As I wrote in the previous article, wall panelling is back in fashion. You can utilise the traditional tongue and groove wood panels, or the Shaker Style framed panels – but it’s much more interesting to have wall panelling with a modern twist..
Tongue and Groove Alternative
Instead of tongue and groove panels why don’t you try MDF or ply panels. Just cut big sheets (or get them cut) into strips of your chosen width. The sheets don’t have to be thick – 5mm is ideal. Then varnish or paint the panels. The wider the panels the more interesting effect you can create. You can use the panels vertically or horizontally (which is more funky).
Shaker Style Panelling
The real traditional rectangular panels were properly framed. This can be simulated by simply attaching slats of wood to a solid sheet of wood. Or, as a modern alternative, get MDF cut into equal sized squares and attach them to the wall leaving a small gap between them. Paint the wall and the woodwork with the same color.
Plywood is a very interesting material to use for wall panels. Get a sheet cut to cover a whole wall or section of a wall ( for example around a chimney breast) Sand it with fine abrasive paper and paint or varnish it – the grain will come through the paint adding an interesting texture to your wall. Alternatively cover the wall with large sheets of veneered MDF – but don’t over do it, just cover one wall!
Padded panels are not only a good choice to make a headboard for your bed, but can look gorgeous on an entire wall – in a bedroom, dressing room or hallway. You can buy ready-made suede wall panels or create your own ones. Get a sheet of MDF cut into equal size squares or strips. Glue some foam padding to them, then stretch your material (silk, linen, velvet or suede) around them and staple at the back. Attach them to the wall with double sided Velcro.
Wallpaper is also trendy again. But we know how painful it is to strip it back! So instead of gluing it to the wall, make a panel of thin MDF – attach it to the wall, then cover it with funky or textured wallpaper. When you get bored with it – just remove the panel!
Glass, perspex, stainless steel, leather and gilded panels are for the ultra-trendy (and the rich!) They are a serious fashion statement and look fantastic. Of course they only make a good statement if they are used in an understated, modest and subtle way. So don’t go too wild with them!
Wall panelling is an easy DIY job and can produce a very satisfying result. Just remember to use materials and finishes appropriately; wear sensible clothes (and have proper home insurance!). Good luck with your panelling project!
Read more about wall panelling and painting panelling.