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DIY Wall Panelling Kits: Everything You Need to Know (and Install!)

Wall Panelling is a great choice to elevate and transform your space for a surprisingly small sum of money when considering the impact it can have in your home!


Choosing the Right Wall Panelling Kit.

Wall Panelling is a great choice to elevate and transform your space for a surprisingly small sum of money when considering the impact it can have in your home. 

Create a stately space with traditional Shaker style wall panelling, which is as diverse as it is easy to install. Or opt for a warm contemporary environment using acoustic slat wall panels, which are even easier to install, as the slats are all pre-fixed to the backing you simply stick to the wall, sounds almost too easy- that’s why everyones doing it! 

All our kits are made from strips of moisture resistant MDF as standard.


Key Differences Between Shaker/Board & Batten, and Acoustic Wall Panelling

Shaker Wall Panelling/Board & Batten

Have you ever visited a National Trust House? The traditional wooden wall panelling you see inside them are what we called Shaker panels. You see these wall panels when you go into pretty much any of them, they were used for hundreds of years to make rooms warmer, quieter and more decorated. Homes were made of stone, and with no insulation or sealed doors, wood was a lifesaver, literally. 

Nowadays customers love to install simple MDF shaker wall panelling in their living rooms, bedrooms and hallways to create a much more interesting space. When done halfway up the wall you can mount a dado rail to the top, or a shelf. The possibilities with wood are truly endless.

Our Shaker Kits are made from long strips of 9mm thick moisture resistant MDF, making them suitable for use in the bathroom or kitchen as well as any other room.

Described in its most basic way, you would take strips of MDF and vertically (standing up) space them out evenly along your wall, mounting them above/on your skirting board and the wall. Then you top the uprights with one long horizontal (laying down) piece of MDF – et viola!

Did you know, they are called shaker kits because a religious group called the Shakers popularised the style of cabinet making in the early 19th century.



Acoustic Slat Wall Panelling

Acoustic wood slat panels in smoked oak on a wall

Originally designed to help with sound dampening, they just so happen to look incredible when mounted to any wall. The sharp lines of the battens against the dark backing board creates a contrast undeniable to the eye, drawing attention as well as enabling you to create an incredible space.

Acoustic panels shine in both residential and commercial applications, due to the super-easy installation, sound absorbing properties, and aesthetic appeal. It’s the holy trinity of wall decoration.

They haven’t been around for hundreds of years but we love Acoustic slat wall panels because they are a fresh take on the classic!






Tools Needed for Wall Panelling

To design and plan, you will need: 

  • Detailed Wall Measurements
  • Pen/Pencil
  • Paper
  • Calculator
  • Inspiration from Youtube, Google or magazines. 

To install: 

  • MDF strips (we always supply Moisture resistant MDF)
  • Saw
  • Spirit level & Pencil
  • Mitre Box (for cutting precise straight lines with a hand saw if you do not have a chop saw)
  • Grab Adhesive such as Gripbond
  • Panel Pins & Hammer
  • Sandpaper and Block 

To finish: 

  • Caulk for filling gaps against the wall. (wait for this to dry before painting)
  • Filler & Filling knife (you can use an old card if you have one)
  • Paint 
  • Masking tape if required for ceiling and skirting
  • Paint brushes or rollers.
  • Covering for the floor.

Troubleshooting Common Installation Issues

Always remember to:

  • Properly prepare your wall. Is it dry and level enough for strips to adhere to?
  • Get the correct adhesive or fasteners. We use a grab adhesive in a mastic gun along with panel pins. The idea is you stick the panel to the wall and use pins to keep it where it is whilst the adhesive works its magic.
  • Use the correct finishing materials and techniques. Use a quality filler for the gaps where the panels meet. Use a decorators caulk for where the panel meets the wall. Sand everything down once all filling has been done. Then you can paint!

Here is a great YouTube video on covering all of the top tips!

How To Install Wall Panelling – Easy DIY Guide


Design Ideas for Wall Panelling. Our Top Tips on Customisation.

Looking for creative design ideas and inspiration for using wall panelling in home decor? We’ve got a few top tips to keep it simple and hone in on the style you really want.

