Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Paneled Wall Tutorial: By Lee!

Well, backed by popular demand and a gentle yet firm request from Ashli to get my feet wet and do a post ….my long overdue Maillardville Manor debut is here!  (Insert trumpet sounds here)
We did have a few questions on how I put together the panel wall and we figured it would be best answered by myself rather than Ashli, since I can do math, seriously she's terrible at it! Although she can figure out what the tax on a $90 pair of shoes is in 2 seconds, she's not gifted in the measurement department :)
The material we used to create the effect was 0.5”x3.5” MDF (medium density fiberboard) mouldings.  It turns out that the day we went to price out the wall, they were on sale at around 46 cents a foot.  We had figured we needed about 86 feet, allowing for several feet of extra wood.  At the same time that we purchased the wood I picked up some “No More Nails” industrial adhesive.  I needed to glue the pieces to the wall because we didn’t space the panels where the studs were.  My general rule of thumb is that using a nail in drywall with no studs not the best idea, and in our case is a sure fire way to get a foot long board in the forehead at 3:00am.
The panels were divided equally along the wall.  I mocked up 4, 5, and 6 panels on the wall and we decided that 5 panels was the right amount of separation.  After disconnecting the wiring to the switch that controls the lights, I then used a wall patch and drywalled the holes where the lights used to be shut. 
Being as efficient as possible (I think lazy is a better description…but that doesn’t sound as good) I figured out that to make the least amount of cuts I would put the upper and lower horizontal pieces up first, followed by all the vertical pieces and finally the middle row of horizontal ones.
Here is a handy diagram of the layout and order of installation of the pieces.

I measured and cut the upper and lower horizontal pieces, glued them onto the wall and used a brad nailer to temporarily hold them in place.  Like I said before, nails in drywall for a long term solution will result in a lumpy head, but for a temporary solution until the glue dries works pretty well.  After the upper and lower pieces were in place I measured each of the vertical strips, cut them using a hand saw and glued/nailed them in their pre marked evenly spaced positions.  Using a cutoff saw would have been cleaner and faster but I didn’t want to make a mess in the bedroom and didn’t feel like running downstairs for every cut I had to do (again, efficient…not lazy).  One thing to note is that each piece was a slightly different size so to get a perfect fit I had to cut, test fit, trim and finally glue/nail one strip at a time before proceeding to the next one.
This is a picture of the vertical pieces in place and the start of the final horizontal row in the middle.

The final pieces are the middle horizontal ones.  As before, each of those had to be measured individually and fitted into place before doing the next one.

Now that all the wood was up on the wall I left it alone overnight to let the glue dry.  This is probably where is should say to make sure that everything is where you want it because once the glue dries you won’t get it off without destroying the drywall….which now that I think about it might be another post I will do sometime in the future.
As the next day dawned and we were sufficiently dizzy from smelling glue all night, the wood was good and secured to the wall.  At this point I took some drywall filler and went along the wall filling and sanding  any nail holes and imperfections.  I like to use drywall filler to fill nail holes when the piece is going to be painted because it is so much easier to apply, easier to sand, it fills in very small holes and dries rock hard once paint is applied.  The next step was to go along each seam with paintable caulk.
After several hours to let everything dry, I wiped down the wall with a damp towel to remove sanding dust and debris, grabbed the “color de jour”….fancy hey….and the rest is history.  The whole project only took the weekend and of that time, it took longer to paint the wall then it did to get it ready for painting.
Finally, with the wall complete we moved the furniture back and I think it turned out pretty good.

I want to apologize to Ashli for ruining her usually witty posts with my run on sentences and grammatical errors.  I hope this helped and if there are any questions I would love to answer them so ask away. I'll check in during the day to read the comments and answer any questions!!

Mr. Maillardville Manor, but you can call me Lee!


  1. It looks fantastic, great way to add architectural detail without having to hire the job out.

  2. It turned out great Lee! And, you made it look easy. I'd love to try this somewhere in our home, but right now I think hubby has had it with my projects!!

  3. Ooohh, so only the raised parts are paneling?! The wall is still the wall, just painted to match?

    (Great guest post Ashli!)

  4. Great post Lee...you seem just as witty as your wife. :)

  5. Need to convince my partner to do this, great informative post!

  6. Nice job - on the wall and the debut post!! =)
    I have been wanting to do this somewhere, for sometime. Never thought of doing it on the wall behind my bed. Oh the ideas are flowing!!

  7. Love this post! What a great hubby!

  8. It looks great.. my biggest holdback would be the fact that you can't ever change it without ripping out and reinstalling the drywall! What would happen if you just nailed them in place and didn't caulk it... just giving you room for removal if need be??

  9. Lovely to meet you Lee and your detailed instructions and drawings are just want a girl needs, thanks. I'm moving house in a couple of weeks and think this will look great in my bedroom. By the way, thanks Ashli for the details about the bin, much appreciated!

  10. Hi Judy, Lee here.

    You can try just nailing the boards in place without the glue on the back, but I would still caulk the seams. Caulking will help a little to hold it in place as well but it is still fairly easy to remove. Using caulk, in my opinion, is pretty essential as it hides any imperfections in the seams of the final product and ties it all together nicely.

    One thing to probably note is that if you don't glue the boards in place then be gentle on that wall as it will not take much to bump a strip out of place (ie. I wouldn't do it in a hallway or any place that sees lots of traffic)

    Thanks and good luck.

  11. Great project! You made it look so easy!

  12. Great post Lee....hope this will lead to more tutorials from the Mr!

  13. You did a great job Lee!! :)

  14. Thanks for your response, Lee... appreciate it. I think I'll give it a go!

  15. You did a wonderful job, Lee! It looks great and it adds so much visual interest to the bedroom!


  16. Oh this is great, in germany we would say: "Landhausstil" - in english we could say: "country home style" or something like that! ;)

  17. Wow! This is beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing the wealth of knowledge and for making it seem so simple! Congrats :o)

  18. Awesome job!!!! Great tutorial! :)

    xoxo laurie

  19. I will be doing this to my wall this weekend!! Great post....just one question, what color paint did you use? Plain white or something else? Thanks!

  20. Hi Jessie!
    We used "Heavy Cream" by Martha Stewart :) Just a bit warmer than white :)
    Hope that Helps
    Let me know how it turned out for you :)

  21. looks great - how would you continue it to the next wall if you wanted?

  22. If we were to continue it to another wall we would use the same distance between boards so that each panel was the same size.
    I hope that helped a bit.

  23. When you say you caulked the seams, do you mean only where board met board, or also everywhere that the board touched the wall?

    1. Lee caulked all of the seams. Where boards met other boards , where boards met the wall. But he did say that it's totally up to you. Whether or not you want to see the transitions from the board to wall or not.
      Hope that helped a bit.



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