How To Decorate Wood Paneling Without Painting

How To Decorate Wood Paneling Without Painting
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If you’re a homeowner, you’re probably asking yourself how to decorate wood paneling without painting. Well, in this article, we’re going to share with you how.

Wood paneling was extremely popular in the 70s. Thus, a lot of houses today still have them. Unfortunately, wood paneling can be a nuisance to work with.

It does not matter how hard you try to make your room appear modern and fresh. Wood paneling can still ruin the look of your room.

When you look for tips online, you’ll probably get a lot of advice on painting over wood paneling. However, if you follow this tip, you won’t get your wood paneling back to its original state.

Keep in mind that painting your wood paneling is a permanent step. It can also be tiresome and expensive.

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to decorate wood paneling without painting it.

How to Decorate Wood Paneling Without Painting? Incorporate It!

One common mistake that homeowners make when decorating is allowing their limits to determine their course. This is particularly true when looking for living room decorating ideas wood paneling.

At first, a couple of things may look limiting. This includes unappealing wood paneling. However, the truth is that these things can actually help you make decisions.

If you’ve got a decent budget and some flexibility, think about utilizing the wood paneling to drive your motif. For example, wood paneling looks great in a lodge décor or log cabin scheme.

In general, wood creates warmth in a wood panelled dining room. Dark wood offers elegance and stateliness. Utilize these principles to drive your decorating options.

So, whenever you’re wondering how to decorate wood paneling without painting, simply consider incorporating that design.

Create a Gallery Wall to Totally Cover the Paneling in Art

For those who don’t know, a gallery wall refers to a wall that is totally covered in art. Usually, it only has 1 to 2 inches of space between pieces.

Create a Gallery Wall to Totally Cover the Paneling in Art


By lining up a lot of art pieces on your floor in a pattern that copies the size of the wood paneling, you can create a gallery wall.

Use a nail and hammer to hang every piece of art. A gallery wall is a great option if you’ve got a lot of art pieces that you can hang and need to cover several accent walls.

Gallery walls are an excellent way to hang personal photos as well. if you’ve got a lot of older photos, a gallery wall is an ideal approach to integrating them into your décor.

Cover The Wood Paneling with Drapes

So, how to decorate wood paneling without painting? Another approach is to hang colorful drapes. To do this, you need to measure every wall with a measuring tape.

Next, install curtain rods to fit all walls in the wood-paneled room. After installing the rods, hang colorful and distinct drapes along every wall.

With this, you can alter the overall look of a room without utilizing any furniture pieces. You can also change the drapes if you get tired of the color or pattern.

Keep in mind that this is an excellent option for rooms with windows where the drapes will not appear out of place in a normal lighting environment.

To add variety to the fabric, consider using a range of various patterns and colors.

Contrast the Paneling with Light Colors

Contrasting the wood paneling with light colors is the broadest approach to deflect the wood paneling in your house.

The truth is that one of the major complaints about wood paneling is that it makes the room too dark. You can utilize flooring, curtains, wall paint, and furniture to brighten up things.

Feature a Bold Focal Point

Do you have a bold focal point in your wood paneling living room? if the answer is yes, consider drawing the attention of your guests to it rather than the wood paneling.

Feature a Bold Focal Point


Potential focal points can include a fireplace or a huge picture window. Consider hanging bright-colored drapes to frame the picture window.

To place bold décor that distracts your guests from the wood paneling, utilize the mantle above your fireplace.

Choose a décor that complements your furniture and highlights the floors. This is something you can try on how to decorate wood paneling without painting.

Hang Wall Décor in a Collage Style

Nowadays, one creative trend that is becoming more and more popular is covering a wall with a variety of photos, frames, and paints.

Laying out different wall art pieces asymmetrically allows you to utilize your old frames and gets rid of the need for perfection.

In addition to that, it also naturally captures the attention of your guests to the gallery. Wood paneling wall decor can also be an enjoyable method to feature your family or another décor.

