An Easy 6 Step Guide
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DIY wall paneling is an easy way to add architectural features to your home that doesn’t require a lot of time. It’s also a cost-effective way to give any room a whole new look.
I’m so thrilled with how our wall paneling turned out in my husband’s new home office. I had a vision in mind and it totally delivered to elevate the entire room to a more refined space.
There are so many different ways you can add wood paneling and molding to walls, in fact I shared a super easy tutorial for picture frame molding in our dining room here.
But for this project, I wanted the wall panels to have more of a recessed look to them. Meaning the wall paneling looks built up to allow the wall to appear more set back. I think it gives the wall a bit more depth and character.
Let me show you what I’m talking about.
Just the simple addition of some decorative molding to each of the boxes is what gives the wall panels that inset look.
So let’s dive into this easy DIY wall paneling project and I’ll break it all down for you step by step!
The tools you’re going to need for this project are fairly beginner friendly and the wood cuts are mostly going to be straight or 45 degree angles.
DIY Wall Paneling Tools
- Brad nail gun
- tape measure
- laser level or spirit level
- miter saw
- Multi tool
- utility knife
- Stud Finder
DIY Wall Paneling Materials
*The exact length and amount of wood materials will depend on the size of your wall and which type of pattern layout you choose.
- 1″ x 4″ MDF boards / wood paneling available at most DIY stores
- skirting board or baseboards
- wood filler
- instant grab adhesive / liquid nails
- decorative wood strips or molding (ensure that whatever molding you choose has a flat 90 degree angle to sit flush against the sides of your MDF boards. )
How to Install DIY Wall Paneling in 6 Simple Steps
Step 1 – Prepare your wall for installation
The first step is to prepare your wall surface for your new wall paneling. You’ll want to gently remove the existing baseboards if you plan to reuse them and reattach after the wall panels are up.
Start by using a utility knife to score along the caulk line where your baseboard meets your wall. Then, use a crowbar inserted in that line to gently pry the baseboard away from the wall. Once you’ve removed the baseboard, you can use a pair of pliers to pull out any remaining nails from it.
Now that your baseboard is removed you’ll want to cut into the adjacent baseboards to allow for the new depth of the wall when it’s complete. This is important, because you’ll be reattaching your baseboard to the new wall panel which will extend out further than it previously did.
You can do this by lining up a piece of your new MDF board along the adjacent baseboard, marking off the width of the board for your cut.
Using an oscillating or multi tool with s straight blade, you’re able to cut into your adjacent baseboard to remove the excess allowing for a deeper gap for your MDF board to now easily slide in.
Step 2 – Plan your wall layout
The next step is to determine the layout of your paneled wall. I suggest drawing a mockup on paper of how you’d like your wall to appear.
I knew that I wanted at least 4 boxes across the width of the wall and I played around with the measurements to see if my wall height would also allow for 4 boxes. Unfortunately they would’ve been more rectangular than I liked, so I settled on 3 vertical boxes for each column.
This process is entirely dependent on the amount of wall space you have to work with.
You’ll want to begin by using a stud finder to locate and mark the positions of your wall studs. This will allow for the strongest attachment of your boards.
Step 3 – Install your wooden panels
Now you’re ready to install the bottom MDF panel spanning the entire width of your wall.
Cut the board down to your desired length using 45 degree cuts at both ends.
Before installing it, determine how high you want the board to sit away from the base of your floors. We used spare MDF boards cut down as a placeholder for the new height. These will also act as wall studs allowing you to reattach your baseboard at the end.
Use a spirit or level laser to ensure your board is level. Then install it using a brad nailer, securing your board to the wall along each of the stud locations.
Continue the process of measuring and cutting your top and side MDF panel boards to attach to the wall creating a “picture frame” layout.
Now that you have your layout determined and the outside of the wall framed out, you can start installing your vertical panels for each column.
These are cut on the miter saw using simple straight lines and should span the entire height for each column. Make sure to once again align your boards so that they’re level prior to securing them to the wall.
Next, you’re going to create your boxes by also cutting the MDF boards with a straight line. Then attach each of the horizontal panels within the columns.
