What Is Wall Panelling, Anyway?
Shaker Style Wall Panelling


Written by Maddie

Unsure of what wall panelling is? We are the go-to gurus for everything wall panelling related. Read on to learn more about the decorative art of wall panelling. 

Intrigued by the mysterious world of wall panelling? Want to learn everything there is to know about this fascinating trend? Why wouldn’t you – it’s a quick and clever way of transforming your interior walls into a simply striking space. 


Ok, so it’s not as elusive as we made it sound, but there are still some key things to know about this stylish interior design technique that’s adorning the walls of homes up and down the UK. Everyone is getting in on the action from celebrities and royalty to us mere mortals. It’s not hard to see why, you can upgrade your living space with minimal fuss and cost. 

Jacobean Style Wall Panelling From Ideal Home
Jacobean Style Wall Panelling From Ideal Home

But what is wall panelling? Well, wall panelling is a decorative art by which you add texture to a wall with mdf wood panelling. There are a dazzling array of patterns to choose from which can be decorated to suit any taste. From cottagecore to contemporary design, wall panelling can work with any trend. 

Wall panelling isn’t a modern phenomenon, its been around for hundreds of years. It was originally developed to provide insulation and protection from damp – back when houses were made of stone and pretty chilly. 

Antique Wall Panels from Antique Furniture Restoration Chester

The original wall panelling concepts were fairly basic, but as the trend caught on it flourished into ornate and intricate patterns carved into slabs of wood, to the extent it adorned the walls of castles and heritage sites. As time went on different styles and techniques were incorporated, some periods preferred the finer details to complement their highly decorative abodes, other periods boasted more simplistic designs to blend into the background of the grand architecture favoured at the time (we’re looking at you Georgians). 

Georgian Interior Design
Georgian Interior Design – courtesy of the National Trust

All of these wall panelling styles are now readily available to incorporate in your home. The styles have evolved and as such a different material is now used to recreate the iconic patterns of yesteryear. 

The material? MDF, sometimes referred to as MDF wood – although MDF is an engineered wood product and doesn’t actually grow on trees. Which is a relief, MDF is so popular we probably wouldn’t have any trees left if it did. What’s so great about MDF? Well it’s not as expensive as buying a slab of timber and carving away to create enough panels to cover a wall, it has the same properties as wood and it’s a lot easier to cut.  MDF is just as durable as timber and is dense enough to protect your walls from any scuffs or bangs. 

MDF is the main material used for wall panelling. It’s because of this amazing material that wall panelling is so easy now to install yourself at home. Furthermore, you can buy mdf wall panelling kits online, which makes the task of wall panelling even more convenient. 

Part of a Shaker Wall Panelling Install from Green Bank Interiors

You can install wall panelling in any room you please, just make sure it’s inside. If you’re considering using wall panelling in your bathroom or kitchen, make sure you buy moisture resistant MDF as regular MDF doesn’t hold up well in rooms which are exposed to high levels of humidity. And you don’t want to spend time installing all your lovely wall panelling to then have to redo it because it got a bit wet. 

If you want to know more about how to install mdf wall panelling, we’ve got lots of installation guides and techniques to help you on your way. If you like the idea of wall panelling but need some panelling inspo – we can help with that too. 

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