How To Create Easy Faux Wall Panelling

Have you ever wondered how to create easy faux wall panelling?

I’ve always loved the elegant panelling that can be seen in stately homes; it’s a really effective way of adding charm to a plain wall.

And, although our little cottage is full of period features, the walls are fairly plain.

Particularly the wall up the staircase.

I created a gallery wall up the stairs, a while ago, to try and add a little bit of interest.

Then painted the wall in a deep charcoal colour, a couple of years later, with yet another gallery wall.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

It never felt completely right though; instead of looking like the hotel that inspired the dark gallery wall, it felt a little dated and heavy.

So during the first lock down, in spring 2020, we decided to create some faux panelling.

The end result has made such a difference, I wanted to share it here on the blog.

DIY Wall Panelling

You can buy wall panelling kits in most DIY stores.

Plus a raft of dedicated websites, specialising in DIY wall panelling kits have also started to spring up on the internet.

Buying a kit — as opposed to all the materials you’ll need yourself — is probably an easier way, initially. But more costly in the long run.

If you choose to do it yourself, there are loads of types of wall panelling, DIY panelling beading and MDF panelling tutorials online.

As we were wanting to create a faux panel look up the staircase, the MDF panel option would have been a nightmare!

So we decided to learn how to make wall panels with moulding.

What is the Cheapest Way to Panel a Wall?

I think using this beading and dado rail method must be the cheapest way to create DIY wall panels.

The cost of MDF is pretty high right now and you need a lot less material if you use beading.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

How To Create Easy Faux Wall Panelling on a Wall

Given the fact that our walls are not that straight, it was a fairly straightforward process.

Here’s what we did.

You Will Need:

Beading — we used a decorative 15mm pine moulding
Dado Rail — ours is 45mm pine
Grip Filler
Decorator’s Caulk
Tape Measure
Tenon Saw
Angle Rule or Protractor
Spirit Level


  1. Initially, I sketched it out on the wall (using a length of moulding as a straight edge) to give an idea of height and placement.

    I would highly recommend doing this. Working things out by eye first, then pinning down the measurements is definitely better than working the other way round!

    You can save yourself a lot of headaches!
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

2. Once we were happy with the angles and number of panels, Mr D worked out the measurements and angles for our faux wall panelling properly, using an angle rule and measuring tape.

Use the angle rule to find the angle you want the moulding to be — for example 90° — then divide by two to get the angle to cut = 45°.

3. Richard marked the angles on the pieces of moulding, then cut each piece with a tenon saw.

I’ve seen various YouTube videos that suggest you need a mitre saw for this but we didn’t use one.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

4. Next, we stuck the faux wall panelling to the wall using grip filler.

In some cases where the walls weren’t straight, we used nails just to secure the moulding even further. If your walls are flush, there won’t be any need to do this!

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

5. After the grip filler had time to ‘go off’ and the moulding was securely fixed to the wall, I undercoated the faux wall panelling — and the wall above.

I decided to use emulsion on the top half of the wall and eggshell on the lower, ‘panelled’ part of the wall.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

6. Once the undercoat was dry, I went around the edges and joins with decorators calk.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

7. Then I painted the panelled area using my topcoat.

I used Dulux pure, brilliant white emulsion on the walls above, and Farrow and Ball Modern Eggshell in Ammonite for the ‘panelling’ below.

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

I also painted the white spindles in a soft black colour.

And there we have it! Our tired old staircase has been totally transformed!

Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
fake panelling hallway
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
fake panelling staircase
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Once the paint was dry, we put up some pictures from Desenio — you can read all about that here.

Wall Panelled Stairs

diy wall panels decorative
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.
how to make wall paenls with molding
Photo Credit: The Listed Home.

Is DIY Panelling Easy?

I wouldn’t say it was easy. But it wasn’t insanely complicated either! The hardest part was definitely trying to work out the placement of the panels.

Drawing the shapes on the wall, to begin with, really helped us to visualise how the faux wall panelling would look once it was in place.

We thought that working out the angles would be tricky but the little angle finder tool made that part a breeze!

Painting the wall panels in eggshell — and the wall above in emulsion — has really given the illusion of a genuine panelled wall. But also has the added advantage that the eggshell is quick and easy to wipe off any sticky fingers!

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Caro Davies is a former art-director turned writer and content-creator, and editor behind UK lifestyle blog The Listed Home. She writes about home-related topics, from interiors and DIY to food and craft. The Listed Home has been featured in various publications, including Ideal Home, Grazia, and Homes & Antiques magazines.

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6 thoughts on “How To Create Easy Faux Wall Panelling”

  1. What height did you do your panelling , we have Victorian villa, high ceilings so was curious if there was a *best* height to do it at

    • Hi Frances! We did it at my waist height — as visually that looked about right. I literally think by eye is the way forward with things like this! Taping — or drawing on the wall — will give you a good idea of how it will look, before you go ahead :)

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