How to Decorate Wood Paneling Without Painting

Wood paneling was once the epitome of sophistication and a popular design element in North America. Over time, many people have stopped falling in love with their wood paneling, but it remains a common feature in many homes.

Many people choose to paint their wood paneling to blend in with the rest of the room and modernize it, but it is a time-consuming job that is also very durable. Once you paint your wood panels, you can never go back to natural wood, so you need to make sure it is what you want. For those who prefer to beautify their wood panels without painting them, there are a number of creative ways to update the look of a room without making permanent or expensive changes.

To decorate a room with wood panels, you have two options: accentuate the wood panels or distract from them.

By accenting wood panels, you use wood as a base and design your space around it, drawing attention to all the best qualities of wood, such as its warm hue and natural beauty. There are ways to do this that will give the room a modern and elegant look while maintaining the beauty of your woodwork.

If you’re not a fan of wood paneling and don’t want to draw even more attention to it, there are plenty of ways to divert attention without painting it.

Light wood panels

Theme of your room

Depending on the type of paneling you have, you can use this as inspiration to create a certain style of interior decoration.

Medium-coloured wooden panels are synonymous with comfortable ski chalets and huts. You can create this wood cabin interior theme by using existing wood panels as a base and painting over the traditional cabin decor. With wood panels as a focal point and based on this type of design, your space will look intentional and elegant.

To introduce the log cabin theme into your home, use natural wood furniture that is well trimmed and unfinished to give it a rustic look. Use warm colors like red, brown and orange on soft furnishings, with knit and fleece blankets. With fur rugs or pillowcases, you can also accentuate the look of the interior. Plaid is a motif often associated with log cabins, so you can incorporate it into your furniture. Low lighting is also essential for this type of interior, as ski chalets tend to be quite dark and gloomy.

-Dark wood panels are best suited to formal and stately interiors. To achieve this style, choose large, heavy furniture in shades that match the wood panels. The surface should be smooth and graceful, and may even be shiny. For example, use neutral colours for upholstered furniture. B. Beige and coffee shades. The fabric should be luxurious, but not casual; a high-quality cotton or velvet would work well. Gold accents on ornaments and decorative elements, such as clocks or lamps, help create a sense of prestige. A stack of books and an old globe add to the sense of authenticity.

-Light or faded wood paneling can be used to complement a coastal style decor. This style is casual and comfortable, with lots of soft linen furniture in shades of blue, white and beige. The furniture should be simple and match the color of the wood panels or be whitewashed. Hang decorations with maritime motifs, such as bell jar mirrors or pictures of boats, on the wooden panels to add extra accents.

Use complementary colours

By using colours that match your wooden panel, the panel will fit better into your interior and will stand out more. Wood panels tend to be warm gold, orange or brown, so stick to a warm color palette to emphasize these hues. Choose similar wooden furniture, choose cushions and use bold orange and mustard tones to accentuate the woodwork and make it look like an integral part of the room’s decor.

Use warm backlighting

Warm light, in the form of yellow or orange lamps, can be used to accentuate the warmth of the wooden panels. These types of lamps, unlike white lamps, give off a golden glow that is subtle and comfortable. You can add table lamps to the side tables to create warm points of light in the room, or install sconces on the wood panels themselves to illuminate and accentuate the natural wood grain.

Bending of wooden panelling

Focus on coordination point

One way to divert attention from the woodwork is to create a focal point in the room that draws attention. Maybe you already have a focal point that you can animate to make it special, for example. B. a fireplace. Paint your fireplace a bright color or decorate it with colorful ornaments and moldings.

A large bay window is another good eye-catcher, especially if you have a nice view. To draw attention to the woodwork, frame the window with dramatic, floor-length curtains in a color that contrasts with the woodwork, for example. B. Emerald green or turquoise.

Use striking colours and designs.

One of the easiest ways to divert attention from the wood panels is to choose a bright, bold color palette for the rest of the room. If you are completely redecorating your room, you can choose a sofa in a bright color, for example. For example, a blue velvet sofa, and then use that color in other furniture. For example with a blue carpet, several blue plant pots or blue picture frames. If you have a tight budget, bring bright colors into the room in the form of furniture.

You can completely change the look of a room by choosing contrasting pillowcases and plaids at a relatively low price. For example, choose at least two bright colors that contrast with each other. B. Pink and green, and divide dots around the room to connect the colors. The new colors will define the space and draw attention away from the wood panels.

Making a collage wall

Gathering walls have become a very popular interior design element in recent years. They are a great way to hide a wooden wall and distract at the same time. To create a collage wall, you’ll need a selection of picture frames in different sizes. Attach the frames to the wooden wall in a random and irregular manner, but make sure that the dimensions of the frames are balanced so that there are not too many frames of the same size close together.

For example, you can put all your favorite family photos on a collage wall or choose a theme. B. Your wedding and use only photos from this occasion. If you don’t want to use photos, you can also use art reproductions on a collage wall, or even a combination of both. The collage wall is a strong element that diverts attention from the wooden panels and also interrupts some of the wood, so it doesn’t come across as too obtrusive.

Assembly shelves

An ingenious way to hide the wooden panels is to install shelves. You can cover an entire wall with mock shelves with wood panels as a decorative backdrop. This makes the panels appear to be part of a custom-made shelf, and you can break up the solid wood by lining the shelves with books, flower pots, picture frames and decorative items. If you don’t want to tackle such a large project, you can also install one or two floating shelves on wooden panels and place decorative items on them. This distracts from the cladding and again creates a void in the wood, which doesn’t look as strong.

Use contrasting colours

While warm, saturated colors make wood panels look better, cool colors detract from the siding. You should choose a color that contrasts with your paneling and matches the dominant hue of your wood. For yellow wood panels, purple should be chosen as the contrast color. Orange wood panels work well with blue as a contrasting color, and red panels can be used with green as a contrasting color. Once you’ve chosen a contrasting color, make a statement with it, whether you paint the walls, cover the couches with contrasting bedspreads, or buy furniture in that color.

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frequently asked questions

How can I make wood panels shine without paint?


How to give a modern look to wood panels

Home improvement tips

What can be used to cover wooden panels?

You can paint the panels or cover them with a wall covering. The wallcovering is a highly resistant wallpaper that covers, but does not hide, the grooves of your wallcovering. You can also decorate the wooden panels with shelves, curtains or artwork to minimize their appearance.

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