How to Install Decorative Wall Paneling


Decorative wall panels are a fast and easy way to update the look of a room without extensive remodeling. Wall panels can usually be installed in a weekend once the panels have become conditioned to the room. By redecorating with wall panels, homeowners can hide damaged and uneven walls without the mess of drywall.

Things You'll Need

  • Sandpaper
  • Stud finder
  • Tape measure
  • Horizontal bracing
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Trim
  • Place the decorative panels in the room where they will be installed at least 48 hours before installation. This will allow the board to become conditioned to the humidity and temperature of the room and will prevent from the panels cracking once nailed in place.

  • Sand any wavy or high spots in the wall. The face of the wall must be relatively level so that the decorative panel is not bent over a bend of a wall.

  • Search for the studs in the wall with a stud finder and make a chalk line to mark the location of each stud. The new paneling must be nailed to the studs.

  • Measure the distance between each of the studs. If the distance is more than 16 inches, horizontal bracing must be secured to the wall between the studs so that the paneling will have substantial support and wood to nail to.

  • Install the horizontal bracing 6 inches apart with each end secured to the studs. Attach as many horizontal bracing supports as necessary to cover the height of the new decorative paneling. This step can be skipped if the spacing between studs is 16 inches or less.

  • Attach the decorative panels to the walls with finishing screws. Two panels should be attached to a stud, with one on each side of the stud face. Leave 1/8 inch between the panels.

  • Attach trim to cover the seams of the panel joints and along the top and bottom of the panel to complete the look.

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  • Photo Credit The surface-treated natural wood boards image by Supertrooper from
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