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5 Reasons Why You Should Panel Your Walls

Need an excuse to convince your significant other as to why you should panel your walls? Maybe you’ve been thinking about it but need some encouragement, read on for all the motivation and inspo you could possibly need. 

By now you’ve probably got the gist that we’re obsessed with wall paneling, not just because it’s on trend right now but because of the endless options and styles available. With wall panelling you can completely transform a room or if you’re as passionate about panelling as we are, you can upgrade your entire home. But why do people panel their walls? Well there are a multitude of reasons but we’ve whittled it down to five. 

  1. Texture – Think of it like hair, stay with me on this one – you know when your hair feels like it has no oomph or life to it and you get yourself booked in with a hairdresser asap for a bit of body? Walls are the same. Imagine you’re looking at a plain wall, it’s pretty basic isn’t it? Kinda dull, just existing as a vital structural component to your home. Wouldn’t it be better if it had a bit more spice? Adding texture to your walls can completely switch up the aesthetic of the room. Shadow and light often play clever tricks on the eye, it can make rooms appear bigger or smaller depending on the colour scheme you choose.
The Tuscan Red Bedroom as featured on Little Greene
  1. Modernise Your Home – Giving your home a contemporary look can be difficult if you’re restricted financially. Panelling your walls is a cost effective way of modernising your home. Maybe you’ve recently bought your home – which as we all know is an expensive process, you may not have the funds readily available to bring the decor into the present. Top tip? Use MDF wall panelling kits to upgrade each room as you go, it will hide any unsightly blemishes or marks and add character to the house. 
Stunning Tongue & Groove Wall Panelling from Making It In The Mountains
  1. Selling Your Home – Decorating your home to sell it? A preposterous idea or a clever tactic to encourage more offers? We say go for it. Wall panelling is more popular than ever and what better way to charm potential buyers than dazzling them with decorative walls. If they know they won’t have lots of decorating to do when they move in, they’ll be more tempted to buy – especially if they’re big wall panelling fans. And if they detest wall panelling – it’s not hard to remove. 
  1. Protecting your walls – Wall panels actually provide protection for your walls, not like an overly-enthusiastic doorman with an earpiece and a clipboard but in a subtle and clever way. Hallways, plenty of wear and tear – how many times have your hallway walls been scuffed? Or how often do you open the front door with such gusto you chip the paint? We have a solution for you. Wall panelling! They’re fixed on to the wall and will take the brunt of heavy traffic passing through that room – unless you live with a herd of rhinos, we’re not entirely sure that wall panels are an equal opponent to a Rhino. 
Photo by Keith Markilie on Unsplash
  1. Selfie Station – Is it narcissistic to completely transform a room for better photos? Probably, but we’re not judging you. Fed up taking your selfies in a dull lifeless room? Then panel it! A splash of striking paint and you’re good to go. All your followers will be thinking ‘Oh my god does Becky live in a high-end hotel?’ or ‘What cool and super expensive venue is she at now?!’. Plus you can film the whole process and put it on TikTok, even more clout. You’re welcome.
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

If we’re completely frank we can think of way more reasons to panel your home, but does anybody actually want to read a novel on wall panelling? If you need some wall panelling inspo check out these fantastic designs & ideas. 

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The Four Most Popular Styles Of Panelling You Need To Know About

If you’re unsure of the type of wall panel style you’re looking for – we’ve listed the most trendy terms to help you on your way.

There’s lots of different styles of wall panelling out there, and sometimes it can be hard to differentiate one from the other. A lot of panelling styles have been confused with Shaker, mislabelled as Jacobean, and so forth. We’ve put together a handy guide to help you tell your Slat from your Shaker panels. 

Slat – MDF Slat Wall Panelling – This type of panelling is made up of 10 – 12cm wide slats placed side by side across the wall, they typically are placed up to dado rail height but can also be installed to span from the floor to the ceiling. The panel strips can also be placed horizontally up the wall if you fancy trying something a bit different. This style of wall panel is a classic, it can often be found in hallways, bathrooms and kitchens. However it’s not limited to these applications and can be placed anywhere inside your home. Probably not the ceiling, that would look a bit odd – unless you’re a bat. 

A beautiful country style bathroom featuring slat wall panelling from Ideal Home.

