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Historic Wall Panelling MDF Wall Panelling Kits

What Is Wall Panelling, Anyway?

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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Designs Historic Wall Panelling Wood Wall Panelling

Understanding Wood Panelling For Walls 

Undertaking a panelling project? Want to know more about wooden panels for walls? We have the answers. 

Here at Tablero we’re often asked questions about wooden panels for walls – What are they? What does it involve? Are wooden panels expensive? Can I use tree bark instead?

The list is endless, and surprisingly there’s not as much information available on wood panels for walls as we’d like there to be. We figured what better way to spread the knowledge on wooden wall panelling than to put together the most popular FAQs on this subject. Let’s begin. 

Jacobean Style Wall Panelling in Oak from Oakleaf

What is wood panelling for walls called?

Essentially wood panelling is just an indication of the material being used – i.e  wood. There are many different names for panelling styles – you just need to stick the word ‘wood’ in front of it, for example wood shaker wall panels. See? Easy peasy. 

Hold On – Isn’t There A Technical Term?

Not really, people often get MDF and wood confused so generally people are normally searching for ‘MDF wall panels‘ and not ‘wood wall panels’. Wooden wall panelling is quite a dated interior design technique and a costly one too. If you’re looking to transform your home on a budget, wooden wall panelling may not be for you. But don’t worry, MDF wall panelling is a modern and cheaper alternative which still offers a wood panel effect.

Replicating Jacobean Style Wall Panels with strips of MDF – photo credit – From Evija With Love

What’s The Difference Between Wood Panels And MDF Panels For Walls?

Primarily, cost.  Wooden panels for walls are quite costly, however you can replicate the same wood panel effect with mdf wall panels which are considerably cheaper. Price aside, these two products are made up of different materials – wood wall panelling is derived entirely from wood – which is no real shock to anyone. MDF is an engineered wood product, it’s stronger than plywood and it’s typically used in cabinet making and for constructing storage units. Medium Density Fibreboard is the technical term – exciting right?

Although MDF is technically derived from wood fibres it is actually a clever alternative to using wood for panelling applications. And we’re here to tell you why!

MDF has the same qualities as wood – it’s sturdy, hard-wearing and can stand the test of time, but more importantly MDF won’t give you splinters. We hate splinters. 

It’s very easy to cut as long as you have the right tools – we would not advise attempting to cut MDF with a butter knife or scissors. If you’re not sure on the tools you need to successfully panel a wall – this guide will help.  

Once the MDF is primed and painted – you really can’t distinguish between it and it’s wooden counterparts. Moreover, MDF is really enjoyable to paint – we know we’re a bit sad. 

Georgian Wall Panelling
Georgian Wall Panelling using MDF

Are Wooden Panels For Walls Expensive?

In comparison to wooden wall panels MDF is a lot more affordable per metre, it’s certainly the cheaper alternative to wood panelling which is quite important if you’re looking to transform your home on a tight budget.

With wooden panelling for walls you need to hire a skilled tradesman to install them – which as you can imagine is quite expensive. 

However with MDF, you have multiple options. You can purchase sheets of MDF and measure out your panelling design, cut the sheet into strips and glue them into place. Or if you want the super easy and cheap wall panelling option, you can simply buy an MDF Wall Panelling Kit online. 

How Much Does It Cost To Wood Panel A Wall?

Wooden wall panelling typically costs around £300-£400 per square metre. Which is a huge contrast compared to MDF wall panelling which is usually around the £20-£50 per square metre mark. 

Now you have an insight into the differences between wood panelling for walls and MDF panelling. We have an abundance of wall panelling installation guides if you’re still torn between the two. Maybe you’ve made your decision but need some panelling inspo – right this way.