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How to Install Wood paneling


Paneling is a versatile wail-surfacing material that comes in a wide range of styles, colors, and prices. Paneling sheets are made from a variety of materials for numerous applications.

How to Install Wood panelingMost paneling is available in 4 X 8, 4 X 9, and 4 X 10 sheets. Some manufacturers also offer sheets in sixty-inch widths. Paneling that is j’4″ or less in thickness requires a solid backer of at least 1/2″ wallboard ; paneling %” thick or more is rigid enough to be Fastened directly to framing with sixteen-inch O.C. spacing. Installation typically involves a panel adhesive, either applied in beads along the wall or framing, or troweled onto the back surface of the panel. Make sure to c heck the manufacturer’s instructions [or the product you purchase.

Tools & Materials

Pry bar
Stud finder
Tape measure
Plumb bob
Circular saw
Carpenter’s level
Caulk gun
Paneling sheets
4d finish nails
Wood stain
Panel adhesive
Powdered chalk

How to Install Wood paneling

How to Install Wood paneling1Step1: Starting in the corner farthest from the entry, use a stud finder to locate the center of the stud closest to, but less than 48″ from, the corner. Find and mark stud centers every 48″ from this first stud. Snap a plumb chalk line down the wall at each location. Paneling seams will fall along these lines.

How to Install Wood paneling2Step2: Lay the first paneling sheet face-side down. Measure the distance from corner to the first plumb mark and add 1″ to allow for scribing. Use a circular saw and clamped straightedge to cut paneling to this measurement.

How to Install Wood paneling3Step3: Position the first sheet of paneling against the wall so that the cut edge is 1″ away from the corner, and the opposite, finished edge is plumb. Temporarily tack the top of the paneling to the wall.

How to Install Wood paneling4Step4: Spread the legs of a compass to 1 %”, then run the compass down the full height of the wall to scribe the corner irregularities onto the face of the paneling. Remove paneling from wall.

How to Install Wood paneling5Step5: Lay the paneling face-side up and cut along the scribe line with a jigsaw To prevent splintering, use a fine-tooth woodcutting blade. The scribed edge will fit perfectly against the wall corner.

How to Install Wood paneling6Step6: Apply Stain or paint to the wall at the plumb lines so the backer will not show through the slight gaps at joints. Select a color that matches the color of the paneling edges, which may be darker than the paneling surface.

How to Install Wood paneling7Step7: Use a caulk gun to apply 2″-long beads of panel adhesive to the wall at 6″ intervals and in a continuous, wavy bead about 1″ back from plumb lines (to prevent adhesive from seeping out through the joints). For new construction, apply adhesive directly to the studs.

How to Install Wood paneling8Step8: Attach the paneling to the top of the wall, using 4d finishing nails driven every 16″. Press the paneling against the adhesive, then pull it away from the wall. Press the paneling back against the wall when the adhesive is tacky, about 2 minutes.

How to Install Wood paneling9Step9: Hang the remaining paneling so that there is a slight space at the joints. This space allows paneling to expand in damp weather. Use a dime as a spacing gauge.


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