Shaker wall panelling – The shaker style is one of the most popular styles, strips are used to form rectangular shapes which are then evenly spaced apart. The shaker wall panels have a more regal aesthetic in our opinion, it’s a style you will find in most country manors, Chelsea homes and high-end venues.

Shaker style wall panelling by Zulu Fish

You often see cabinets with the shaker style panel on the front. Shaker MDF Wall Panelling is a versatile style, it can look elegant or quirky depending on the colour palate used. 

Shaker style cabinets crafted by Krantz Designs

Jacobean  – Jacobean panelling is often confused with Shaker style panels, however it’s completely different. The panels are square in shape and when installed they almost look like a checkerboard. You would normally find this type of wall panelling in bedrooms, dining rooms and living rooms. Lately we’ve seen a real increase in Jacobean panelling used as headboards in bedrooms, which looks fantastic – providing you never plan on moving your bed. 

Jacobean style panelling via House and Garden

Geometric – Geometric wall panels are a modern version of wall panelling – we would say this is more of a feature wall design as it is often only placed in one area of the room. Geometric panels are usually made up of very fine strips to create a contemporary design, the strips can be placed horizontally, vertically and diagonally and once painted they present a very cool aesthetic. You can place them in whatever pattern you wish, just make sure you measure up first so you aren’t caught short. 

A Geometric panelled wall installed at the West Hotel via Archi Lovers

Now these aren’t the only forms of panelling available, but they are the most popular. Congratulations – you can now correct people when they get the names wrong. Hopefully you’re now on your way to picking the perfect wall panel style for your interior design project and if you’re looking for a more in-depth guide to wall panelling – why not read The Ultimate Guide To Wall Panelling.

MDF Wall Panelling Kits

This Is Why MDF Wall Panelling Kits Are The Best Option

Are you planning a DIY wall panelling project? You might want to read this first. 

The age old question – Why are MDF wall panelling kits better than doing your own wall panelling from scratch? Ok, it’s not that old of a question but it’s certainly a popular one.  

Well, it all comes down to your skill level. If you’re an experienced DIY’er and you really enjoy a challenge then you’re probably up to the task. If you’re really into taking your time and meticulously planning every little detail from design to installation – DIY panelling is definitely for you. You can buy sheets of 9mm MDF online or from your local supplier and cut the panel strips to size and embark on your wall panel project. We hope the DIY Gods look upon you favourably that day.  

A sheet of 9mm MDF from PS Timber

If you’re new to DIY, the thought of cutting precise strips of MDF can be quite daunting, terrifying some might say. Especially if you’re getting to grips with a new saw or if you’ve never used one. It’s easy to make mistakes, more so when performing the monotonous task of measuring the same slat each time and trying to ensure it’s cut to spec. Furthermore, if you’re planning on panelling every wall in the room – well, that’s a whole lotta panel’s and a whole lotta cut’s. 

If you’re a bit wary of cutting the strips down yourself or if you simply don’t have the tools to cut it – you might want to try a panelling kit instead. Or befriend a carpenter, both have their advantages. We probably won’t write a blog on befriending carpenters, even though we’re really good at it. 

  Photo by Samantha Fortney on Unsplash

Buying a wall panel kit online is the equivalent of buying flatpack furniture, as long as you choose to buy from a reputable business and the instructions are legible – it should be pretty easy. Not so much if you buy your kit from Wish – who needs instructions anyway? 8 year lead time for delivery – what a bargain! (Sorry Wish).

DIY Panelling combining Shaker and Jacobean style wall panels.

Panelling kits are great if you want to get the job done quickly. You will save oodles of time by not having to cut all of the strips down yourself, equally all the strips will be uniform in size so with some styles – all you will need to do is half some of the panels (Jacobean). It removes the human error side of things, but we would strongly advise reading the instructions to be on the safe side.

Time is money, why spend longer than you have to when you can buy a wall panel kit and reduce the time spent on your DIY panelling project? Wall Panel kits are typically more cost effective too, you’re getting exactly what you need so there won’t be any wastage in comparison to buying full sheets and cutting them yourself. 

Personally, we think MDF wall panel kits are a gift sent from the gods and it would be a terrible shame not to shout about them from the rooftops.

