The easiest way to create faux wainscoting is to install prefabricated 4-by-8-foot sheets made to resemble wainscoting. You could use a combination of paint and molding, but you wouldn't have the grooved texture characteristic of real tongue-and-groove construction. That, of course, is precisely what wainscoting panels replicate.
Creating Your Own Wainscoting
At 4 feet wide, pre-made wainscoting panels are conveniently sized. Since traditional, authentic wainscoting typically rises 45 inches off the floor, the 48-inch paneling comes ready to install. The extra 3 inches are easily covered by the chair rail. Once the finished panels, baseboard and chair railing are in place, your faux wainscoting will give an ordinary room an old-wordly charm.