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How to personalise your home with DIY panelling

Panelling has seen a huge revival over the past few years, with Instagram and Pinterest full of DIY takes on the trend. With endless colour and style options, it’s a quick way to add some design flair and personality to your home. 

Panelling on bedroom wall
Kirsty from @the.aldenham.story shares with us her top tips to create the look yourself, even if you’re a total DIY beginner. 

Gather inspiration

Kirsty says: “Instagram gave me the inspiration to give it a go. I’d seen lots of people do it, and thought it looked really good! I was a bit nervous at first, as I live on my own and don’t have a man to help me out - but if I can do it, anyone can!”

Before you begin, take a look through Instagram and Pinterest to see how other people have used panelling to style their homes. There’s the classic half wall panelling, three-quarter and full wall styles, or even bold geometric patterns to choose from. Gather inspiration and figure out what style would best suit your home. This is a good time to think about colours and other room details too. 

Photo credit: @the.aldenham.story


Plan your design

Once you’ve chosen the style of panelling you’ll be recreating, it’s time to plan the design out. The first step is to decide how wide you want your panels to be, and how they’ll be arranged on the wall.

You’ll need to be very precise with your measurements and calculations to ensure your wooden strips are spread out evenly across the wall. It’s also helpful to mark out on the wall exactly where you’ll be attaching the strips when you’re happy with your plan. This will be a good guide for later.
Panelling in living room
Kirsty explains how she created her half wall style panelling: “I started by measuring the wall width (300cm), then decided how wide I wanted the wooden strips to be (10cm). I wanted 7 wooden strips as part of the design, so I added up the total width of the wooden strips (7 panel strips = 70cm), then deducted that from the wall width (230cm). This meant I had 6 ‘gaps’ between the wooden strips, so I then divided 230cm by the 6 ‘gaps’ to tell me how far apart I needed to place each strip.”

Prepare your materials

To create your panelling you’ll need: MDF strips in the correct sizes, No More Nails adhesive, decorators caulk, a caulking gun, sandpaper, wood primer, and paint of your choice.

Depending on your level of DIY experience, you could cut the wood strips yourself, get a family member to help, or ask in store when buying as they may be able to cut it down for you. Kirsty got her Grandpa to help her cut the strips and glue them onto the wall.

Green bedroom panelling

Get panelling

With your design planned out and your supplies all in place, now you can start getting it on the wall. Following the guidelines you’ve already drawn on the wall, use the No More Nails adhesive to stick each of your wood strips onto the wall following the pattern.

Give the glue time to dry, then use decorators caulk around the edges of the strips and across the joints to give a smooth finish. Once everything is fully dry, use sandpaper to sand it all down, then apply primer to the wood and paint the whole thing your chosen colour.
Photo credit: @the.aldenham.story