It’s a good idea to measure the width for each of these vertical boards, because your columns may not have been installed as precise as you think. And you want to aim for a very tight fit of where your vertical and horizontal boards meet. This will minimize any large gaps.
Step 4 – Install decorative trim molding
Now you’re ready to cut and install the decorative molding trim lining the inside of each of your new panel boxes. This process is pretty straight forward, but can be a bit time consuming given the amount of measurements you’ll need to take.
It may be helpful to mark all of your measurements and label your pieces as you go. Then you can make your cuts all at one time to minimize the back and forth trips from your workspace to the paneled wall.
Each of the inside pieces of decorative molding are going to be cut at 45 degree angles to join together inside the wall panel boxes.
This was about the time I got so excited because I could finally see the accent wall taking shape. I loved the depth the decorative molding added to the wall panels.
Step 5 – Finishing work
Finally, you’re ready for the finishing steps. As tedious as this part of the project can be, it’s super important to do if you want to ensure a professional looking finish for your wall.
Always start by filling any nail holes and gaps where your boards join together using wood filler. You should be able to allow this to dry and sand within the same day.
Next, you can reattach your baseboard to the wall. This part can be a little tricky because you’ll need to get that multi tool back out and once again cut into your adjacent baseboards if you’d prefer a mitered cut. Otherwise you can use a coping saw to join your baseboards back together.
This post from The Spruce has great information for deciding between a mitered or a coped joint.
Lastly you’ll want to caulk along the outside frame of your accent wall, along the baseboard and within the insides of each decorative panel box. This helps create a seamless look, especially if you don’t have a perfectly flat wall.
Step 6 – Paint your new DIY paneled wall
Painting is final and best part of your new accent wall. Personally, I prefer using an eggshell finish on all of my walls. Especially if it has a lot of decorative trim work.
It’s the perfect sheen for durability, but it’s also very forgiving and conceals a lot of flaws on finishing work. Two coats worked well for me, but it can depend a lot on the color and brand of paint you’ve selected.
I went with Valspar brand paint tinted in the color “Cyberspace” from Sherwin Williams. It’s the most amazing moody blue color that floats between blue and charcoal depending on the amount of lighting in your space.
I also decided to go a bit more modern and paint all of the trim work in the same color. I did increase the sheen to an eggshell finish for durability. It also adds a little contrast to the walls.
Got a question? Drop me a comment below. I love helping out. And stay tuned, because I can’t wait to show you the full office reveal soon, It’s gonna be great!
Easy DIY Wall Paneling
Looking at some of these before pictures, makes me wonder why I wanted to buy this house, but even when I first saw it, I knew an easy DIY wall paneling would be the answer. The house I grew up in had a nice entry hall, so I’ve always been a big weirdo about wanting enough space when you walk in the door. That’s what really bugged me about our last house, the stairway was RIGHT THERE in your face when you entered. Total pet peeve, not gonna lie. But this house has a great area, even if it started out ugly.
-easy DIY wall paneling
-a killer wallpaper, blue and white for sure
-personal style using architectural salvage and decorating details
Moulding and Paneling
The first project I tackled was the DIY wall paneling and new moulding around the doorways and baseboard. There was already nice crown moulding in the room, so that was a win! That would only need paint. But there was this really weird thing going on near the window that would need a custom wall panel. Check this out:
What is up with this weird terracotta floor step? OH NO! That has got to go!
Totally have no clue what that weirdo terracotta step is in front of the window, or if it was original to the house (built in 1957). Either way, that’s a NO for me dawg. That whole window area was a bit strange, so some love needed to be focused there because that affected the entire room. And the fact that it was tile, and I was not going to demo it (why make more work for yourself, ya know?) so I simply used Liquid Nails (a strong wood glue/construction adhesive) to attach the wood strips and smooth plywood that I used to cover it up. It will be a fun mystery for someone in like 100 years when it gets ripped out and renovated in the far off future!
laser level or manual spirit level (gotta get a straight line)
mitre saw or mitre box
wood filler or decorators caulk
finish nailer or brad nailer
Achieving an EASY wall paneling for a DIY project goes so much quicker if your walls are smooth. Luckily mine are, but being originally from Southern California where all the drywall has an orange peel finish, I thought I should mention it. When your walls are smooth, you can simply get to the business of planning where your moulding will go to give you that full wood paneling look and then getting it up there.
