20 Wood Panelling Makeover Ideas

July 15, 2021by LV Flooring0

In the early 70s, our grandparents had limited wood panelling ideas. Today, innovation in home decor means there are hundreds of wood panelling ideas available to help you bring life to your kitchen.

Wood panel designs are not only for historic homes but for every type of home. With the right styling, wood panelling can be gorgeous, with a certain modern appeal.

Installing wood panelling is also an excellent way to add character to your home. No matter the material you choose for the rest of the space, wood panelling will undoubtedly protect the walls and enhance your space. It leaves your place looking natural and elegant. Apart from that, it’s a sustainable and budget-friendly option.

Wood panelling Makeover Ideas

Whether you want to upgrade your existing wall design or add panelling to your wall altogether, there are unique ways you can revamp your home with wood panelling.

So say hello to these exciting makeover ideas for your wall. From the best popular styles to the classy designs, we’ve got you covered. Get fresh inspirations from this list of top 20 wood panelling makeover ideas.

1. Shiplap

Over the past few years, shiplap has become a popular wall panelling type. Therefore, it’s not surprising that people install it in every home area ranging from their kitchens to the basement. Shiplap has rough edges which overlap. It became a fixture in the 19th century thanks to shipbuilders looking to build a watertight impression in their boats.

Shiplap is an excellent way to add a modern feel to your space. By painting your shiplap wall panelling white, your home will have a sophisticated look. Not to mention, it’s an aesthetic wall covering that’s both easy to install and budget-friendly. If you’re working with a tight budget, we recommend this particular makeover idea.

You can install it by wall-mounting the wood or planks horizontally (on each other) or vertically (side by side). The shiplap wood panelling has a significant impact when fixed from floor-to-ceiling in a space.

2. Complement white and black wall panelling

The list of wood panelling ideas is incomplete without a white and black backsplash. These colours add character and beauty to any space. Plus, it lends your home a gallery-esque finish. White and black have become a thing in modern kitchens.

If you’re searching for a design with much flair, try a white and black wall covering. Most of the time, the lower half of the wall is white, while the upper part above the kitchen counter is black. This makeover idea creates an elegant backsplash look without you installing added wood panelling for effect.

When opting for the black and white panelling, consider the panel frame size. Spacious rooms look great with more extensive panels. At the same time, tight and small spaces are better for headboard and suit reeder covering.

3. Wallpaper wall covering

wallpaper wall covering

If you can’t afford to paint your wall panelling, you should use wallpaper. Wallpaper is an excellent option if you’re using worn wood. You can use it as a quick fix to cover grooves and cracks in the panelling. The jasper paisley wallpaper covering gives a great contrast when you combine it with pale boards.

The most popular wallpaper ideas are usually in plain colours. But if you prefer a floral or busy pattern, teaming it with classic wood panels completes the appearance. It mainly adds zest in traditional homes. Not only does a mix of wallpaper designs give a cozy aesthetic feel, but they also add interest to your home.

4. Brightly coloured shaker wood panels

The best wood panelling ideas are often in bright colours. A shaker wood panelling is lovely in the bedroom, and you can, in fact, DIY. Keep in mind that it may not require painting if your wood panelling is bright, original, and in excellent condition. Some wall panels are better left natural.

However, if you insist on painting it, ensure the colour you pick comes out correctly.  After painting, you may choose to sand or glaze the wood panel. Thankfully, the shaker board accommodates carving and embellishing designs onto the surface.

5. Paint wood panels in black

Black is often associated with luxury and class. It adds depth to your room. Not to mention, the contrast of white furnishings with a dark wall lends a modern finish to your home. Painting your panel black also gives it a sultry look.

If you live in a small room, the dark panels will help make your space appear more intimate and larger. The dark design is also an excellent way to conceal unattractive wood panelling. Keep in mind that the amount of dark panelling you use in a space significantly impacts the illusion.

6. Batten and board

Most people use the batten and board wood panelling in barns as siding. It’s a kind of wainscoting (wood panelling on the lower part of the wall) that features engineered or wide wood (e.g. Medium-density fiberboard) panels. The narrow wooden stripes are called batten. To install it, you’ll need nails and adhesives.

