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What is a Wainscot Panel?

The Wainscot panel is traditional panel styling that dates back to the colonial period in the United States. It gives the illusion of incorporated raised panels by beveling the edges of the panels used in the construction of the façade. The Wainscot panel can be used to create a full length decorative wall or to accent a traditional kitchen style by covering only half a wall as a kind of trim. The basic construction of all Wainscot panels includes top rail, stiles, the beveled panel itself, and a bottom rail. When choosing to create a half wall accent in the kitchen, a cap molding and cove molding should be added to give a decorative transition. The bottom rail on both the full length and half length designs can double as the baseboard.

Wainscoting is not just for wall treatments. The technique can be applied to any panels such as those used in the doors of kitchen cabinets. This style of paneling will add cottage styling to any kitchen and can be added even after the original cabinets have been installed. Simply remove the doors and convert them to Wainscot panels by adding a bevel to the edges of the center panel before reassembling the door and re-hanging it.

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