Wow, thank you all so much for your lovely comments on my last post. I was really touched to hear so many positive comments and it’s great to know that some of you are planning to use some of the ideas in your own homes. Our little man has well and truly settled into his lovely new room so it’s had the seal of approval all around!
As promised, I’m back today to share the ‘how-to’ for the ‘faux’ panelling which turned out even better than I ever expected. It was so easy to do, I think this is almost definitely the first of many panelled walls in our home!
So, here is a step-by-step guide to how we created the high-end look of panelled walls without a lot of the fuss and expense! (Apologies in advance for the poor quality photos, many of which were taken on my phone at the end of late-night decorating sessions!)
- MDF cut to size
We used MDF primarily because it was cheaper and we knew we would be painting it. I had also been slightly worried about wood knots showing through the white paint so this material avoided any of those issues too. We decided to fit our MDF pieces above our existing skirting to make the process quicker and easier. If you don’t have skirting already, you will need to fit that first. The top of our skirting protruded 1cm from the wall so we used this as the measurement for the depth of our MDF. We opted for a width of 10cm for every piece and measured up 1 metre from the skirting to get the height. For the top pieces, we stayed with the 1cm depth and 10cm width and went with the maximum length available which was around 2 metres. We then cut any excess off and joined the pieces end to end where necessary. We measured around the whole area we wanted to panel and decided on gaps of 45cm between the uprights. Note that once we had placed longer pieces along the tops of every upright, the total height was around 120cms from the floor.
- ‘No more nails’ or similar grip adhesive
- Primer and Undercoat in One
- White satin wood paint
Paint/Paper the top half of your room in your desired colour.
Once the paint/paper on the top half of the room is dry, measure and mark the whole room for panelling before starting the physical process.
Our measurements came partly from working around all our existing power outlets. I ensured the gaps between uprights allowed for the outlets to avoid any need to cut into our MDF.
The beauty of this is that you can choose any measurement between your uprights, as long as they are all the same. Just go with what you think looks right for you. We started by placing one of the uprights against the door frame and measured 45cms to the next one. I marked the wall, then measured another 10cm (to allow for the width of the MDF) and marked again. Continue measuring and marking your entire space.
When all the measuring was complete, Hubby glued the MDF pieces and I carefully lined them up between the two marks I had made previously. As you can see, we used plenty of glue (!) and I held each piece firmly against the wall for 30 seconds.
When the glue on your uprights has dried, place the longer pieces along the top of your uprights. Cut the length to size and stick in the same way as before ensuring each piece is level
Once all the glue has dried, fill any gaps with filler and seal all edges with decorators caulk. Sand all the filled areas smooth and wipe with a damp cloth.
If you have painted the top half of the room, paint that colour all around the top of your panelling to cover the caulk and ensure a smooth line between the panelling and the wall.
This will be straightened out when you paint the top edge of the panelling white. (You should probably use decorators tape all around the edges when doing this but I just used a small brush and tried to keep a steady hand!)
Undercoat all the MDF, skirting and the walls between your uprights with undercoat and primer.
Paint all the MDF, skirting and the walls between your uprights with satin finish wood paint.
You can just about see in the picture above that we only took the panelling up to the window opening and not around into the window recess. This decision was based on the fact that we had an existing wooden venetian blind and the panelling would not fit in the space without cutting a few of the blind slats. We didn’t want to ruin our blind and we knew that this area would be hidden behind the curtains anyway so we painted the window recess in the grey paint and anything facing the room in white. It has worked out well and looks fine with or without the curtains.
And that is it my friends! I’m sure any painters, decorators or avid DIY’ers among you are horrified by my amateur approach (apologies) but it really was a simple job, the finish is actually quite good and we really enjoyed working as a team on this one. I am delighted with the final look and I don’t think it’s immediately obvious that we haven’t used ‘real’ panelling (at least I hope it’s not!)
Perhaps I have inspired a few of you to give the panelling a go? If you do, please, send me your photo’s – I would love to see them! You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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