Panel Height and Spacing
Planning how many panels you need and how they will look is up to you, there’s no panel police who come to your house and make sure you have it spaced correctly with standard height, same size boxes, and even wall space. Good thing, because I prefer to do what I want, and would encourage you to do the same (such renegade behavior). How many panels you need will be up to you. But here is what I did to create these vertical panels, and my thought process behind it.
Height – I chose 57″ from the floor, mainly because I did not want to see the multitude of light switches in this room, and wanted them to disappear within the white of the paneling.
Box size – This was determined by the size of my wall. I didn’t want any huge space to be one big box, so I didn’t have any more than 36″ and spaced them evenly throughout the segment of wall.
Spacing – Based upon the height I chose, the spacing that looked the best for me was 3″. Most windowpane framing like this tends to be spaced between 3-4″, but choose the width based on the scale of your room.
Mix It Up for Interest
I also chose a different moulding profile for my boxes, meaning different then what I see is commonly used for a project like this. Once again, I like to get crazy and use whatever looks good to me. I purchased the pieces for the framing and chair rail, and baseboard from Menards. Many like to create the shaker wall panel look, but this being the entry I wanted to jazz it up a bit.
The door framing was ordered from a specialty wood supplier. Walls, and all the moulding was sprayed using this paint sprayer from Home Depot. To get an ultra smooth finish, I used a fine finish tip which does not come with the model. The white color is Behr (also Home Depot) called Ultra Pure White. I used this on all our trim around the house, along with the shaker style kitchen cabinets and paneling in the family room.
Wallpaper is finally having its ‘trend’ moment, but I’ve always been a fan. I learned to hang my own wallpaper back in the 80s and have been doing it ever since in each house we have owned, some more than others (much to the horror of my realtor and occasionally my hubby). But I feel like wallpaper just makes any space fabulous, and is such a fun layer (to me, at least) to add to a room. I love this simple design from York and chose it not only because it’s fabulous, but it would mesh well with my custom drapes made from an older Serena and Lily fabric that hang in the front window. Plus it’s the perfect shade of blue!
Something Special to Make It Our Style
Of course I needed to add some vintage, so I installed this old newel post that I had purchased to use in the last place we were in, but we sold that house sooner than I had expected and never had the chance to use it there. Procrastination for the win! When I got the tape measure to see if it would fit, I almost peed my pants, it was perfect! I cut it to fit and added some moulding to cover up some holes that were from its past life, along with heavy screws that keep it in place.
Choosing NOT to stain the post to look new was a no-brainer because I like old crap. If I’m going to the trouble of using vintage architectural salvage to begin with, then I want it for the patina as well as the look. I believe, not everything needs to look perfect, but things should be perfectly straight.
You can also see that I did this project BEFORE painting the floor with the chalk and clay paint. I knew I would probably get paint on the floor. And of course, I did. Well not me, Otis did. He walked through a splotch that must have been on a drop cloth on the other side of the room, and traced little puppy prints all over the floor. I just left it like that for several months, since they looked pretty cute and I was painting the floor anyway later! Besides, hopefully everyone would notice the new wall treatment and not the paint on the floor.
What Do You Think?
So that’s the big entry hall makeover! What a difference, especially when the floor got painted. If you missed that story, you can read about it here. And I’m so happy that stupid tile is gone near the window. Of course, this is the view most days when I arrive home. It’s Otis’ favorite sunbathing spot.
There are still a few projects that I haven’t gotten around to in this space, namely new exterior door knobs. There are crystal knobs with polished chrome detailing throughout the house that we added, but I’ve always got more to do. Did you notice that this mirror has a twin that is at the end of the hallway? Let me know in the comments if you spot it, vintage for the win!
