, and cap molding directly to smooth drywall or plaster to mimic flat panel wainscoting. Paint the boards the same color as the wall, or finish the wood in an accent color to match the rest of the trim in the room.

4. Stain-grade wall veneer
Affix hardwood plywood directly to the wall. Then nail on your stiles and rails, and top the plywood with cap molding. For the look of a solid-wood assembly, cut the plywood so that its grain runs vertically on the wall.
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