Wainscoting is one of the most versatile ways to provide some often-needed texture to your home. Sometimes a splash of colour is not enough, and for more depth, homeowners choose to wainscot all corners of their home.

That includes wainscoting stairs to make them stand out. But it’s not just about the aesthetics and covering up any flaws. Wainscoting on stairs provides excellent additional insulation if installed properly. In this article, we’ll explore how to choose and install wainscoting for stairs.

Types of Wainscoting Designs

Whether you’re planning on wainscoting the grand entryway staircase or considering wainscoting basement stairs, it can be tough to make the right decision design-wise. There are three types of wainscoting our customers can choose from, and each will add something unique to their home.

Shadow Boxes

These are stained or painted trim pieces that run in horizontal frames or boxes. In many ways, they are the typical representatives of wainscoting and often the preferred choice for stairs.

Panel Molding

The only significant difference in design between shadow boxes and panel moulding is that instead of frames and boxes, we use panels. When it comes to quality, panels are superior to shadow boxes. Many homeowners opt for panel moulding for their stairs because of their overall sophisticated look.


By far, the simplest option for a wainscoting stairs project would be the beadboard type. The vertical boards provide a cozy and warm aesthetics at an affordable price. They’re also likely the best choice for a DIY project.

Mastering the Angled Wainscoting Trim

The main reason why wainscoting stairs is different from wainscoting walls is that it requires installing the panels or boxes on angles. A lot goes into trimming the wainscoting at the correct angle and not making a mistake.
That is why measuring the stairs correctly is the number one priority. Depending on the stairs’ design and size, homeowners often have to install an entirely customized wainscoting for stairs. We have a lot of experience in designing custom trims regardless of how complicated the project is.

Tackling the Curved Wall

Another important consideration when it comes to wainscoting for stairs is the curved wall, which requires careful planning. Some homeowners might not think that it’s possible to install wainscoting on stairs if they are not a straight line, but that’s normally only if they’ve never heard of flexible moulding.
When it comes to any type of curved application of wainscoting, flexible moulding is the absolute best choice. Appearance-wise, there no difference between the flexible moulding and standard wainscoting materials, it’s just a matter of convenience.
However, keep in mind that flexible moulding is more expensive than wood moulding. It’s essential to factor this in when assessing the amount of material needed for the project.
There’s no need to leave your curved wall bare or staircases uncovered. It’s all a matter of choosing the right design and professionals to do the job.

Wainscoting Stairs – DIY or Not?

Homeowners who want to take on a DIY home renovation project such as wainscoting on stairs might have some reservations about whether that’s the right thing to do. There is no simple answer to that, especially because the complexity of the project matters the most.
But as a general rule, wainscoting stairs is a more challenging task than wainscoting walls, for example. Even if you’re able to choose the right materials for the wainscoting, you’ll also need all the tools and that can be an investment too.
Not to mention purchasing the glue and paint. Plus, unless you’re very experienced, it’s likely going to take a lot of time and ultimately end up being more expensive than originally planned.

For Specialised Wainscoting Stairs Project Choose a Professional Company

When you choose to install wainscoting on stairs in your home, there’s not much room for mistakes. Calling a professional finish carpentry service company that can perform any wainscoting installation is the best way to go about it.
Here at Dream Trim Moulding, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with all types of wainscoting services. If a staircase in your home deserves an upgrade, we’ll give you a free estimate for that project.
Even if going with the flexible moulding for your staircase seems like an expensive choice, the labour costs provided by us will make this investment worthwhile. Regardless of how complicated the design you’ve selected is, we’ll finish the project in record time. However, the emphasis is always on the quality of the wainscoting installation and our customers’ satisfaction.
Call us today to get an estimate for the stairs wainscoting. The areas we serve include Aurora, Brampton, Markham, Mississauga, Oakville, Richmond Hill, and Vaughan.
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