Do-it-yourself wooden panels for interior wall decoration: photo video
Decorative wooden panels for a house or apartment are slabs made from natural wood. In the shops of finishing materials there are many options for panels of various colors and sizes. Accordingly, it is not so difficult to choose a finishing material for framing any room in an apartment.
Interior wood panels
- 1 Wood panels: pros and cons
- 2 Classification of wood cladding panels
- 3 Finishing the front surface of the panels
- 4 Selection of decorative wood panels
- 5 Installation of wood panels
Wood paneling: pros and cons
Wall cladding in any room with wooden panels has been used for a long time. Even the relatively high price of such material does not scare away people who want to decorate an apartment in an original style.
Compared to conventional finishes, decorative panels have several significant advantages:
- The choice of panels offered in stores is extremely wide. It is possible to purchase slabs that imitate various types of wood without a long search. Some plates can be varnished or painted.
- Wood paneling adds a noble touch to any room.
- Wooden boards are an environmentally friendly material. Therefore, in a house where wall surfaces are sheathed with such material, a natural microclimate is created. The properties of the panels prevent the formation of mold and fungi.
- When installing slabs on a batten, a perfectly flat wall surface is not required.
Wood wall panels – environmentally friendly
- Wood panels can hide wires and cables.
- Wooden boards are easy to care for. Problem areas can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Surface treatment of panels with a special polish will maintain the effect of novelty for a long time.
- The panels will not lose their attractive design even during a long service life.
- If damaged, the cladding can be easily repaired.
- Wood panels are an excellent thermal insulator and good noise absorber.
- Wooden wall panels look great in any room. It is no coincidence that such material is in demand among designers specializing in the design of premises.
Living room with wood paneling
Wood paneling has fewer disadvantages, but they still exist:
- Wooden panels should not be used in bathrooms, toilets or kitchens as they do not like high humidity.
- If the installation of facing boards is carried out using adhesive mixtures, the walls will need to be leveled.
- Traditionally wood cladding is attached to a frame or batten. In this case, the useful volume of the room will be slightly reduced.
Classification of wood cladding panels
Decorative wall panels of this type are grouped according to several criteria:
There are panels made in the form of rails and plates. The length of the lining, made in the form of rails, starts from 2.4 meters and ends at 3.7. The width also depends on the specific model and manufacturer. The appearance of such panels resembles planks of various thicknesses. Between themselves, the rails are assembled using the spikes and grooves provided by the manufacturer. You can mount them on the wall at any angle. Often this material is used to decorate the walls of rooms with high ceilings.
Interior wall cladding with square wood panels
There are also square wood cladding panels. The most common plates are 300 * 300 mm and 980 * 980 mm in size. Such products are mainly used for partial wall decoration. Sometimes they are used to depict a picture on the wall.
Also in demand among buyers are sheet plates made of wood of solid dimensions 122 * 244 cm. Thickness can vary from 6 to 8 millimeters.
Decorative panels made of solid natural wood are considered an elite finishing material. Accordingly, the price of such products cannot be low. Allocate panels of oak, cedar, alder or maple. However, pine and other softwood slabs are more common because they cost significantly less. In any case, the premises, finished with natural high-quality wood slabs, have a very stylish design and can be used for a long time. It is not recommended to use panels of this type in rooms with high humidity.
Glued (laminated) wood panels
There is also an economical version of wood boards – glued panels. They are created from perpendicularly glued thin layers of wood.
MDF panels are used for interior decoration of apartments, houses, offices and other premises. For their production, wood sawdust and a mass binding them are used. With properties similar to natural wood materials, such a product is much cheaper compared to others.
Chipboard panels for the home, better known as chipboard. They have a completely unpretentious appearance. They are mainly used for finishing industrial premises. Wall panels made of such material have good thermal insulation properties, but their main advantage is the price.
Finishing of the front surface of the panels
The design of wall panels intended for the interior decoration of the house largely depends on the method of processing the front surface.