Divert Attention Away from the Wood Paneling

If you do not like painting your wooden panel room, one option you can consider is to draw the attention of your guests away from it. This is ideal if you’ve got an open-feeling and bright room.

This tip also works if you’ve got furniture that does not work with a wood décor theme and you do not want to buy new pieces of furniture.

Hide Most of the Wood by Lining the Walls with Bookshelves

Another tip on how to decorate wood paneling without painting is to hide most of the wood with books.

Always remember that wood paneling serves as a great background for regular bookshelves. This is particularly true if they are made out of a solid color.

The wood grain will surround the solid bookshelves. In addition to that, they make them visually pop without making your walls look empty.

Hide Most of the Wood by Lining the Walls with Bookshelves


If you want to integrate the wood itself, search for wall shelves with the same grain and install them along with the wood paneling. You can search for wood decorations for home on Google.

Of course, this does not work if you don’t have a lot of books, right? Well, don’t worry. Aside from books, you can also utilize candles, trinkets, or records to fill in the empty spaces.


How Can I Make Wood Paneling Look Modern?

Nowadays, you can reinvent wood paneling into something more modern. This means that you can make it look appropriate if you’ve got a modern-themed house.

The best way to do this is to stain your wood paneling black. You might be surprised how much change you would get by simply staining your wood paneling.

Staining it in a deep shade of black immediately improves its modern look. Simply keep in mind that this method only works with real wood.

How Do I Update My Old Paneling?

Paneling can offer your walls an appealing textured look that adds dimension and character to a room.

However, if your paneled walls are beginning to show their age, it might be time for you to upgrade it. You can change the appearance of the paneling in a couple of various methods.

Whether you want to change the texture or color, you can find the best option for your room. This includes adding wallpaper, resurfacing, adding faux finish, or even painting it.

Can I Put Wallpaper on Wood Paneling?

You might be wondering if you can simply hang wallpaper on top of your wood panel. The simple answer to this question is yes. You can install wallpaper on top of your wood paneling.

However, you need to remember that it will require a lot of effort. Aside from that, you’ll also need high-quality and durable wallpaper. So, how to cover paneling? Follow the steps below.

First of all, you’ve got to install caulk on the grooves between the wood paneling. If you don’t do this, you will be at risk of the wallpaper sticking to the grooves. This results in an uneven look.

Aside from that, your wallpaper will get holes torn in it if it is not durable and thick.

Before the caulk dries, utilize a putty knife to smooth out the caulk right away. After drying the caulk, utilize sandpaper to smoothen the rest of the wall.

Once the wood paneling is smooth, apply a latex primer. Why should you apply a latex primer? Well, wallpaper is extremely hard to install on a glossy and smooth surface. This is where the primer comes in.

After caulking and priming the wood paneling, hang the wallpaper following the right directions. Always remember that if you cover wood paneling with wallpaper, it’s hard to undo. It’s almost similar to painting.

How Do You Brighten Wood Paneling?

One tip on how to decorate wood paneling without painting is to brighten the wood paneling. However, how can you do this without using paint? Well, it is possible.

The ideal way is to incorporate brightly colored décor. These décor pieces should reflect light. In addition to that, your room should have a lot of natural light.

Always pay close attention to the type of light fixtures you have in the room. if you’ve got dark or yellow lampshades, consider replacing them with bright white shades.

Aside from that, look for light fixtures with translucent or white covers. As much as possible, make sure you direct the lights toward the ceiling. Doing so will help you make the entire room feel airier and more open.

Also, do not use dark curtains or drapes. Always choose sheer and white window coverings. If you require privacy, you can install blinds rather than curtains or drapes.

Is Paneling Coming Back in Style?

Wood paneling was extremely popular in the mid-20th century. However, people have forgotten them for decades.

Fortunately, the trend is back. Nowadays, homeowners are discovering ingenious methods to utilize wood paneling in a range of modern styles.

With some light colors, creative stylings, and sleek geometry, wood paneling easily fits well into a modern and upgraded house.

Luckily, there are a lot of tips on how to decorate wood paneling without painting online.

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