It has been almost 18 months since we bought and moved into our first house, which was a new built. Most of the new builds are cookie cutters and they just look the same and lack the character which kind of put me off. I know that having a blank canvas might be good, but also it can be quite a time consuming on top of a busy job. Finding ideas that could add some character to the house has been our mission. Even painting the wall to a different colour could make a big difference, but why not do something different like panelling? Apart from the tiling and painting, DIY wall panelling has been one of the biggest tasks.

I always wanted panelling, however, we didn’t know if that would look good in this place. Also, we weren’t sure if that would fit with the theme we were after. We wanted something like modern chic. Since I wanted it a lot, I ended up convincing hubby and we started the panelling in June. What would be the worst-case scenario? We don’t like it, then we could just remove it and do something different.

Before DIY Panelling

The process was quite easy, however, deciding on which moulding to pick was the hardest part. Who would have thought there are so many different mouldings and they all give a different look! If you are considering panelling, here are what you need…

DIY Wall Panelling

What do you need for panelling?

DIY Wall Panelling Equipment

How do you do the wall panelling?

The first thing you need to do is deciding on what style you want to go for. If you google “decorative moulding on walls”, you can find many inspirations! On the other hand, it could be quite overwhelming as well. Just decide what you want and stick to it. Once you decide on what you want, start drawing on a paper/software how you want it to look. Measure your wall and come up with a uniform shape and make sure that top and bottom, left and right corners have the same distance. We have around 15 cm gaps between each panel (top, bottom, right, left and middle). When you plan it, just make sure you consider where your sockets are. This way you can avoid cutting more pieces to mould around the sockets.

Where do I buy panelling for walls?

Once you have all your measurements, it is time for shopping! When you buy them, just make sure to check all the mouldings and ensure that they are all straight. We had one or two where it was quite bent and we weren’t able to use them. You might also want to shop around and find the cheapest option. We got all ours from B&Q, however, later on, I found out that similar moulding was relatively cheaper in Wickes.

We thought we would be able to use NoMore Nails adhesive without using any nails as we thought since we have a new build house and the walls would be perfectly straight, which we were completely wrong! The walls couldn’t have been worse and when we checked it with a spirit level, we were shocked! Luckily we had a nail gun so we were able to use it on top of the adhesive.

Wall Panelling Equipment

Once we got all the essentials, it was the action time! After we measured and draw on the wall where exactly the mouldings would be, we used tapes to get the feel of it. We let the tape stay there for a few days and decide whether we like it or not! I think that helped us a lot to be sure that we were happy with how it might look like.

DIY Wall Panelling Step by Step Process

Once you have all the tools, it is all about measuring the moulding and cutting them accordingly. If you want quick and easy cuts and you don’t have the fancy tools, you really need mitre box! Cutting 45-degree angles (which you will need to do) was so easy! Once we cut the pieces, we sanded the rough edges so it was easier to join the parts.

DIY Wall Panelling Mould Cuts Panelling Mould Connection

We started from the top and put the moulding on the wall with the adhesive. You need a spirit level to ensure the moulding it straight before you apply the next one, which might slow down the application a little.  As I mentioned before since our wall wasn’t quite straight, we had to use a nail gun to ensure the moulding had the full contact with the wall. To cover the nail holes and fill in any gaps, we used a wood filler. This way you can get perfect finish where there are no holes in between the joints.

Bear in mind that once this adhesive is dry, it is really hard to move or remove anything so if you have any excess adhesive, you need to make sure to remove it asap!

You could also use decorators caulk to cover any gaps between the moulding and the wall, but we were too lazy to do that (however it is still on our to-do list)! If you are not as lazy as us, I would really recommend it. This way when you paint the wall and the moulding, there are no gaps between the wall and the moulding.

Can wood panelling be painted over?

The answer is yes, you can easily paint it, even without applying a primer. Before painting just make sure that the surface is free of dust.

We let it dry fully and settle for a day before painting. I ordered the paint from Decorating Centre Online and was really happy with the fast delivery and the colour match of the paint. We opted for Farrow & Ball Ammonite and that colour was perfect for the room and gave the classy/modern look we were after.

Some people apply a primer before applying the paint, however, we didn’t do that and it turned out ok. I applied two coats of paint and voilà… We managed to complete it!

Panelling Before & After

It takes time and patience, however, the outcome definitely pays it off! If you want to add a little character to your house, DIY wall panelling is a good way to do it. There are a few other panelling plans like the cloakroom and possibly the master bedroom since we are in Lockdown 2.0, that might be the best time to utilise the time and be productive.

Will panelling go out of fashion?

It will probably go out of fashion, however, it won’t be any time soon. It is still in trend and people are doing different styles to add some character to the rooms. If you are bored with painted walls, you should definitely jump on the wall panelling wagon, you will not regret it!

What do you think about DIY wall panelling? Do you have any house improvement plans?

DIY Wall Panelling Guide