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The weekend project: How to paint panelling like a pro

There’s a lot to love about Lotta and Eddy’s bespoke painted living room wall panelling in this week’s Changing Rooms episode on Channel 4. It’s easy to recreate the cheerful look that Whinnie Williams brought to their family lounge in Tunbridge Wells, with wall panelling as a standout feature. We asked Steph King, Dulux Content Director, how she’d bring some magic to wall panelling. Watch our video below to see the transformation and keep scrolling for our easy step-by-step breakdown. 

Low-effort and big-impact, this simple-to-do design trend is showing no sign of wavering, so if you’ve not yet given it a whirl then now is the time. Whether the panelling is already in place or you need to stick some in position yourself, giving it a modern update with paint is a breeze.

For a great weekend project, we’ve transformed a room by updating the living room panelling with paint. We took inspiration from Lotta and Eddy’s living room paint colours (below), where Whinnie Williams chose a striking tri-colour palette of Sweet Sundae 5Butter Cup and DH Grass Green to create a bright and welcoming space.

For our panelling, we opted for two softer hues – Powder Colour and Stone Green the perfect duo for a calming scheme. It would look fab in a bedroom, where you could use the panelling as an alternative to a traditional headboard. Your choice of colour is an easy way to add your own personality, but we just know you’ll love this combo.

Watch our video above and follow our simple steps below for how to paint wood panelling.

You'll need

  • Dust sheets
  • Good quality decorators’ low-tack/clean-edge masking tape
  • Flexible sanding pad
  • Primer
  • Paint - emulsion and eggshell
  • Paint stirrer
  • Paint kettle
  • Larger roller and tray for wall
  • Small medium pile roller and tray for panelling
  • 2" synthetic brush for details 

Get prepped

1. Carefully position low-tack masking tape on the wall, directly above the panelling to avoid paint transferring from the wood to the wall.

2. Lightly sand the wooden panels using a flexible sanding pad to buff out any splinters and to soften the surface; this will improve its adhesivity. Brush away any excess dust.

3. Prime the panels using a quick-drying water-based undercoat – we used Dulux Heritage Undercoat, which provides excellent adhesion, protection and a beautiful finish for interior wood.

Coat the panels

4. Using a medium-sized paintbrush, start by painting between the panels with Heritage Stone Green Eggshell; ensuring you cover all the nooks and crannies in the wood, coating all the details. 

5. Next, use a roller for the larger surface areas of the panels. When the entire panel has had one coat, leave it to dry.

6. Repeat the process for a second coat. When the paint is nearly dry, remove the masking tape from the wall. 

7. Once the panelling is completely dry, apply masking tape to the top of the panelling, ensuring a clean barrier between the wall and the panelling, in readiness for the wall to be painted.

Paint the wall

8. When the masking tape is applied, seal it with the base wall colour – Heritage Powder Colour Emulsion – using a medium-sized paintbrush and leave it to dry.

9. Paint all the edges in the emulsion with a paintbrush first, then colour the wall using a roller. Leave it to dry and then paint a second coat. When the second coat is nearly dry, remove the masking tape.

Steph’s insider tip: Once you’ve sealed the masking tape with the base colour, use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process, so you can get going faster (or have a cuppa and a biscuit!)

Don’t miss the next episode of Changing Rooms on Wednesday at 8pm on Channel 4 – and stream this week's show here.

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