Monday, 2 April 2018

DIY Georgian style panelling for under £40

I wanted to add a little pizzazz to our front room. It's always been a room that just wasn't finished, or didn't look the way I wanted. I'd seen panelling, but always worried it'd look silly in our home - I'm so glad we did it now!

So we went to Homebase, B&Q & Wickes to buy the materials. You can get all the materials from Wickes, but we had a £40 budget, so had to shop around. The total cost in the end was £35.57. HOWEVER, Todd is very DIY'ey and had all the tools at home, saving us further costs.

Our back wall measures 390cm. I wanted the height of the entire framework, which includes skirting, panels and dado rail to be 107cm, meaning it would come to just under that famous ridiculous window

I've linked below the exact materials we used
  • 2 x 9mm MDF boards (to match thickness of skirting)  - shop here
  • 2 x MDF dado rails (Wickes, because everywhere else only had untreated pine) - shop here
  • 1 x tube of decorators caulk - shop here
  • 1 x tin of wood primer - shop here
  • 1 x tube of grip fill shop here
  • 1 x tub of wood filler shop here

Below is what Todd already had in the shed and was no extra cost 
  • Paint (we used white emulison which we already had)
  • A SDS drill 
  • A pack of 6mm countersunk wood screws
  • A pack of 6mm red raul plugs
  • Sand paper
  • A circular saw

*Please note: The way we did this was probably quite complicated. If you don't countersink the holes, when you put the screws in, they'll stick our further than the MDF. I think some people just glue on the panels, but we didn't think this would hold so we drilled/screwed it all into place* 

Step 1
Cut your horizonal MDF. The pieces of horizontal MDF for above the skirting and below the dado rail need to be the same width and length. Our measurements: 90mm

  • Hold the MDF on the wall, level. 
  • Use the pilot drill bit to mark the holes on the MDF and go through to mark the wall. 
  • Swap the drill bit to the countersink drill bit to countersink pilot holes.
  • Then use a 6mm drill bit to drill holes into the wall
  • Put the red raul plugs into the holes and screw the MDF to the wall.

Step 2
Measure and cut the dado rail. Secure to wall using grip fill (we screwed it to the wall but in hindsight we would have just used the grip filler, it's easier and doesn't mess up the grooves in the dado rail)

Step 3
Cut and fix the vertical MDF panels to the wall. You want these thinner than your horizontals, ours measure 60mm. Depending on the length of your wall an how often you want a vertical panel will determine how many you have. Our wall was 390cm wide, we placed a vertical panel at either end and then we placed one every 65cm, all together we used 6 vertical panels.

Follow steps in Step 1 to secure them to the wall.

Step 4
Once your framework is completed, you'll have to cover the screws with the wood filler

Step 5
Once dry, sand it all down

Step 6
Prime your framework

Step 7
Paint your panelling!

Step 8
Caulk any gaps and in-between the framework and your wall. You might not choose to do this but we felt it connected the MDF and the wall better and wasn't so harsh.


I appreciate it sounds a little complicated up top, I hope you are able to understand it! If not, drop me a message on Instagram @thewillishome or send me an email at 

Love, Rey & Toddy x

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