Wall panelling guide written by My Tiny Estate
Restoring such a big property and bearing in mind our backgrounds, we are always researching and experimenting how to get that high-end finish, being able to do it ourselves and not needing a second mortgage for every project that we do. We get a lot of inspiration from the house and we have mastered how to do wall panelling, achieving an incredible result, and we want to share it with you.
With a lot of our panelling, we felt it was very important to stay classic and traditional, we went for vertical lines 17cm apart, we then added a vibrant colour for a nice contrast.
The tools you’ll need for your wall panelling:
- 9mm MDF sheets (as many as you require for your desired paneling)
- Nails for attaching the panels
- Wood batons for the frame
- Screws for fixing the frame to the wall
- 18mm MDF sheets to use as top shelf or other type of wood
- Wood filler or Pollyfilla
- Decorators Caulk
- Tape Measure
- Power drill
- Circular saw
- Guide rail for Router (optional)
- Sand paper or Sander
Step 1- Batons away!
The first thing that you want to do is to fix some vertical wooden batons to the wall, as you will be fixing the MDF panels to the batons later. This also helps to hide any cabling in the void. Otherwise, you can use No Nails (Glue) and the process is a lot faster, as there won’t be any need to fix batons.
You will want to use 25 x 38 batons, they come 2.4m long so one piece goes a long way. We lay them out vertically in the wall with 40cm spacing. To attach the batons to the masonry wall, we place the baton in place, we drill a hole through it with a wooden drill bit until it marks the wall.
Once you know where the holes will be located, with a masonry drill bit, drill the hole in the wall and insert a raw plug (we always use universal raw plugs, they are our favourites). When you have the holes, you only need to put the baton back in place and use screws to fix it.
Step 2 – Planning the wall panelling
Let’s start with the panelling. With the tape, measure and mark with a pencil all the lines on the MDF panel where you will want to route. The more time that you spend here the better it will look.
You will also have to decide on what route accessory you want for your design, we went for the one that has a triangle shape, as that will be the shape of the gap that the router will create.
Step 3 – Routing
Once you have marked the design on the MDF, the fun begins – make sure that you wear a mask and goggles – and get routing! We invested in the guide rail as we wanted to make sure the lines were perfect. There are an enormous amount of router ends which, depending on the one you use, will change the overall finish of the wall panelling. We wanted a gap that resembled a tongue and groove finish. We chose the router end with a triangle shape.
Step 4 – Attach the panels to the batons
When the panels are done, it’s time to place them on top of the wooden batons that you previously fixed to the wall.
Top Tip – with a pencil we mark lines on the MDF panels where the batons will be located behind so it’s easier when attaching.
There are two options when attaching the wall panelling, using a nail gun with a compressor, if you have one like us, or alternatively you can use wood screws to get a solid fixing.
Step 5 – Optional shelving
We personally love to finish the panelling, if it’s only halfway to the wall, with a solid piece of a horizontal MDF of 18mm and a shallow shelf on top. We believe those details are what makes the difference.
Step 6 – Wall panelling final touches
To finish everything off, fill all the holes with filler and caulk the gaps with decorators caulk. Once everything is dry, sand it all very well. Prime it and paint it with the colour of your choice.
Put your furniture and props in place and enjoy your handy work!
We are Dean and Borja, AKA My Tiny Estate, a couple who bought a derelict estate in Warwickshire and are restoring it solely by ourselves. We are self-confessed extreme DIYers. Dean is an architect and runs his own practice during the week and as soon as he gets home he changes into his DIY clothes and gets going. I, Borja, am a Surveyor and also run my small practice during the week. Like Dean, I have become a builder in my spare time.