wood paneling ideas

The Best Wood Paneling Ideas: Place Makeover Guide

There is no doubt that wood paneling can easily make any type of room feel a little uniquely chaotic. When done correctly, you can skip noticing that musty, dark, 70s-ish look, and enjoy some serious style. Whether you are planning to add paneling to your space, or just working on updating your existing walls, the wood paneling ideas that will be mentioned in this article will surely inspire you. Whether you are a pro or a beginner, these ideas will no doubt help you with your place makeover?

1. Paint the Wood Panels

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Perhaps one of the fastest and easiest wood paneling ideas that you can explore is painting. You might want to go for fresh white paint or explore some other colorful hues. If this is the route that you are planning to take, make sure that you begin by using a good primer that will cover all of the wood grain and panels. Next, add a few more coats of your carefully selected white paint. White easily brightens up a room, even highlighting a cottagelike, rustic décor.  

2. Transform Wood Panels to Regular Walls

Prepare some drywall compounds for this process. You can get them from your local home improvement store. Use the compound for filling in the distinct lines and cracks of the wood panels. Next, do some sanding, priming, and ultimately, painting the wood to a color that you prefer. When done correctly, the output is that of a typical painted, natural wall. 

3. Whitewash Wood Panels

Whitewashing is an art that focuses on the wood grain texture, keeping it as the weathered focal point. It should never be confused with the old trick in whitewashing that involves the use of lime. Whitewashing can be done by watering down paint, brushing paint on wood, wiping immediately, and repeating until you achieve your desired color. The output should work well with your furniture and décor. 

4. A Rustic Approach

Note that not all wood paneling designs involve painting. Some already represent a design statement, such as a paneled ceiling that features exposed beams. You can also try out allowing the natural wood to shine through, creating that rustic feel into your space. 

5. Use Art to Hide Wood Paneling

If you want to draw attention away from your wood paneling, why not try hiding it in art? Adding huge sculptures or large mirrors, a gallery wall, or any art that is hung salon-style can easily distract the attention of onlookers away from a stacked wall filled with planks. Adding art can also spice up your place

6. Hide Wood Paneling Using Curtains or Shelves

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If something is displayed in front of your wood paneling, then nobody will pay attention to it. While curtains are probably the easiest option that you may want to take into consideration, shelves can make the place more functional. Whether you are placing the shelf for your books or others, you surely have extra space for your storage needs. 

7. Add a Stripey Finish

To enjoy a different take on your wood paneling, why not create lines or stripes in the walls? This can be done by painting the grooves with a different color than the one on the slats. You may even choose designs that can copy the look of specific woods including oak, pine, or other wall paneling types. 

8. Creating a Retro Look

If you want to relive that 70s feel, exploring the idea of using exposed wood paneling is a good thing. With the right accessories at hand, achieving this groovy look makes a cool project. For a successful finish, you can choose retro-inspired colors. This includes gold or mustard, or visit a local flea market to introduce a 70s makeover to your space. 

9. Geometric Wood Paneling Look

Remember that wood paneling does not always come in a vertical form. After all, you can be more explorative with a geometric and contemporary paneling look. For an additional pop of color, you can paint it a light blush. This is noticeable but not overwhelming for your minimalist space. 

10. Opting for Narrow Wood Paneling

If you are not that friendly with wide wood planks, you can always go for thinner ones. Narrow wood paneling designs can be both visually interesting and amazingly modern. This is a wonderful idea that helps in delineating any space within an open floor plan area while still keeping the overall look airy and open. 


The wood paneling ideas will help you transform any outdated wood-paneled walls, turning them into a stunning element of design in your home. While wood paneling may have gotten a bad reputation, such a reputation is underrated when talking about adding interest and texture to your walls. While the ideas mentioned above are just options, you can always incorporate your creativity to produce a more personalized output. Why not share some of your other wood paneling ideas with us. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below! 



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