Different Colors of Wood Paneling


Wood paneling comes in many different varieties and can fluctuate widely in price. Most paneling is sold in 4-by-8 foot sheets and is thinner than plywood with average thickness being around a 1/8 or a 1/4 of an inch. The panel can be made from several thin veneer layers of wood, or more commonly, it might contain a composite-wood base with a top layer that is either thin wood veneer or printed plastic laminate, bearing a wood pattern.

Natural Wood

  • Natural wood paneling has a top layer that is made from many types of wood, but the color of the top veneer layer often runs towards a darker tan or brown. On occasion lighter-colored top layers are available or sometimes the wood may naturally display a hint of red or maroon. Most sheets of wood paneling come with a pattern of vertical lines, so this visual element needs to be taken into account also.

    You may want to add a stain or perhaps just a preservative to the panels after they have been installed. Most of these products will darken the overall tone of the wood, plus they will make the natural grain of wood more visible. The actual of list of woods available in panels is quite long, but the color range is somewhat limited.

Plastic Laminates

  • Plastic laminates provide a shiny surface that reflects interior lighting and can be cleaned on a regular basis to maintain the original color. The color possibilities of this manufactured product can range across the whole color spectrum, so room designers, looking to create a light-colored interior space, will be very interested in this product. Possible printed colors of this type of paneling might resemble the bright, pattern of a red oak or the stark white of a sun-bleached cypress board.


  • Luan is an imported wood from the South Pacific that is frequently made into thin sheets of veneer plywood roughly the same thickness of paneling. The main difference between luan sheets and panels of other woods is in the way that the luan is milled; for the luan comes in a solid sheet without the vertical lines that characterizes most types of paneling. As a result, luan can be used where a solid surface is needed, but it should be noted that other types plywood with attractive wood finishes like birch or oak can also be used in the same situation.

    The luan wood is light red in color and can be painted over, if the surface contains a lot of patches. Left in its natural color, the wood can lighten up the interior of a building or remodeling project. One place that this material is commonly found is on the surface of interior, hollow-core doors. If you like the color of this type of wood, then it can be used as a solid panel surface in many places.

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  • Photo Credit Wood Panel with Knot image by Gary Chorpenning from Fotolia.com
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