How To Panel A Wall
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.
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?
There are a number of wall panelling designs and styles to choose from. Popular styles include board and batten panelling (also known as shaker panels), shiplap panelling, slatted panelling, wainscotting panelling and beadboard panelling.
Should I use nails or adhesive for wall panelling?
If you can, use both nails and adhesive for wall panelling for an extra secure hold. Alternatively, you can just use adhesive, but it won't be as secure.