The Details

Custom wood-paneled wainscoting in an average-size 11-by-13-foot dining room could easily cost $6,000 or more. But a skilled carpenter can create much the same look for about $3,000 with some well-placed stock moldings from a lumberyard. Use chair rail to form the top of the wainscot, mitered picture-rail molding in the middle to mimic raised panels, and keep your existing baseboards, says architect Carol Kurth of Bedford, New York. "Then paint the chair rail and the wall and molding below it in the same color of semigloss, and it'll look like woodwork."
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