Wall paneling DIY – how to add Shaker style paneling yourself

This Shaker wall paneling DIY will give your rooms a professional-looking treatment – without the cost.

Shaker wall paneling DIY in sage matt green
(Image credit: Future)

Shaker wall paneling is one of the most popular DIY upgrades homeowners are making today. While the most classic wood panel look is made up of evenly spaced vertical posts bordered by a horizontal trim at the top, there are lots of ways to get creative with this wall paneling DIY too. You can go geometric, with a grid-style layout, or a crafty herringbone look, but today we're doing a basic (but nonetheless stylish) square wall paneling DIY.

You will need:

1. Measure up

Measuring up for wall paneling

(Image credit: Future)

To ensure a really neat and professional looking finish, you want to measure twice and cut once for this kind of DIY job. So, measure up your wall space, accounting for any wall fixtures like radiators, baseboards and so on. 

The key to a professional finish is to have the trim the same distance away from the edge of the wall so the overall look is uniform. All panels should also all be at the same height, and the same distance from floor and ceiling. Mark up the wall with your pencil so you know exactly where the trim will go.

Map out wood panel wall

(Image credit: Future)

2. Saw your wooden trim

Measuring wall panels

(Image credit: Future)

You can alter the width of these pieces but we chose to cut our trim to 100mm in width for a bold, modern look.

Textured walls?

If you want to panel over textured walls, pick up some backer board to put down first. This isn't part of our video so ensure you cut it to the correct dimensions and attach it to the wall securely ready for your wooden panels.

3. Start with the borders

Start by adding glue to your wooden panel, securing it at the top border and working your way around the sides and the bottom. Use a level to make sure everything is super precise and use actual nails also if you'd like an expert finish. 

You then want to secure your vertical trim, then the horizontal panels, cutting them to the right length to fit the space.

4. Smooth the edges

Shaker wall with caulk filler

(Image credit: Future)

Using the caulk/wood filler, make sure you fill in any gaps where the trim edges meet. Perfection is tricky after all! Repeat until everything is securely in place and looking very neat. Be sure to sand any uneven areas if you need to.

5. Prime and paint your Shaker wall paneling

Primed wall for painting

(Image credit: Future)

Whether you've used a backer board or not, prime the entire area to prepare it for a coat of paint. 

Painted Shaker wall paneling

(Image credit: Future)

And finally, when the primer is dry, paint your DIY Shaker wall paneling in the color of your choice!

Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer before moving to the Livingetc team in 2021 where she took on a role as Digital Editor. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration. When she isn't writing about interiors, she is renovating her own spaces – be it wallpapering a hallway, painting kitchen cupboards or converting a van.