The PS Timber Guide To Panelling Your Walls
Thinking about embarking on a wall panelling project? Maybe you don’t know where to start - we can help.
What are wall panels?
Let’s start with the basics. Wall panelling is a method of decorating walls using wall panels, essentially they provide texture to the wall which gives the room a bit more character. Panels are fixed to the wall with adhesive in a uniform pattern. This isn’t a modern trend, wall panelling dates back centuries.
A Brief History of Wall Panelling
Wall paneling is steeped in history. The patterns we see today date back as far as the 13th century. Wooden wall panels were used for their insulation properties and to prevent damp from seeping in. As time went by, panelling became more decorative, you’ll find many historic establishments with ornate and intricate wall panel patterns. Fast forward to today and panelled walls are as popular as ever, they’ve had a contemporary makeover but they’ll still stand the test of time.
Wall Panel Styles
There are quite a few different styles of wall panels out there. If you have a keen eye for interior design, we’re sure you’ll already have most of the panel types saved to Pinterest. If you’re not so sure on the style you’re after, we’ve included some of the more popular ones below:
Slat - MDF Slat Wall Panelling - Usually made up of 100mm - 120mm wide slats. The strips are then placed next to each other vertically spanning the wall. They are usually fixed on the lower portion of the wall and capped off with a dado rail, but they can be applied from floor to ceiling. If you fancy trying something different they can also be placed horizontally.
Shaker - This style wall panel is extremely popular at the moment. Shaker style panelling is recognisable by its evenly spaced rectangular shapes. A classic form of panelling - typically found in regal country homes and high-end venues.
Jacobean - This style of wall panel is often confused with the Shaker style, but it’s completely different. The Jacobean panels are square and when installed they look like a grid. A popular choice of wall panel in interior rooms such as dining rooms, bedrooms and living rooms.
Geometric - This wall panel pattern is relatively new, we like to think of it as wall panelling with a modern twist. If you’re looking to accentuate a single wall, then Geometric panelling is for you. These panels are commonly made up of very fine strips, which are then placed to create a contemporary pattern. The strips can be fixed horizontally, vertically and diagonally. Once it’s painted it reveals a very clever aesthetic.
Wall Panelling Installation Overview
In regards to installing MDF wall panels, it’s a fairly simple process. When it comes to purchasing sheets of MDF, firstly you’ll need to select a thickness. For wall panelling we would recommend using 6mm or 9mm MDF depending on how pronounced you want the panels. The depth will allow the pattern to protrude from the wall just enough to give it texture.
Most importantly you need to measure your wall and the panelling design, using these measurements you can then mark and cut out the strips of MDF you need to create your pattern. To fix the strips to the wall, you need to apply adhesive in a zigzag motion on the back of the MDF and then press firmly against the wall. Once it’s dry you can then proceed to prime and paint your panels.
Although it’s a relatively straightforward process, mistakes can still be made. Check out this article on The Top 5 Mistakes People Make With Wall Panelling to avoid making these blunders.
When painting your wall panels you really need to pick the right colour to complement your design. Keep in mind that there are no restrictions, only your imagination. It’s all about picking the right shade for not just the room but your personal style too.
Can I panel any room?
Yes you can, wall panelling isn’t limited to just one room, you can panel whichever interior room you like. The versatility of this trend means it fits in with any design aesthetic, whether it’s cottage core or a quirky fashion forward townhouse.
We would only recommend using MR MDF in rooms like kitchens and bathrooms. MR means Moisture Resistant, this doesn’t mean it's waterproof but that it has a higher tolerance for moisture over standard MDF. Which is really important in rooms where it might sometimes get splashed.
If you’re looking for more in-depth information on wall panelling and MDF wall panels, we found a really helpful blog which is definitely worth a read if you're about to embark on a panelling project.