The Ultimate Guide to DIY Wall Panelling | Decorating Centre Online

The Ultimate Guide to DIY Wall Panelling | Decorating Centre Online

" A timeless look, wall panelling creates a three-dimensional look on any wall."

The Ultimate Guide to DIY Wall Panelling

Panelling is a great way to incorporate a traditional and yet very contemporary feel into your home. Although it may look like an expensive addition to your space, panelling can be a low cost and easy way of adding a three-dimensional look to your home.

I have created a step-by-step guide below to make the whole process as simple and painless as possible for you. I have also sprinkled in some of my favourite panelling examples from our customers to give you some pattern and colour inspiration. 

What you will need:

We have put together aPanelling Bundle with the decorating equipment you will need for your panelling project.


@corbycraigresidence| Panelling Bundle | Decorating Centre Online


1. Why would I panel my walls?

Well, even though panelling looks beautiful when fitted correctly onto your walls, it also has some practical uses too. Wall panelling can hide a multitude of sins.

Whether they are uneven or in need of filling, panels on walls can hide these surfaces. It can also create an extra layer of durability to your walls in high-traffic areas such as hallways and staircases, working to keep your décor looking fresh and new.

2. Choose your Style - What are the different types of wall panelling?

Although you may have only seen a couple of versions of panelling - namely half-wall panelling up a staircase and maybe a boxed feature wall - panelling can actually come in a wide variety of styles to suit not only your choice of décor but also the space it is in.

Geometric Panelling

Geometric Panelling is a new type of panelling which can bring a very contemporary look into your spaces by incorporating a modern geo style with a traditional panelled look.

Flat Plank Wall Cladding

Panelling can also come in flat-plank wall cladding which gives a rustic finish to your wall, bringing an industrial or even a shabby-chic style into your space.

Square-Style Panelling

Square style panelling is a more common and traditional style of panelling which consists of square panels overlapping on your wall. This is often used as either a feature wall of panelling or even a half wall too.

Dado-Style Wall Panelling

This style of panelling works very well in either a living room, bedroom or up a staircase. This type of panelling usually consists of rectangular shapes of wood fixed onto the wall. These aren’t often overlapping and are quite sparse in their design too.

There are so many more different types of panels on walls, which means that you can tailor your individual style to your panelling as well as the shape of your walls and your other décor too.

@style.less.home| Panelling Bundle |Decorating Centre Online



@bd_home | Panelling Bundle |Decorating Centre Online

@abyhome_at.24 | Panelling Bundle | Decorating Centre Online

@1930s_doer_upper | Panelling Bundle | Decorating Centre Online

@hilton_on_the_hill | Panelling Bundle | Decorating Centre Online


3. Choose your thickness

You will also need to choose the thickness of your panelling for the walls. This is again very much based on your own likes and dislikes. You can always cut some sample pieces of panelling down and place them on your wall to choose your own individual thickness.

In our DIY Panelling video, we chose a 10cm thickness but this is upto you.

4. Measuring up how much you’ll need

When you have decided what type of panelling you’re going for, as well as which wall it is going onto, you will now have to source your wall panelling. You can either go to your local DIY shop to source this wood or you can go to a local carpenter who will be able to cut it into a wide variety of styles for you.

Measuring up really does depend on what style of panelling you’re wanting to go for and it can take some time to measure up correctly, but it is essential that you make sure that you get this as accurate as possible as it will make your panelling look it’s very best when completed.

5. Fix any obvious problems with your wall

Even though panels on walls can hide a wide variety of problems with your wall, you may find yourself running into some problems if you don’t fix certain problems before you start panelling.

Problems like damp, flaking plaster and other issues like this can obstruct your panelling, making it difficult, if impossible, to fix your panelling.

When we installed our panelling, we found that our wall was wonky and uneven which required us to glue on our panels differently and fill areas which were unable to reach the top.

6. Start with the frame

If you’re fixing a frame around your panelled wall, the best way to begin fixing your panelling to the walls is by starting with the frame.

This can be glued onto the wall using Hippo Pro 3 Sealant & Filler or can be nailed onto the wall using a hammer and nails (this is particularly useful for larger planks of wood fixed to the walls).

7. Find the middle of the panelling

This step can be skipped if you are panelling your wall using a geometric design, or any other design which means that you will not need to have an equal design.

If you are panelling your walls using a ‘mirrored’ design, finding the middle of the panelling is much easier to make sure that each panel is equally spaced away from each other, making the design look well-balanced.

8. Adhere the rest of the panelling to your wall

Make sure that each of the lats adhere to your wall using Hippo Pro 3 Sealant & Filler securely before moving onto the next step.

Use a spirit level to make sure the lats are straight before adhering them to the wall.

9. Caulk areas which need it

If there are any gaps in your panelling, you can caulk any areas which show gaps or anything that you are unhappy with. Remember to leave it to dry and then to sand it down afterwards so that you have a smooth finish to your wall panelling.

10. Lightly dampen the MDF

Taking a damp sponge, lightly wet your MDF panelling for the Acrylic Primer Undercoat (APU) to open the pores in the wood and help the adhesion of the APU in the next step.

11. Apply Acrylic Primer Undercoat to the wooden areas of your panelling

Using a foam roller, apply your first coat of APU onto the wooden areas of your panelling.

Make sure that you use a 2” brush to get into the trickier areas. If your whole wall is made from MDF, you will have to apply the APU all over the wall.

However, if only the lats are MDF, you can apply the APU only to those areas.

12. Apply the second coat of APU to the MDF

Leave your first coat of APU to dry for at least 4 hours before applying the second layer in the same way as above.

13. Apply your first coat of paint

Now your panelling is ready to paint with a finish suitable for woodwork such as our Hardwearing Acrylic Eggshell. Simply cut in using a brush and then use a fluffy roller to paint the rest of the wall and woodwork.

Make sure to paint your panelling in strips in order to not let any of the paint dry fully as this can sometimes create a patchy finish to your painting.

You can also use the Zinsser Allcoat Multi Surface Paint to paint your panelling too.

14. Leave to dry and apply your second coat of paint

Leave to dry for 4 hours before applying the second layer in the same way as above.

15. Grab a cuppa, you’re done!

After all that work, sit back, relax, admire your handiwork and get someone else to grab you a cuppa, you’ve done enough!

Check out our DIY Panelling Video for some extra handy hints & tips!



Please don’t hesitate to pop us a DM on our Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest pages, you can Live Chat us on our Website too or even email on [email protected] or just give us a ring on 01388 655844 for some advice on what colours we can match and whether we can match the colour you’ve chosen.

There’s no question too big or too small and we’d love to hear from you.

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