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The ultimate guide to DIY wall paneling

  • Wall Décor
Sep 27, 2022
Decorative wall panels for living rooms - Beautiful Homes

Add more dimension to your walls with these handy tips

The walls in our home speak volumes about our personal style, from the colours we choose for it to the art we hang on it. Running across the breaths of a house, a wall has the power to dictate the mood and aesthetic of any room. If you’re looking to bring in a sense of tasteful richness in a room’s décor, adding panels or moulding on a wall will immediately transform any space. And, while it may look grand, it’s easy enough to DIY if you’re looking for a quick home makeover!


What is Wall Panelling?

While used as an accent feature to enhance a wall with colour, texture and character, wall panels are also built to hide messier bits of construction such as wiring, electric fittings and plumbing lines. Either screwed onto a wall, fixed with a metal grid, moulded with cement or stuck with glue, wall panelling can be be made from a range of materials such as natural wood, composite wood, metal, glass and even upholstery!



Things you’ll Need for a Diy Wall Panelling

  1. MDF boards or wood slats
  2. Angled bristle paint brush
  3. Foam roller
  4. Sealant and cement fillers
  5. Spirit level
  6. Tape measure
  7. Sandpaper
  8. Nails and pins
  9. Hammer
  10. Sponge
  11. APU (acrylic primer undercoat)
  12. Paint (either in an accent colour or the same shade as the wall)

If you’re looking to create wall panels for a living room or wall panels for the bedroom, and want to try fixing them yourself, here’s a handy guide to help you along the way.

1. A One-Stop Shop for Decorative Wall Panels

While it’s not tough to install a DIY wall panelling, you’ll need the right pieces and materials to build it. Whether it’s a PVC wall panel, 3D wall panels, fluted panels, decorative wall panels or even wainscoting, you’ll need to find the perfect home interior design store. With a curation of products and solutions from a family of brands, AP Homes is your one-stop shop to create a home or space that tells your unique story. Whether you’re looking to quickly spruce up a room with a few décor updates or undertake an entire renovation, AP Homes houses everything from furniture and furnishings to fixtures and home automation solutions.

Wood panelling for walls - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

DIY wall panelling with wood - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

2. Conceal the Messier Bits in a Room with DIY Wall Panelling

A modern living room comes with a lot of messier bits and bobs that work behind the scenes to make the space more comfortable and functional. These include electric fittings, rows of wiring or ducts for air-conditioning and heating which are always better left concealed. While these could be hidden within the cement of the walls during construction, if you’re looking to upgrade a room without undergoing a massive renovation, a simple slatted wall panel can do the trick! Restrict all the wires and pipes to one wall and cover it with a material that blends well with the rest of the décor. Create a frame or grid in front of this wall and stick wooden slats in equally spaced columns on it to build a simple wood paneling for walls.

STYLE TIP: In this space, thin MDF slats make for stylish wall panels for a living room. The stain chosen for the panels have internally been matched with the wooden flooring for uniformity.

3. Mirror Wall Panels can Make any Room Look Bigger

It’s the easiest no-brainer when you want to make any room look visually bigger. A strategically placed mirror always adds depth to every space. And, this trick works beautifully in smaller rooms in the house such as a bedroom or a bathroom. It’s also the simplest DIY hack for glass wall panels. Simply measure the wall you’ll be working on, and cut mirrored glass panels to fit the same size. Make sure you stick these with the right glue. There are two types of adhesives that work best with mirrors—urethanes and silicones Neither are solvent-based, and urethane adhesives are usually sold in two-part solutions.

Pvc wall panels for bedroom - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

DIY HACK: A simpler trick for a mirror wall panel is buying a large mirror and placing it against a wall. You could add a simple wooden frame around its sides to make it look more elegant and polished. This hack works beautifully if you’re looking to open up a small nook without any invasive work. It could also create a vanity niche with a table placed in front of it.

Wood panelling for walls - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

4. A Simple Wooden Grid Creates a Neat and Uniform DIY Wall Panelling

Symmetrical design always makes any piece of furniture or interior design look neater and more uniform. If you’re looking for wall panel ideas, but scared of making a total mess, try fixing a wooden grid on a wall for a well-proportioned effect. This can be stuck onto the wall with wood glue or nailed together for a stronger hold. Once fitted, you could paint it in the same colour as the existing wall or in a complementing or colour-blocking shade to create an accent wall.

5. A Tufted Fabric Wall Panel for a Cosier Room

This is the perfect DIY wall panel idea if you’re looking to make a bedroom more plush and cosy. A tufted headboard  behind a bed not only gives it a comfy backrest but also brings in a unique style and design to the entire piece of furniture. However, if your existing bed doesn’t have a padded headboard like this, you can always make your own and fix it onto it’s frame with a staple gun. Conceal the staples by sewing fabric-covered bottoms on them. If you’re choosing an upholstery in your favourite colour or pattern, consider extending the size of the headboard across the length and breadth of the entire wall behind it to create an interesting and eye-catching DIY wall panelling.

Decorative wood panels for walls - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

Carved DIY wood panels for home office - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

6. Repurpose Discarded Pieces of Wood to Make a Wall Panel Design

If you’re looking for an eco-conscious or sustainable idea for a DIY wall panel design, try using discarded or scrap materials to create a collage-style wall panelling. From end pieces of MDF boards to wood from discarded furniture which can be repurposed—all these can be fitted together in a unique way to form a patterned wall panel. Since these are smaller pieces than traditional larger wall panels, they will be easier (and lighter) to stick. Any strong-hold glue should do the trick!

7. Try Wainscoting to Panel Only the Lower Half of Your Wall

While wall panelling can be fitted along the wall from the ceiling to the floor, wainscoting is a more functional and practical option which is limited to the lower half of a wall. While it adds a decorative element to the room, wainscoting also serves as a protective layer on a part of the wall that faces the most amount of friction or wear and tear. By adding a layer over the wall, wainscoting protects its surface from scratches and marks from furniture or hands.


STYLE TIP: The top of the wainscoting creates a thin ledge which can double as a makeshift mantlepiece. Display small keepsakes (or other thin items such as framed art or photographs) on it to liven up the room.

Vertical slatted wall panels in living room design - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

Decorative wall panels for living rooms - Beautiful Homes

Image courtesy, shutterstock

8. The Best Design Service for Building the Perfect Wall Panels

You might be wanting to build something from scratch by yourself in your home, but may not have the time or skill to execute it. In such cases, your best bet would be relying on an interior design service that can help you along the way. Whether you’re completely clueless about how to choose the right materials for wall panelling or have a bunch of ideas but can’t find a way to distill them into something realistic, a reliable and seasoned designer and contractor can make a world of a difference. While we all dream of a beautiful home, taking time out of our daily schedule and finding the right people to work with is often easier said than done. 

With this thought in mind, India’s largest paint giant Asian Paints created the Beautiful Homes Service. Enlisting expert interior designers, who’ve worked across the length and breadth of the industry, the Beautiful Homes Service takes care of executing every task in your home renovation from start to finish. This ensures a hassle-free and time-saving experience for anyone with a vision to remodel their home (or redesign a particular room) but lacks the time or patience to coordinate and project manage between an army of people required to finish the job.

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