Ideas for Paneling on the Bottom & Paint on the Top

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Paneling the lower part of a wall, often called wainscoting, can give a room an entirely different feel. Wainscoting can give a room a classic colonial feel, or it can add punch or character when using different materials. As long as the paint used on the upper portion of the wall suits the lower paneling, there are no rules.

Garden Fence

  • The same wooden panels that you use for an outdoor garden can be used indoors to create a garden-themed space. The slats that give the greatest effect of having an indoor garden are those with triangular tops. Before putting the panels on the wall, paint the upper portion of the room a pale blue, making sure the paint extends down far enough to be covered by the tops of the slats. Affix painted white garden panels to the walls around the entire perimeter of the room. Using white paint and a sponge, you can also paint big fluffy clouds at various points around the room. Painted flowers growing up over the top of the paneling add whimsy.

Raised Paneling

  • High ceilings are a great architectural feature, but they can result in large expanses of paint that make a space dull. In rooms with high ceilings, stack two levels of wainscoting so the paneling will reach 60 to 80 inches up the wall. Cap moulding at the top finishes the look. To keep the room feeling bright and airy, paint both the wall and paneling a creamy color. Definition can be added by using slightly different tones of the same color.

Embossed Metal

  • While wall paneling is normally made of wood, you can also use panels of stamped tin. To dull the shininess of the metal, choose embossed tiles with a faux finish on them. Tiles with a warm, golden finish (with a hint of the underlying tin hiding beneath) can be used to decorate a room in Tuscan tones. Before the paneling has been installed, paint the upper portion of the wall in earthy colors, such as terra cotta, that complement the finish on the paneling. Because tin is prone to dents, put a plaster or joint compound on the wall before installation. This will help fill in any gaps between the metal and the wall.

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