The following methods are best known:
1. Veneer finish. This method involves the outer cladding of panels with valuable wood species. As a result, the appearance of the panels resembles panels made of elite wood species, but has a price several times lower.
2. Lamination. The surface of the panels covered with a special film (laminated) becomes glossy. Plates treated in this way have little protection from mechanical damage and exposure to sunlight. Such a film is able to protect the panel itself from the effects of certain chemical elements.
Finishing the kitchen with wooden panels
3. Finishing the outside of the wooden panel with varnish or wax. Lacquering not only performs decorative functions, but also serves to protect the panels from moisture. However, the varnished lining is subject to mechanical damage. Therefore, panels with a matte surface are popular among buyers. Slightly inferior to their counterparts in appearance, such plates have more reliable protection. Panels treated with varnish most fully retain the appearance and structure of wood.
4. The method, in which a pattern is applied to the surface of the panel using a press, is called embossing. Material processed in this way becomes more durable.
Selection of decorative wood panels
Wood panels can be used to decorate a variety of rooms in the apartment. It all depends on the imagination of the designer or the owner of the house. Panels are used for finishing walls, interior partitions, niches, etc.
Use of wooden panels for finishing partitions in an apartment
The choice of panels for decorating a particular room is based on its purpose and some features of the material:
- Living rooms, finished with wood, have a cozy and favorable atmosphere. Wall panels made of wood are used for decoration of hallways, corridors, living rooms. The design of the children’s room with wooden plates is welcome, because they emit therapeutic phytoncides that destroy harmful microorganisms and viruses. In addition, waxed boards repel dust and are easy to clean.
- The type of wood from which the panels for the house are made plays a significant role in their choice. For example, living rooms are often decorated with oak panels. In rooms decorated with dark-colored panels, good lighting should be present. Bright light will minimize the gloom created by dark woods.
- Bedrooms are preferred to be decorated in light colors, for this purpose it is recommended to use rosewood panels.
- Wood-paneled classrooms and libraries have their own special atmosphere and style.
Office wood paneling
- Well-chosen wooden wall panels in public areas create a businesslike atmosphere and create a working mood. In some cases, panels decorated with gilding or combined with mirrors will look appropriate.
- Wood panels are used to decorate the walls of cinemas, because they have excellent soundproofing qualities, for the same reason they can be found in the interior of recording studios.
- Preservative-treated panels are used to design kitchens and bathrooms.
- MDF and chipboard, despite being nominally wood paneling, should not be used for home decoration. This is due to the chemical elements present in their composition.
The use of wooden panels for finishing the bathroom
Of course, when choosing this finishing material, one should not forget about such an important parameter as the price. It is worth relying on the following calculations:
- Solid wood panels are more expensive than composite panels.
- Domestic products are cheaper than foreign counterparts.
- Decorative elements not only affect the appearance of the product, but also increase its value.
In other words, the price of the product is affected by: the size and type of the panel, the method of processing the outside of the panel, the type and percentage of wood in the material. In addition, mirrors, gilding and other decorative elements have an impact on the cost of the panels.
Installation of wooden panels
There are many ways to fasten panels to the wall surface: using a crate (framework), glue or special building brackets. The most popular method of sheathing the internal walls of the house by means of crates. In this case, the walls practically do not require preliminary preparation.
Installing the batten for wood panels
Installing the battens on the batten should begin with the installation of the batten. To do this, beacons must be placed in the corners of the room. They must stand strictly vertically, and the fasteners must be temporary. Fixing the crate to the wall depends on what the wall of the house is made of. For example, the frame is attached to wooden walls or from gas silicate blocks using self-tapping screws. But you can fix it on the walls of a house made of brick or concrete with the help of anchors. The deflection that appeared at the fixation points is eliminated in this way: the fastener itself is loosened, and a gasket is placed under the frame, after which the anchor is tightened again. The intersections of horizontal and vertical rails should be treated with a planer.
Once the frame is in place, the panels can be mounted. Wall decoration is better to start from the corners. Materials for interior decoration of the walls of the house, namely wall panels, are applied in such a way that the front longitudinal groove faces the master. It is in this position that it must be fixed with nails.