  1. Create a theme, you could centre your designs around a key theme, colour or even mood. Use inspiration to make sure you aim for something you love. 
  2. Upgrade or overhaul? Depending on how much work you want to do, wall panelling can be part of a full redesign, or just a quick instal and paint to update your space.
  3. Take to google and pinterest and create a short list of designs and colours that speak to you the most. What would work best considering your furniture and style?
  4. Focus on different rooms and what kind of impact you want to make. You may have a trendy living room that would suit acoustic slat wall panelling and a traditional bedroom where the shaker kit with dado rail and shelf would fit perfectly.
  5. Keep it simple. Even fancy looking wall panels are just strips of wood with mitred beading glued to them, and adorned with other stripwood or mouldings, its all in the prep and finish! You can build wood up, firstly using basic strips, then adding beading or dado rails to finish for maximum impact. 

Here is another amazing link for you, we love this article: HouseBeautiful – How To Panel








Wall Panelling in Bathrooms and Wet Areas

All our kits are made with Moisture Resistant MDF (known as MR MDF in the trade), the kind you would use in a bathroom or kitchen to build structures and supports such as flooring and shelving. We think providing you with the best material possible should be as standard. 

Considerations for choosing and installing wall panelling in various climate conditions

  • If your going to use wood, make sure its moisture resistant MDF.
  • Use the correct paint for wet environments.
  • Make sure the walls are clean and dry to allow the adhesive to work.
  • Do not work in a wet or humid room. 
  • Do not install panelling too close to a shower or where water can spray on it for long periods. Think of it as a feature wall rather than the entire room.

MR MDF is very easy to work with, has a super-flat surface and next to no imperfections, enabling you to stick down, fill and finish, and paint in a matter of hours.


Maintenance and Care for Wall Panelling

It couldn’t be easier to maintain your wall panelling once its fully finished, simply dust and wipe down as required. 

As with all your painted woodwork you will want to keep a small pot of touch up paint handy for those unavoidable scrapes and bumps.

Walls take more punishment than some realise, this is actually the reason why skirting and wall paneling became so popular early in its life, to protect the valuable home from damage.







Wall Panelling for Commercial Spaces

Wall panelling kits are often used in commercial settings, including restaurants, offices, retail and hotels.

They can be used to add a flair of undeniable elegance or style to any room. The sound dampening properties of wood come into their own in large spaces and long hallways, allowing people to feel more at home when away. 


Soundproofing with Wall Panelling

All timber wall panelling will enhance soundproofing in a room, it all depends on how much of it is used. The more wood, the more sound dampening properties. 

Acoustic panels are called such because they provide an interference pattern for the sound to hit, this makes it even better at dampening sound from both sides. Have you ever seen the acoustic sound panels they use in recording studios? Its the same logic here, an interference pattern is put on the wall to make it harder for he vibrations to travel through the wall.

Acoustic wood slat panel in smoked oak on a wall









DIY Wall Panelling for Small Spaces and Bedrooms.

Wall panels can actually make a room look bigger if done right, you can use the lines to accentuate the length of a room, making it appear longer. As a rule, horizontal stripes (panels/strips) will lead the eye across faster, which is what gives the impression of something appearing longer than it is.

Here are two of our favourite videos on the subject. 


How To Install Wall Panelling – Easy DIY Guide

Shaker panel half way up wall then put a shelf on top. You can put photos or pictures on there. Elegance in the bedroom. 

Board and Batten is particularly popular in bedrooms, as it can be designed and installed very quickly, easily and cheaply. You could have board and batten 1.2m up the wall then top with a shelf, allowing you to place decoration and photographs on top. it couldn’t be easier to create an elegant space with wall panelling kits. 


The Best Colours For Wall Panelling

Exploring colour theory and how to choose the right colours for wall panelling.

This might be a rabbit hole for you to fall down, but colour theory is very interesting. All centring around the natural complementation of colours with one and other, you can use this science to great effect when planning the colours of your room-to-be-transformed! 

Grey was a big trend for some time in interior design, but nowadays people are leaning more towards darker tones of greens and blues. Using warm colours is now more popular than cooler more neutral colours such as grey or beige. 

Top Interior Paint Colors for 2024 | How to Pick Paint Colors Like a Designer 


Eco-Friendly Wall Panelling Options

Nowadays, all of our customers think about the environment, that’s why we’re proud to let you know that every piece of timber we stock has been fully accredited by the FSC and PEFC. This means there is a trace back to where the tree is from, and the land/reforestation are managed properly.


For more information on DIY Wall Panelling Kits: Everything You Need to Know (and Install!) talk to Coventry Timber Products Ltd

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