DIY and Crafts

How to easily add elegance to your home with panelled walls

Give plain old walls a touch of stately manor with panelled walls. Our DIY expert Nikki Kettle shows you how

You will need
• Washi tape or painting tape
• Pencil
• Measuring tape
• Level
• Timber (size and design of your choice) I used 30mm x12mm clear pine in the hallway and 60mm x 10mm clear pine in the main bedroom)
• Sandpaper
• Resene Quick Dry primer
• Paintbrushes
• Hand saw, skillsaw or dropsaw
• Glue and caulking gun
• Pin nails and hammer
• Contract filler
• Gap fill and caulking gun
Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Alabaster, Resene SpaceCote Flat in Resene Swamp

How to

1. Plan how you want your panelling to look. The best way to do this is to get some washi or painting tape and stick it on the wall.

2. Once you’ve got a basic layout, you can draw on the exact shape. This is a picture frame design and fits the different size spaces with an 80mm border. Level the top and draw a line, level the side, then measure parallel lines for the other side and bottom.

3. Measure all the pieces of timber from outside point to outside point (or long point to long point).

4. Before cutting the timber, give it a light sand and prime it with Resene Quick Dry primer, as it is easier to do it now than when it’s on the wall.

5. Cut the timber using a dropsaw or a handsaw and mitre box. The corner cuts will be at a 45-degree angle. Remember the measurements were all long point to long point and the 45-degree cut goes inward, creating two short point measurements.

6. Once you have cut the timber, glue it on with a strong, quick dry glue and tack it in place with pin nails. The nails are only to hold it in place while the glue dries, the glue will be strong enough to hold it on, so don’t worry too much about fixing it perfectly. If you don’t have a pin gun like me, you can do this with a hammer and pin nails, or if your walls are nice and flat, you could tape it. The other option would be to get a glue that bonds instantly after only being held for a minute or so. I like to start with the top piece and work my way around, ensuring my corners are nice and flush.

7. Once all the pieces are on, and you are happy with how they look, fill the nail holes with contract filler, then use the caulking gun to fill the gaps around all the edges. Do not miss this step, this is what will make your job look professional, I also gap filled the top of the skirting boards and trims while I was there.

8. Sand and spot prime any bare timber with Resene Quick Dry primer.

9. Paint with a final colour. I used Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen in Resene Alabaster on the upper part and ceiling and Resene SpaceCote Flat in Resene Swamp on the lower wall. This required two coats. My walls already had a dado rail, if you don’t have one you can do this by adding a level line at the desired height and repeating the steps.


For a more modern look, try this flat 60mm x 10mm pine panel. Use the same method as described in steps 1-9, but use two pieces – one on top of the other on its edge – to create the top ledge. This becomes a great room feature and you can display photos on it.

Project and styling by: Nikki Kettle. Photography by: Anna Briggs.

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