There are many ways to fasten nails. If there are special grooves on the decorative panels, then in this case the nails should be of the same color. If there are no grooves, then the nails must be driven in at an angle of 45 degrees until the hats are completely immersed in the wood.
Use electrical appliances the same as before, and pay 2 times less!
You will be able to pay 30-50% less for electricity, depending on which electrical appliances you use.
Read more >>
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The walls are traditionally sheathed with boards (“lining”). Panels for these purposes are used relatively rarely.
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And this is despite the fact that the range of options for decorating walls with panels is much wider than with boarding, which is distinguished by a monotonous striped pattern. The panels are wide (sometimes more than 1 m) and long (room-high) wooden panels with a magnificent texture pattern, with grooves on all four edges.
The dimensions of the panels are important not only in terms of decoration, but also in terms of technology: it is easier and faster to install fewer large-format panels than a narrow “lining”.
However, panels are also produced, the width of which is not much larger than the width of the grooved boards.
TYPES OF WOOD PANEL
Various types of panels are used for interior decoration. These can be plywood slabs 244 cm long, lined with valuable veneer.
In addition, panels with a width of 12.5 to 30 cm and a length of 85 to 500 cm are used. Their basis is also plywood or chipboard with veneer of valuable wood species: oak, ash, elm, larch, walnut, etc. .
The surface of the panels can be smooth or rustic, achieved by wire brushing.
Along with them, laminated boards made of wood materials are widely used for wall cladding.
Finished panels can be in different color tones. Therefore, they are easy to match by color and texture pattern to furniture and other interior items.
The panels rest on the baseboard and are at least 10mm from the walls and ceiling.
Expansion joints can be covered with flashing strips, smooth or profiled.
Large format paneling looks more relaxed than small paneling.
Shelving rails can be “hidden” in the seams between the panels.
Horizontal paneling visually reduces the height and increases the width of the wall.
In this way, you can visually give the rooms in houses of old buildings with high ceilings more favorable proportions.
The vertical arrangement of the panels makes the wall appear taller and narrower. The visual effect of changing proportions also depends on the length and width of the panels.
OAK PANELING EXAMPLE
How to Install Oak Paneling | This Old House
Watch this video on YouTube
To determine the amount of material you need, you must first accurately measure the walls and draw up a plan for laying the panels. The diagram also indicates the location of the panels – vertical or horizontal. This issue should be taken seriously, because the direction of laying largely determines the perception of the proportions of the room – vertically arranged panels (or tongue-and-groove boards) visually increase the height of the walls and make them narrower. The opposite effect is given by horizontal plating.
The laying plan must also take into account insert battens or open joints between large format panels. These elements also affect the appearance of the skin.
DO NOT FORGET THE SEAMS
Room-height panels should be fastened with some gap between the sheathing and the ceiling or floor, the so-called “expansion joint”, so that the wood can “work”. The width of this joint must be at least 1 cm.0021
A cheap way to decorate walls with wood chips – Dacha 12/28/2013 – Issue 71
Watch this video on YouTube
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR INSTALLING PANELS
Many DIYers are familiar with the staples used to fasten tongue-and-groove boards to battens. Panel brackets come in a variety of designs. Among them are double ones with different distances between the protruding legs that enter the grooves of the panels.
The distance between the tabs determines the width of the rails or profile strips inserted between the panels.
The cladding elements must be connected so that the panels are parallel to each other. Their mutual parallelism must be constantly checked by a level.
The width of the joint between the panels is determined by the distance between the fastening tabs. The panels can also be in close contact with each other. If necessary, they can be knocked out with a hammer through a wooden block. Water drains faster from the beveled bottom edges of the panels than from straight ones, and is less absorbed into the wood. The double batten increases the distance between the wall and the panels, which significantly improves ventilation efficiency.
Leave a gap between the wall and ceiling panels of the bathroom for free air circulation.
Constantly ventilating the cladding greatly reduces the effect of moisture on the wood. To do this, cuts are made on the surface of the horizontal laths facing the wall or through holes are drilled through their edges.