Different Types of Wood Wall Treatments

Different Types of Wood Wall Treatments

Categories: Inspiration


 Timeless light pink shiplap under as wainscoting under chair rail with pink board and batten wall

Board and Batten moulding paired with Timeless Primed White shiplap painted in light pink. 


There are many ways to add style to a flat, plain wall by using different types of wood wall treatments. You might’ve heard of terms like panel molding, beadboard, wainscoting, shiplap, board and batten, and chair rail, but what do they mean and how are they all different?


We’ll explain that here.


 Panel Molding

Panel molding is a wood trim that goes over preexisting walls. It is usually raised and decorative to accentuate flat walls. Panel molding is designed in different profiles and styles and is commonly used on doors, walls, mantels, and cornices.

Types of panel moulding diagram 2   Types of panel moulding diagram

Rambling Renovators


Chair rail 

Chair rail is a decorative interior wood wall molding that is attached horizontally around the perimeter of a room. It is typically installed 32” above the floor (with a standard 8 ft ceiling) in order to add more character to the wall. It is a popular myth that chair railing got its name from the damage caused by the backs of chairs. The truth is that ancient architects of Rome and Greece used chair railing for visual aesthetics, but the term didn’t really originate until the time of the Shakers when they would install pegs into their moldings in order to hang chairs while they swept and mopped. Chair rail can be used with or without wainscoting.


Chair rail in dining room with gray wall

Kylie M. Interiors



Wainscoting is a type of panel molding that lines a room for decorative purposes, typically the lower portion of a wall. Originally it was created to keep out dampness and cold in the 16th century before modern insulation techniques were invented. This ornamental wood treatment is applied at chair rail height (32” above the floor) or below. Wainscoting can be purchased in premanufactured lengths or created from scratch, but it consists of three components: baseboard molding, wall panels, and a chair rail or top molding. You might see the wainscoting wall panels made up of shiplap, beadboard, board and batten or a raised or flat paneling.

White wainscoting board and batten in dining room with floral wallpaper  

Rambling Renovators


Bedroom with Rustic White shiplap wainscoting

Bedroom with Rustic White shiplap used as wainscoting. 



Shiplap is a wooden board with a groove (a rabbet) cut into the top and bottom, allowing the pieces of shiplap to fit together snugly forming a tight seal with a natural gap the size of a nickel. Shiplap may be used as wainscoting wall paneling in between the chair rail and the baseboard.


Timeless Midnight Black Shiplap Mudroom

Timeless Midnight Black shiplap 


Rustic Charcoal Shiplap Barnwood Fireplace

Rustic Charcoal shiplap


Board and Batten 

 Board and Batten is a type of wainscoting that has alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips called “battens.” Board and batten may be installed vertically or horizontally on interiors or exteriors.


White board and batten entryway 

Jordan and Jean


Emerald green board and batten full wall entryway with round mirror and bench

White Picket Farmhouse



Beadboard is a type of wainscoting that consists of narrow planks in rows lined up against each other. In between the wood planks there is a ridge or indentation called a “bead.” Beadboard is typically installed vertically with a baseboard and is capped by a molding.

Beadboard wainscoting in bathroom 

The Destiny Formula


Shiplap in a bathroom  

Whether you are building a home or looking to remodel, it’s helpful to know the difference between each of the different wood wall applications and how you can use them in combination with each other. Adding board and batten and shiplap as a wainscoting application can add value and visual interest to your home. Installing shiplap in a bathroom has become a popular style trend and you don’t have to worry about using a wood sealer with our prepainted shiplap.


Charred Wood Smoke White Shiplap Bathroom

Charred Smoke White Shiplap


Timeless Farmhouse White Shiplap Bathroom Teal Fan

Timeless Farmhouse White shiplap


Interested in using shiplap as a wall treatment in your interior? Check out the 15 Ways To Use Shiplap In Your Home


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Timeless Midnight Black Shiplap Mudroom