If you’re stuck for wall design ideas our handy guide offers some serious panelling inspo.

Have you used an MDF wall panelling kit before? What was your experience like? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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The Top 5 Mistakes People Make With Wall Panelling

What are the most common mistakes people make when panelling their walls? We’re going to tell you. 

We like to think that panelling your walls is a pretty straightforward process, but we’re panelling pros and sometimes we forget that not everybody is privy to the technical stuff. So we took some time and thought long and hard about the 5 biggest mistakes that people make when installing MDF wall panels and put together a list so you don’t make the same blunders. 

First and foremost, you must measure the space you’re going to be panelling. Heck! measure it several times to be sure – at least twice for good measure. You will need to take the skirting board into consideration too, unless you plan on removing the skirting entirely. If you’re panelling your wall floor to ceiling then take the coving into account as well (the skirting between the wall and ceiling). You don’t want to be wasting time cutting your panels down if they’re too long when you could be doing something more interesting, like admiring your newly panelled walls because you took the coving into account and everything fitted like a dream. 

Coving / Cornice
Coving – take this into account when measuring up for your wall panels.

When buying panelling kits online, always check how many pieces you are ordering and cross-check it with your measurements. This way you can ensure you achieve the desired coverage. There’s nothing worse than ordering an online panel kit whilst under the impression that you’re going to transform your entire living room, and then unwrapping six pieces of panelling that will only cover a quarter of the wall. We’ve been there – it hurts.

Always check your walls beforehand – for things like bumps, cracks, nodules, hidden doors, trap doors – the usual stuff. Lumps and bumps are easy to sand down or fill if necessary and this will prevent you from having bumpy panelling. For small areas that need filling you can always caulk it after you’ve glued the panelling to the wall this will fill any gaps and prevent your panelling from protruding. Panelling hides a multitude of sins but it’s always better to deal with any that are jutting out of the wall.

A general example of a wall that needs a bit of TLC before panelling.

When panelling it’s important to figure out the middle point of the wall, you can then work outwards to create a uniform design. Don’t start at one end and work your way down as it will be off-centre and ruin the entire aesthetic – unless you detest symmetry then by all means work from whatever point you want. 

We’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. Always prime your MDF wall panels. MDF is very porous, which means if you paint it without primer it will essentially just absorb the paint – you’ll end up spending way more on paint than you need to and the colour won’t pop as much as it should. Try to apply two to three coats of primer before you start painting. 

If you paint without primer you’ll notice large bubbles appearing on the surface and if we’re completely honest it’ll just look a bit rubbish. 

MDF being primed before painting.

Keep these tips in mind when you start your wall panelling project and you won’t go wrong. We hope. 

Additional Information

We found a really helpful article by Jennifer Noonan and Bob Vila on how to paint MDF properly –

Not sure which primer to choose? Check out this blog from A Lick Of Paint –

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This Is How You Can Transform Your Home With Minimal Effort

Does DIY intimidate you? Here’s how you can switch up your living space without breaking a sweat.

Are you bored of staring at the same four dreary walls? Are they in need of a little….spice?

Perhap your walls have seen better days and you are looking for a clever way to disguise these blemishes. Fear not, we have just the solution for you. 

Wall Panelling. What is wall panelling? I hear you grumble. Read on and all will be revealed. 

Wall panelling is a clever way of introducing texture via geometric shapes to a room lacking character. Simply, you glue shapes such as squares or rectangles to your wall, prime and paint it and then step back and marvel at the transformation. It really is that easy. 

A bedroom with shaker style wall panelling painted a neutral tone.

Well, there is a bit more to it but the process itself is relatively straightforward. The hardest part is deciding on a pattern that suits your living space and tastes. There are plenty of wall panelling patterns and ideas out there, it’s just about finding what’s right for you and your home. There are two primary options when it comes to the product you can use for panelling, we have the cost effective contemporary option using MDF or the more expensive and slightly outdated choice of Wood panelling

MDF panelling is a style that anyone can do at home, from amateur DIY’ers to folks that have never even attempted home improvements. Panelling with Wood requires expertise, experience and quite frankly a qualification in Carpentry. The choice is yours, but if you are looking to upgrade your home without breaking the bank, MDF is the better option. 

