How to Decorate Log Cabin With Paneling


Installing paneling in a log cabin can enhance the decor, especially if real wood paneling is used rather than faux wood or vinyl paneling. Create a variety of textures using lumber boards, real wood veneers and other alternatives. Research various choices online, or in cabin design books and magazines to see what's available. Give the walls an artistic touch, wherever appropriate, by switching the direction of paneling grooves or by changing the color. Incorporate a variety of paints or stains to finish the paneling, if desired.

Things You'll Need

  • Cabin design books
  • Cabin design magazines
  • Tongue-and-groove paneling
  • Bead board paneling
  • Furring strips
  • Wood veneer sections
  • Drywall
  • Barn wood paneling
  • Recycled plywood
  • Caulking
  • Paint
  • Stain
  • Real wood paneling sections
  • Use tongue-and-groove lumber boards to panel a kitchen, bath or living room wall of a cabin. Install this type of paneling on the bottom half of a wall only, as another option. Cover the top half of the wall with bead board paneling for visual contrast. To divide the two sections, run the grooves of the boards diagonally, lengthwise or vertically for different sections of the wall to add variety to the look.

  • Place furring strips along a cabin wall in order to attach real wood veneer, if desired. Use oak or cherry veneer sections, for example, in a hallway or reading area within the cabin. Incorporate sections of drywall alternated with sections of wood veneer or bead board, nailed to the furring strips, as another choice. Paint drywall sections a light color, so the paneling will not make the cabin too dark.

  • Purchase old wood from a dismantled barn to use for paneling a cabin room or wall. Leave the wood in its natural form with no added stain or varnish. Incorporate this type of rustic paneling with stacked stones or river rocks to give the walls a variety of wall textures. Cover a hallway leading from the back door of a cabin with old barn wood. Add a sitting bench alongside the paneled wall made from the same wood. Install a coat hooks made of wooden pegs above the bench. Include a shelf or two made of the old barn wood to the wall above the bench.

  • Recycle plywood into cabin paneling. Nail up furring strips directly to whole logs on the walls. Install the recycled plywood over this to form a solid wall. Cut the plywood to have as few seams as possible, which should run vertically. Nail decorative furring strips on top of the plywood sheeting, spaced out every two or three inches from floor to ceiling, to create a rustic look and hide plywood seams. Caulk the wall in appropriate placed to hide seams further in the plywood. Paint or stain the newly created paneling to match surroundings.

  • Purchase upscale all-wood paneling sheets suitable for staining, such as those you might see in an upscale home or professional office. Install a few sections throughout the cabin. Place this type of paneling in a hallway coming in the back of the cabin or behind a living area sofa. Add real tile on the floor near this paneling to give the cabin a high-end designer's look. Add more paneling in soffit areas above kitchen cabinets or in the master bedroom. Use the expensive paneling, contrasted with rustic paneling designs, throughout the cabin.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create a log cabin with modern-day media cabinets and amenities, such as granite counters and hot tubs to increase the market value. Avoid installing paneling with too many glitches in the wood, if the cabin will be created for good resale value at some point. Use nice tongue-and-groove paneling in knotty pine, for example and other choices that look upscale. Only use rough paneling in a rustic hunting or fishing cabin.

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  • Photo Credit overlap panel image by leafy from
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