Because you’re vertically mounting it, the style lends a bit of texture to any space. You can paint and install it in bathrooms, mudrooms and kitchens. Batten and board is one of the best ways to update your wall from rustic to modern.

7. Engineered wood

engineered wood

If you prefer to panel your entire walls like a remodelled home, try the engineered wood panelling. In Canada, the engineered and shiplap ideas give your wood panelling the Joanna Gaines signature look. Without breaking the bank, it lends luxury and class to space.

Engineered wood panels are budget-friendly and easy to install. Not to mention, they come in various colours to suit your taste. But, the cream-coloured engineered board is our favourite.

8. Skinny panelling

If you’re not a fan of the chunky and thick trendy wall panelling idea, skinny panelling is just for you. Besides, it’s another way to cut costs on the cost of wood panelling installation.

The super-slim wood panels create an excellent texture and contrast significantly with the banquet sitting and white walls in a dining area.

9. Add tiles and colour block

Give your house walls additional style with colour-blocking wood panelling. To complete the look, add a tile backsplash over the colour block. The tiles and colour block design create a geometric dimension in places like your bathroom and kitchen. Plus, it helps you cover lacklustre areas such as behind your bathroom mirror and oven.

10. Salvage

Another aspect of wood panelling ideas is by transforming salvaged wood into a wall covering. Whether you’re using old beams and planks or working with new materials, the repurposed wood is suitable for panelling.

You can paint or sand the bureaus and drawer fronts from cupboards, then mount them with nails and adhesives.

The design creates a powerful eccentric puzzle that gives character to a study or playroom. Plus, it highlights the existing interior of your space.

Related Article: How do You Cover a Wall with Wood?

11. Nickel gap

Just like the very popular shiplap, the nickel gap is aesthetically pleasing and even more beautiful on walls. For a monochrome look, you may paint the gap white and board black or vice versa. The monochromatic design makes it stand out.

You can also paint the gap and board in the same colour. Unlike shiplap, which has overlapping wood boards, the nickel gap is a signature board with a nicked length gap between them.

12. Faux leather

Although a leather sofa may seem outdated, transforming it into a wall panel gives your home a classic and modern appeal. Compared to other boards, faux leather doesn’t crack or peel.

For more coverage, buy and mount the pre-assembled leather panels, which are usually in a grid. Since the faux leather gives a bold effect, it’s best to install the board in a small area — for example, the wall headboard of your bedroom.

13. Ornate wood panelling

Are you unsure about the several wall panelling ideas for your home? How about you consider the style of your interior before anything else? Is it modern? Victorian? Or traditional? Luckily, the ornate wood panelling looks natural in every home. However, it may not suit a place that’s over a decade old.

Because the interior of an old home makes the half wall unconventional panelling look odd, to add spice to the design, try mixing it with the most recent wood panelling ideas for a unique appearance.

14. Use 2D panelling

Traditional wood panelling ideas may seem boring with time. So to improve your space, we recommend you use 2D or 3D panelling. They can help you upgrade your space while giving it an elevated look.

These contemporary panelling styles are an innovative wall installation that brings microclimate and acoustic benefits. Besides, they’re easy to integrate into space.

15. Yakisugi

Yakisugi or shuo sugi ban is a type of Japanese unique wood-burning method that brings out wood’s authentic design patterns. Yakisugi has both beautiful and moody features. Plus, it’s gorgeous in any space.

Many wood panelling experts love the yakisugi makeover idea because it makes a statement in the bathroom. Apart from that, it’s very suitable for the fireplace considering its wood-burning technique.

16. Plush felt wood panelling

The plush felt wood panelling is available in a variety of colours, shapes, effects and sizes. It also ranges from contemporary fractal patterns to traditional aesthetic wall coverings.

You can wall-mount the plush felt wood panels with metal balance clips like Z-clips. For a semi-permanent option, you can use a construction adhesive. The design lends your home a feeling of tranquillity.

Plush felt also serves as a soundproof feature in your home. Considering it’s soft, comfortable and wide, it’s suitable for a game room or family room. For a distinct look, mix and match the wood panels with different colours.

Or better still, install a few boards and space them out to give your space a modern vibe. It’s important to note that you don’t need to pack them together when installing wood panels.

