DIY wall panels: an easy step-by-step you could do this weekend

Love the look of wall panels? You can DIY them. Here's how

DIY wall panels
(Image credit: Iben and Niels Ahlberg/

Love the look of wall panelling like the panels above but have no idea how to replicate the style in your home? The good news is that DIY wall panels are easy to create. You don't even have to be an experienced DIYer to create the look of original panelling, you just need some patience and vision.

So, get on your decorating dungarees and follow this super easy step-by-step to making DIY wall panels. 

For tons more inspiration, go to our full feature on wall panels. Then, for more easy DIY ideas and tips head over to our hub. 

You will need:

Step one: plan out your panels 

Use a pencil and a tape measure to mark out exactly where you want your 'panel' to be and what size and shape you are going for. You want all of the wall panels in your room to be the same distance away from the edge of the wall so the overall look is uniform. They should also all be at the same height, and the same distance from floor and ceiling. 

You could go for one panel on each wall, or you could create multiple panels that go halfway up the wall and then add a line of beading along the top. There are loads of ideas in our wall panel ideas gallery, so check that out for inspiration. 

Step two: cut your beading to size 

Once you have planned out your design, you can start cutting your beading to size based on the lengths and widths you have chosen. You will need to cut each piece at a 45 degree angle so that they fit together nicely. For the best result we would recommend using a mitre box.  

Once you have cut all your pieces, lay them out as they would be on the wall on the floor just to check they all join together nicely.

Step three: place your beading on the wall

Use a spirit level for this, not just the pencil marks you made originally. Take the top section of your panel and use a spirit level to ensure it is straight, again use a pencil to mark all the way along the piece of beading so you know exactly where you are going to glue it to your wall. Repeat for the bottom section and then the two side pieces. 

Step four: glue your panels in place

To secure your beading to the wall start with a strong adhesive, we recommend No More Nails. You might find this is enough to hold your beading, but if your walls aren't completely flat, you can add lost head nails to each corner and then later fill in the holes with decorators caulk

Step five: paint your panels 

Let the glue dry and if you needed to use any nails, now is the time to cover up the holes with filler (which you'll need to sand back smooth once dry). Next you can start to paint. For a seamless look that makes the panels appear like they are an original feature of the house use the exact same colour as the walls underneath.

Bear in mind that you may have to prime your beading first but just follow the recommended advice on the paint you have chosen. 

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Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer. As a renter, she is always looking for creative ways to make her flat feel like home. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration.