Wall panelling continues to be one of the most popular interior DIY trends, with #wallpanelling now having 16,000 posts and 418 million views across TikTok. 

Essential Tools & Equipment

You will also need wooden planks. If they are not in your desired colour, wood stain or paint can transform them. 

Step 1: Choose Your Panelling Style

  • Determine the style of panelling you want.

  • Shiplap panelling has long, thin wooden planks arranged horizontally and tightly together.

  • Slatted panelling is similar to shiplap panelling, but has clear gaps between each plank.

  • Wainscotting panelling is when just the lower half of the wall is panelled, usually vertically.

  • Beadboard panelling looks similar to wainscotting panelling but has larger grooves between each plank.

  • Board and batten panelling, also known as shaker panelling, has planks arranged in a square or rectangle to adds a visual texture to a wall. It is one of the most popular DIY panelling styles.

Step 2: Measure The Wall

  • Before installing the panel, you need to measure the wall to determine how many panels you need as well as the height and length of each panel.
  • To find the total area of the wall, multiple the height by the width.

  • Do the same with each panel and calculate how many you will need to cover the area.

  • Make sure to take any light switches and fixtures into account, as you will need to panel around them.

  • Adding 10% to your measurements can help if you make a mistake.

Step 3: Cut The Panels

  • Mark the panels where they need to be cut.
  • Trim the panels using a hand saw or mitre saw. 
  • Cut into the panel in clean, straight lines
  • Sand the panel edges so that they seamlessly integrate with each other onto the wall and look neat.
  • To get straight lines, a mitre box will help to guide the saw.

Step 4: Prepare The Wall

  • Make sure the wall is free from any residue, dirt or debris by wiping the walls down with warm, soapy water.

  • If the surface has blemishes, sand them down.

  • If the wall isn't even, use a spirit level to guide where the panels should be trimmed.

  • If you want to paint the wall behind the panelling, now is the time.

Step 5: Apply Panels To The Wall

  • You can attach the panels to the wall using glue or nails.
  • For extra hold use both.
  • Apply adhesive in a zigzag pattern on the back of each panel.
  • Drill a small pilot hole into the panel before hammering a nail in to avoid splitting the wood.
  • Make sure to use a detector to check for any wires or water pipes when securing the panel to the wall.

Step 6: Fill In Gaps

  • For a seamless result, fill the gaps between the individual panels with an interior filler. 
  • Once the filler is dry sand it down with fine sandpaper, you could use a decorator's caulk around the edges of the panel centres.
  • Once it has set, it is ready to paint.

Step 7: Paint And Treat

  • Once your panels are secured to the wall and the adhesive and fillers are completely dry, give each panel a protective coat before painting them. 
  • Apply 1-2 coats of wood-based primer before leaving it to dry.
  • Once dry you can now paint your panels with 1-2 coats of paint in your chosen desired colour.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different wall panelling designs?

Should I use nails or adhesive for wall panelling?

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