Source: Pioneer Press
Create Walls That Wear Well
Create walls that wear well where you need it most–in the high traffic areas of your home. The entry areas, both front and back, stairways and hallways of a home take a great deal of wear. This is where things are hauled in and out and where young children tend to transfer remnants of their latest activity from hand to wall. It can be a constant challenge to keep these walls clean especially where the walls are painted a light color. In addition to wearing well, any of these treatments also provide an opportunity for some exciting change.
Paneling and Beadboard Treatments
One durable wall treatment is to use wood on the lower portion of the wall. The style of this treatment will depend upon the style and character of your home. For example, a panel treatment might be an appropriate choice for colonial architecture or other traditional styles. This could be either recessed or raised panels depending on other cabinet details throughout the home. Because wood is usually painted in a semi-gloss or a gloss finish, it is much easier to wipe clean than a flat or even an eggshell paint finish.
Beadboard, a narrow vertical paneling, is another option for a durable wall treatment. Depending on the style of the home, it may be appropriate where a more durable wall treatment is needed, especially for the back entry or mud room area given its relative casual appearance. Again, this paneling would be finished in a semi-gloss paint making it easy to care for.
Faux Paint Finish and Wallpaper
Another wall treatment idea in a high traffic area is a faux finish on the lower portion of your wall. Use a chair rail or similar molding to create a transition between the lower and upper wall areas. Paint the molding piece the same color as the other trim in that area of the house. For the faux finish, choose a color that compliments the upper wall color but is somewhat darker so it will be a better camouflage for handprints and dirt. If the walls are not conducive to lower and upper areas, consider painting the entire wall with a faux finish. At least, use a more medium hued color in these areas with an eggshell finish that is more wipeable than a flat paint finish.
An alternative to faux paint finishes is wallpaper. Wallpaper can hide many things and can be as dramatic or as subtle as you like. It need only provide enough texture and visual interest to hide the little things.
A good carpenter is required for the paneling and beadboard installation. A carpenter or a good handyman can add a piece of molding to separate two different paint finishes. If you elect to paint an entire wall with one finish, you’ll only need the good painter required to finish any of the wall treatments suggested above.