Interior Decorative Wood Paneling Ideas

Updated March 23, 2017

Many used homes have wood-panelled walls in them. While many people like this type of decorative feature, some homeowners want to change it as wood panelling may sometimes appear outdated or tacky. If you are considering taking on this type of decorating project, you can choose from many ways to cover up the wood panelling or find new ways to work with it.

Paint It

One of the easiest ways to change up a dark wood-panelled wall is to simply paint it. Use light colours, such as shades of whites or beiges, to instantly light up a room. If you have a more modern decor, paint it in a cool grey or blue shade. Clean the panelling before you paint it. If it is real wood material, rather than laminate, sand it down before painting. If you like the look of wood, but yours is not the right coordinating colour, you can stain it to make it a darker shade of wood. In a child's room, use the grooves to create a bright, striped wall.

Use It

Rather than fighting against this decorating feature, you might want to use it as your interior design muse. For example, if you have a room with white wood panelling, you could decorate the room with blue and white striped material, shell candles and miniature lighthouses to create a Cape Cod theme. If you have 1970s style wood panelling, use modern furniture in bright shades of orange or green and add time period replica lamps and other accessories.

Cover It

If you don't feel like painting and don't want to work with the panelling, you can cover it with several different types of materials. Some people sand down the wood panelling and cover it with wallpaper. You can also cover it with large pieces of fabric such as silk or a large printed or hand-sewn tapestry. You can also hide the wood panelling with oversized curtains.

Add to It

Turn a drab, cheap-looking wood-panelled wall into an elegant work of art by adding decorative features to it. If you want to add a simple touch, just add crown moulding to the top and bottom of the walls. You can add intricate decorating touches such as carvings and rosettes to the corners of the room. Work with a woodcutter to create framed archways out of wood, or add cutouts of squares to create a beaded panelling look.

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About the Author

Denise Brandenberg has more than 15 years professional experience as a marketing copywriter, with a focus in public relations. She also worked as a recruiter for many years and is a certified resume writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.