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Unique Decorative Wall Panels

When redecorating a room consider using decorative wall panels. Paneling is an early form of wall paneling. Today, wall panels come in all types of materials and textures. With a few tools, adhesive and a weekend, anyone can transform any wall into a modern, stylish work of art.

Panel Options

Manufactured wall panels can be made of aluminum, which is textured, painted or polished. Wood grained decorative wall panels can be purchased that come in many veneer finishes. Oak, walnut, cherry and birch are just a few. Real wood panels, usually available in oak and cedar, may transform an ordinary room into an elegant place to relax. A more rustic look can be achieved by using imitation stone or brick panels. Wainscot is a type of wall panel that covers the lower half of a wall. Fire-retardant panels are available for placing around fireplaces. Wall panels are treated for moisture resistance, which provides a long lasting durable surface.

Choosing the Right Panel

Choosing the right decorative wall panel is easy. Once you have decided what finish is preferred the next decision will be how the panels attach to the wall. Panels are available in eight-inch squares up to four foot by six-foot panels. Larger panels may come with thin rails that attach to the wall. Once in place, the panels are fitted into these rails ensuring proper placement and durability. There are many types of rails available including invisible, thin visible horizontal lined ones to thick decorative rails.

Quantity Required

Before purchasing wall panels, measure the length of the wall. If using smaller square panels also measure the height of the wall. If using four by eight-foot panels, the height of the room will not need to be measured unless the walls are extremely tall. Once the length of the wall in feet has been determined, divide that number by four. The resulting number will be the quantity of sheets required. Having an additional panel allows for mistakes and matching the grain or pattern of panels.

Finishing Extras

When choosing decorative wall panels, you will want to remember to include any additional materials that may be needed. Panels that come with rail mountings will not require additional supplies. Other types of panels may produce a more polished finish if dove, crown molding or some type of trim is placed along the top of the panel where the wall and ceiling meet.


Most wall-panel kits do not require any preparation of the wall. Occasionally some walls, like concrete or plaster and lathe walls do not allow nails to be used easily. When installing panels on those types of walls a frame support may be required. Electrical outlet covers must be removed prior to installation. Holes will need to be cut in the panel section that will be placed where electrical outlets and windows are. Precise measuring and cutting of these holes will provide a professional finish. Once the wall has been prepared, outlet and window cutouts made the panels may be installed. Specific adhesives are available for wall panels and can be painted on or applied using a caulk gun. Once the panels are in place, add any trim board that may be needed.

Decorative wall panels can be installed in a weekend. Like most projects, the time-consuming part is measuring and cutting the panels before installing. Wall panels allow for a quick, easy and affordable room make over.

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