Choosing a style of panelling can be tricky, there are plenty of panelling ideas out there if you’re in desperate need of a little panelling inspo. Maybe traditional patterns aren’t your thing? Not a problem – there are some beautiful and unusual wall panel styles available that are just as easy to install. 

We’re seeing a lot of minimalist geometric panelling styles emerge. So, if you like the trend but are more of a trend-setter, these are definitely worth exploring further. Take a look at some of the quirky panel designs we’ve found on Pinterest.

A striking geometric feature wall from the Zoe Olivia Blog

When it comes to picking the right colour shade for your wall panels, there are no restrictions. It’s all about personal taste and complementing the room. If you’re looking to turn your dining room into a fresh and calming sanctuary – go for a lighter or muted shade. If you want to switch up your bedroom with some panelling and create an alluring aesthetic, try a shade that’s bold and rich. 

If you want to really make a statement you can also combine wallpaper with wall panelling. Half and half if you will. The contrast between a flamboyant print and the uniform design of the panel is really quite striking. 

A gorgeous combination feature wall using both wallpaper and wall panelling

Wondering when the minimal effort part is going to be mentioned? We’ve explained the difference between MDF and Wood when it comes to cost and DIY skill. MDF is a preferable solution if you want to panel your walls quickly. You can buy MDF panel kits which contain the strips you need to create your desired pattern. Make sure you follow the instructions to the letter and you’ll have your walls panelled in no time at all. Minimal effort, cost effective and you get fancy new walls, what’s not to love?

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Why You Should Stop Buying Wood Wall Panels and Try MDF Wall Panelling Instead!

The benefits of using MDF Wall Panelling to upgrade your interior.

Just hear us out on this one, ok? 

Over the last year we’ve seen a huge resurgence in the popularity of wall panelling. Victorian walls are now back in fashion and personally we cannot get enough of them. Shaker, Jacobean, Strip, Georgian – there are so many panel styles to choose from – the options are endless. Social media is awash with trendy wall panel designs, from celebrities to high-end interior designers, everyone seems to be embracing the wall panel trend. 

Thankfully we’ve come a long way since the Victorian era. We’re sure the industrial revolution was heaps of fun but we’re somewhat relieved that we weren’t there to experience it firsthand. Wooden wall panelling was the height of fashion in this period, it’s sleek design has echoed through the ages and now it’s back, reimagined with a contemporary flourish. 

Shaker Style Wall Panelling
Wall Panelling in a Shaker Style.

Fast forward to today, new and improved products are readily available, namely MDF. 

What is MDF? Medium Density Fibreboard is the technical term – exciting right? MDF is an engineered wood product, it’s stronger than plywood and it’s typically used in cabinet making and for constructing storage units.

Despite MDF technically being derived from wood fibres it is actually a fantastic alternative to using wood in panelling applications. And we’re here to tell you why!

Firstly, it has the very same qualities as wood, for instance – it’s sturdy, hard-wearing and can stand the test of time, but most importantly MDF won’t give you splinters.

It’s easy to cut provided you have the right tools – we definitely would not recommend attempting to cut this product with a butter knife or scissors. If you’re unsure of the tools you need to successfully panel a wall – we’ve got you covered. 

When MDF is painted – you really can’t tell the difference from it’s wooden counterparts. Furthermore, MDF is quite enjoyable to paint, it just glides right on and the finished shade will really pop – but make sure you prime it first!

Compared to wooden wall panels, MDF wall panels are considerably cheaper. MDF is a lot more affordable per metre, it’s certainly the cost effective alternative to wooden panelling which is quite important if you’re looking to transform your home on a budget. 

For wooden wall panelling you would need to hire a skilled tradesman to design the panels, source the materials and install it – that’s big bucks. 

Traditional wooden wall panelling.

Whereas with MDF, you have multiple options. You can buy 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/ minimal fuss panelling option, simply buy an MDF Wall Panelling Kit – you won’t have to worry about cutting it down, the strips are pre-cut for you. All you need to do is follow the instructions to the tee and voila! Your drab and dreary wall has been transformed into a chic and trendy talking piece – with very little effort and cost. If you’re not feeling particularly inspired have a read of The Ultimate Guide to Wall Panelling for some stylish wall panelling ideas.