17. Self-adhesive wood boards

Are you searching for wood panelling ideas with stress-free installation? Use self-adhesive wood boards. Not only do they improve the elegance of salvaged wood, but they don’t require nailing, sanding, sourcing and staining. Just glue! You can purchase them online for $10 to $15 per square foot.

All you need to do is peel off its adhesive backing and paste it on the wall. Natural colours like reclaimed weathered panels give your home a rustic touch. Meanwhile, tones like black charcoal give your space an edgier finish with a calm and modern vibe.

18. Chic beadboard

The beadboard is a wall panelling idea that was trendy during the Victorian era. It’s a vertical wooden plank that interlocks in the tongue-and-groove structure. The groove (slot) fits into the tongue (pointy edge).

Formerly it was only available in a plain colour, which means you have to paint it. Presently, you can find the pre-painted board in any wood store.

The best thing about the chic headboard is the panelling is available in wood, MDF and vinyl. It’s also simple to install with nails and construction adhesive.

When you mount the timeless and traditional beadboard on the lower part of your wall, it adds intimacy and romance. The chic headboard is a lovely fit for every area of the home, especially in the bathrooms and bedrooms.

19. Enhance your wall with the earthy scheme

One of our favourite wood panelling ideas is the earthy scheme. It comprises a mix of colours like dark yellow, turmeric, fiery hue, and saffron.

All these spices have mood-boosting properties and powerful antioxidants. Therefore, adding these colours to your interior can give you a happy mind and heart. Earthy schemes create a warm atmosphere in your home.

If you’re installing them in your bedroom, it’s ideal you use them alongside heavy warm fabrics, thick wood panels or a floral/busy pattern. Shades like ocher and mustard will undoubtedly radiate warmth in a space. If you’re opposed to the earthy makeover idea on your wall, incorporate it in your ceiling to make a statement.

Spicing your ceiling with it brings you quiet during tub time. Wherever you install the earthy scheme, it updates your space. Bright yellow shades suit most colours— incredibly bold hues such as red and blue.

20. Include yellow in your wood panelling

Wood panelling in the bedroom gives it sophistication. Most people in Canada prefer to paint it white. However, if you want to stand out, it’s ideal you go against the norm and choose a conventional shade like yellow. But if you can’t paint your walls yellow, then faux is your best option.

Using yellow wallpaper on your wood panelling, you can mix its flexibility with the wall to create an aura of traditional Georgian elegance. Yellow wallpapers have an eccentric detail that is excellent for creating a grandness and reminiscent in classic British manor houses.

How To Pick The Best Wall Panelling For Your Home

When you walk into a home or architectural depot, you’ll find several wall panelings. No doubt, with a variety of options to choose from, choosing the right wood panelling for your home can get tricky.

Choosing the best wall panelling for your space depends on your preferences. But here are some things to consider when shopping for one.

Size of wood panel

To begin with, always check the size. Ensure it properly fits in your space to avoid wastage of material. For instance, the dark style suits a modern or stately building more than a traditional home. Likewise, a 2D panelling may not fit an old cabin.


Another thing to consider is the design. You don’t want to buy a panelling type that may not work well with your home decor. When in doubt of which design to pick, choose the simple batten and board panelling.


It would help if you also considered the cost. The price of wood panelling largely varies. A simple faux leather board may cost as low as $15, while an engineered board costs about $40/sq.ft or more.


  • Expect to spend between $10 to $30 per square foot with the inclusion of installation for light panellings like oak and skinny and shiplap.
  • For MDF panelling, you may spend between $3 to $12 per square foot.
  • Expect to spend between $15 to $50 per square foot for the thick and wide boards.

Related Article: What is the Cheapest Wall Covering?

Give Your Walls A New Look

With the wood panelling ideas above, you can update your home to suit your unique lifestyle. Wood panelling doesn’t always have to be dull and uninteresting.

Compared to other types of walls, it offers the most flexibility. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on tiles and marble when you can make do with wood panels.

Do you have questions or doubts about the makeover idea to incorporate? Contact our wood panelling and wall covering experts. Our services range from installing to wood repairing. We also supply wood panelling materials for a cozy atmosphere. Get in touch with LV Flooring today!

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