You may not have heard of Lincrusta, but we bet you've seen it before. In its heyday, during the Victorian era and the early 20th century, this ornate wall covering was a popular addition to upscale homes, including well-known examples like the White House and the John D. Rockefeller mansion.
Pioneered in England in 1877, Lincrusta been made the same way ever since: A mix of linseed oil, wood paste, and other natural products is fed through rollers that emboss a pattern on the surface. Because it's as durable as it is delicate looking, it's well suited for walls in high-traffic areas like hallways—or for a wainscot, as we've done here.
Follow along as senior technical editor Mark Powers installs Lincrusta panels and gives them a two-tone paint job that highlights their handsome texture.
For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Install Lincrusta Wainscot