One of the most common home carpentry jobs people take on is installing wood paneling. Some people don’t like wood paneling because it seems dark and old-fashioned, harking back to the middle of the 19th century when it was especially popular. And some of the panelling put up in the 1970s has not aged well.

However, wood panelling can give a room a lot of character. The dark, ultra-masculine look goes well in a man-cave, where it’s good for reading or watching hockey. Lighter colors give a down-home, rustic feel, as though you’re vacationing at a mountain cabin or on the shore of a lake. A moose head and stuffed largemouth bass are optional wall decorations.

Some people install wood panelling, then paint over it. This gives a wall texture and pleasing patterns that can look as elegant as a rural mansion in the French countryside. There are many kinds of wood to choose from.
Step by Step Carpentry Instructions to Install Wood Paneling

Step One: Plan ahead how you want the room to look. Do you want the room lighter or darker? What is the emotional feel you wish to evoke? What do you plan to use the room for, family relaxation or formal dinner parties?

Step Two: Measure the room so you know the surface area of panelling you require. Make allowance for doors and windows.

Panelling comes in the form of boards and sheets. Sheets are easier to install. Most pieces are 4′ X 8′ in dimension, each piece 32 square feet.

Tips on How to Install Wood Panelling

Step Three: Visit local hardware stores to select the sheets matching your vision. Look at all the wood types they have available.

Step Four: Because wood expands and contracts when subjected to variations in temperature and humidity, let the pieces you bought sit in the room for five days. That allows the wood to adjust to its natural size in that room’s normal conditions. Don’t let it get colder or warmer than you’ll want to keep it. You want the pieces fully acclimatized to the room. Set the sheets up around the room to plan the arrangement that will look best.

Step Five: Prepare the wall to be panelled. You want the existing wall flat and smooth. Sand away any protrusions so the surface is level, for a good fit. If the wall is not plumb true, add furring strips to level it. Remove all baseboards, wood trim and electrical outlets covers (turn off electricity first).

Step Six: Locate the wall studs and mark off where they are.

Step Seven: Use a foam brush to paint or stain wall where panels join.

Step Eight: Mark off where electrical outlets go. Use a jigsaw to cut those areas out.

Step Nine: Use caulk gun to apply a small dab of caulk on the wall every 9 inches.

Step Ten: Beginning at a corner, set panelling sheets against the wall, using caulk as adhesive. Apply pressure with a rolling pin.

Step Eleven: Drive finishing nails into the top of the panel.

Step Twelve: Replace baseboards, wood trim, and electrical outlet covers.

To get professional help with all wood carpentry projects, call us at (416) 757-9100.