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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

Wallpaper panelling: get the look without the cost

Updated: Apr 4


being wall panelling wallpaper
Image:Wallsauce

Before we talk about wallpaper panelling, or panel-style wallpaper, as it should probably be called, I wanted to add a note to say that I love real wall panelling and in most cases, it will be superior to panel-effect wallpaper. BUT, there are occasions, which we'll look at in a minute, when it's simply not practical or possible to install 'real' panelling, so wallpaper can come a close second. 


Does wallpaper panelling actually look good, though?

A couple of years ago, I would've raised an eyebrow at the prospect of slapping wallpaper on the walls hoping for a stylish and sophisticated outcome (sorry if that sounds snobby - but it's true!). However, there is a fantastic variety available these days of very realistic and aesthetically pleasing examples; everything from wood panelling wallpaper to photographic wall coverings with panel designs with a many others in between. 


This post is a whistlestop tour of panelled wallpapers that have caught my eye and ended up in my 'saves' folder to inspire your next DIY wallpapering project. Then at the end, we'll whizz through some of the FAQs and pros and cons of panelled wallpaper. Let's take a look...


​Wallpaper panelling inspiration

One of the great things about panelling and wallpaper panelling is its versatility. You can elevate any room in your home with the addition of some stylish wall panels, it doesn't matter if you're decorating the living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, panelled walls are a great way to achieve a classic look or perhaps a classic look with a twist as we'll see below.


Vertical shiplap wallpaper

Vertical shiplap wall panelling in kitchen
Image:LauraAshley

This vertical shiplap panel style wallpaper is the perfect option if your budget won't stretch to actual shiplap or you can't face the DIY associated with covering the entire wall or walls with panels. 


 They say "Offering the timeless look of wood panelling, the Chalford Wood Panelling design offers on-trend appeal, which is a great alternative to paint..."





Wood slat-effect wallpaper

wood slat panelling wallpaper design
Image: B&Q

This wallpaper gives the effect of slat panels, a more modern and Scandi-influenced style. The real McCoy will offer improved acoustics in your room as slat panels absorb sound. The wallpaper version won't help in this regard but it will save you hundreds of pounds. A quick scroll through social media will throw up lots of real-life examples of where people have used this wallpaper to great effect.  



3d ​Picture moulding effect wallpaper

Blue panelling effect wallpaper behind pink sofa
Image: Wallsauce

​Having just spent a few weeks painstakingly applying picture moulding panelling to my front room, stairs and landing, I'm now wondering if the smart move was actually to apply this gorgeous wallpaper instead! I love the colour and the style. 


3d ​intricate panelling-effect wallpaper

Dark green wall panelling effect wallpaper behind a cream sofa
Image: Wallsauce.com

This elegant green panelling effect wallpaper comes made to measure, so you can create the exact layout you desire without compromising. Dark green is very on trend as we saw in my recent posts about how to use green tiles, green living room ideas and dark green paint inspo






Tudor-style panelling wallpaper


Tudor-style panelling wallpaper exudes an air of timeless elegance, effortlessly bringing the charm and sophistication of historic Tudor architecture into any modern space. The smaller square shaker-style panels work well on a single wall as it could feel overwhelming on every wall in a smaller room.



Self-adhesive panelling wallpaper


Unlike traditional wood panelling, this self-adhesive wallpaper is easy to install and can be applied to any surface with just a damp cloth, making it perfect for DIY enthusiasts and smart home enthusiasts alike. Both the Wallsauce.com products show above come in self-adhesive wallpaper if that's your preference over paste.


Benefits of wallpaper panelling

These are just some of the benefits of panelling-style wallpaper over wood panelling

  • usually more cost-effective

  • low commitment vs wood panelling

  • easier to install than panelling

  • comes in the required colour - no painting required

  • chemical and odour-free


As we have seen, if you are searching for a versatile and stylish solution to elevate your interior design, then look no further than wall panelling effect wallpaper! Whether you're aiming to create a striking feature wall or transform an entire room, this innovative product offers many benefits. With its realistic wood panels, available in a variety of natural tones from classic oak to contemporary grey, budget-savvy decorators are embracing its unique style to add depth and character to any space. 


From classic stately homes to modern kitchens, the panel effect wallpaper complements a range of design aesthetics. Surprisingly, the print technique used creates a real wood effect that rivals even the most expensive real wood options. 


Whether you prefer the warmth of natural wood or the chicness of faux designs, there's a panelled wall effect for everyone. Explore different designs, from white panel wallpaper to bold blue or pink options. For those considering kitchen ideas, pairing it with grey kitchens or white interior doors can create a contemporary design statement. One great advantage of this wallpaper is the availability of samples, allowing you to fully test how realistic it looks in all lights and lighting conditions. 


Tips for success with a panelling-effect wallpaper project


  • Double-check your measurements and fully understand the pattern repeat to ensure you have the correct amount and the perfect fit for your space.

  • Order samples beforehand to check the quality of the paper, the colour and the pattern. Assess in natural and artificial light. 

  • Check if the wallpaper is paste-the-wall or paste-the-paper before you start

  • Ensure you have the correct tools needed for the application before you start

  • Get a ladder if you are applying to the full length of the walls

  • A second pair of hands is helpful for larger installations

  • Use a plumb line in case the walls are slightly out of line. 


Where next?


Here's a selection of panelling-related blog posts you might enjoy...



I hope you've found some of these ideas inspiring and useful, let me know in the comments if you try any of them. Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the page & hit the subscribe button to receive my monthly newsletter which is packed full of tutorials, updates and offers.






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