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 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

  • Claire Douglas

Fluted wall panels: 5 places I’ve used them in my home 

Updated: 4 days ago

Attention DIYers! You need to know about fluted wall panels

Fluted mdf panels

Fluted wall panels are my new obsession (ok, one of my new obsessions, as I do have a few on the go!) because they are a quick and easy way to introduce texture into your home interiors. For me, this isn’t a passing trend but a brilliant way to add fluting into unexpected places in your home, creating depth and interest.

I love using texture in my room schemes and for me, it’s kind of essential because this year, I’ve adopted a much more muted and neutral colour palette than previously. You can read about the change of approach to interiors in the post I wrote about why I’m embracing a more minimalist approach in 2023; since writing that post, Livingetc coined the term ‘Minimaluxe’, which really resonated with me because I don’t think I’d enjoy living in a truly minimalist home because I love ‘things’ a bit too much! 

Therefore, my new plan is to be more considered in the personal collections of joyful things I curate (eg not picking up EVERY bargain I see on Facebook marketplace just because I love it and it’s a steal!) and focus on the materials I use in my DIY projects and room makeovers, to ensure they are bringing the luxe (& the joy) to the party. 

Where to use fluted MDF panels around your home

Fluted MDF panels are one material that brings me all the joy and I’ve used them increasingly often. I’ve shared a few reels on Instagram about this magic material and had lots of questions and comments as it doesn’t seem to be too well known, so I thought  I’d whizz together a quick post demonstrating where I’ve used it and why. Of course, you should only use this for inspiration. Go with your gut; if you fancy a fluted MDF panel ceiling… go for it; hankering after a fluted MDF panel coffee table…fill your boots! The main thing is to have fun and personalise your home interiors so they tell your story and spark your joy; after all, we spend about a million hours a week in our homes at this time of year, so why not?!

1. On the side of a worktop or kitchen island

fluted mdf panels in kitchen

During my DIY kitchen makeover, this was the first of my experiments with fluted mdf panels and what sparked the obsession. I used a huge sheet and templated the surface by marking it with a pencil when it was held against it. I cut the fluted MDF panel with a jigsaw, but you can easily use a handsaw if that’s all you have because it’s such a soft material compared to timber. I glued the panel with grab adhesive and sanded the edges to ensure they were perfectly in line with the worktop edge. Then I caulked the join and microcemented over it when I covered the worktops. Super simple and effective and looks a lot more fancy than a bit of MDF stuck on the side!

2. Underneath a breakfast bar

Breakfast bar with fluted mdf panels

I DIYed a microcement breakfast bar to use the awkward space left after a window was removed between our kitchen and the back room. You can read more about the breakfast bar project here. Adding the texture underneath made the whole space feel more luxe. I love how simple and minimal the breakfast bar is in shape and think the fluted detailing of the fluted mdf panel works really well in contrast. I was also conscious that the area is very neutral in colour as both the microcement and the painted walls are off-white, so adding a layer of texture helped add depth to the space.

3. In window reveals

Fluted mdf panels window reveal

Reveal is just another way of saying the bit to each side of the window (perpendicular to the windowsill). After I’d added the panel under the breakfast bar I knew the reveals would benefit from the same treatment. Adding the fluted texture creates a striking feature of an otherwise dull area and makes me actually enjoy looking at the aperture between the kitchen and living room, whereas before it used to annoy me as it was a reminder that we didn’t (couldn’t afford) to take that whole back wall out and open up the space.

I also added fluted MDF panels to the window reveals in the front room, this was extra successful because the sun catches them and highlights the fluted texture which is a joy to look at. 

4. To fill the space above your kitchen cabinets 

fluted mdf panels above kitchen cabinet

I wrote a whole separate post about this project, which you can read about here. I was a serial clutterer (if that's even a word!) and couldn’t resist using the above-cabinet space as storage for items that didn’t have a home and I used to drive myself mad as I hated how messy it looked when there was junk filling the space - a never-ending cycle! So, I filled the gap with fluted MDF panels and it worked a treat, a much cleaner look and no kitchen clutter in sight. If you like using the space for storage and want some creative ideas for how to make it look better then read my 15 ways to decorate the space above your kitchen cabinets post.

5. Under the shelves on a DIY coffee station

This IKEA hack project was where I used their MOSSLANDA picture shelves upside down and microcemented them. I added a fluted MDF panel under the shelves.

Where can you buy fluted MDF panels?

I found my fluted MDF panels on eBay initially. I found a great seller who sold them in huge sheets (2.4m x 1.2m) which was just what I needed to cover the side of the worktops without any joins. Since then, the seller has set up an Instagram page and Etsy shop where you can get 15% discount using the code CLAIRE15 at checkout. (This isn’t an ad by the way, just a kind offer they sent for my followers to use so make sure you’re following me on Instagram if you use it). 

How much do fluted MDF panels cost?

At the time of purchase I paid £195 for the full sheet, but you can buy smaller sheets if you don’t need such a large panel. The panels come in various thicknesses too (6mm, 9mm, 12mm & 18mm) so choose the correct one for your project. If you take advantage of the discount code above then that saves you 15%.  

Is it safe to use fluted MDF panels in the kitchen?

Yes, it’s fine to use MDF in a kitchen as long as you take precautions for areas which might get water or grease on them. For example, I primed the fluted MDF panels before I used them, then I painted them with scrubbable paint. I was careful to seal any joins with decorator’s caulk (flexible filler). For the side of the worktops, I also microcemented over the sealed joins when I covered the worktops. 

  Where next?

Here are some other panelling-related posts you might enjoy…

Click the underlined words to go straight to the relevant page!


Kitchen recommendations - click to shop 

Milk frother
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