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A room with floor lamp, bed and timber panels on the wall.

Overview

Timber panelling adds character to any room, infusing it with a warm look and natural beauty. You can use it to create a full feature wall, or a striking bedhead, which is an easy and cost-effective D.I.Y. project.

If you’re looking to add an organic element to your room, harnessing the texture and colour of timber, check out our step-by-step guide to get started.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs, gloves and mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment.

Steps

1Decide on a look

Think about how you want your room to look. Pay attention to the colour and grain patterns of different types of timber and how they will complement other elements in your room, such as furniture, walls and decor. Pick up a few samples or swatches to help you visualise how each type of timber will look in your space.
A tattooed hand is touching the timber wood slat.

2Measure the wall

Use a tape measure and pencil to mark where you’re going to install the timber panels on the wall. Note down these measurements to calculate the number of timber sheets you’ll need, keeping in mind we’ll cut them down to size later in the process.
Measuring wall size with a tape measure.

3Clean and prepare the wall

First, check your wall is straight to ensure your panels sit flush and level. Use a carpenter’s level to check for any lumps and bumps that need to be sanded down.

Sand back any uneven bumps with some sandpaper or a power sander; vacuum up any debris. Give the wall a good clean using sugar soap. This will remove any residue from your walls and help your panels adhere securely.

A person is sanding the walls using a sanding block.

4Cut the timber to size (if required)

Apply painter’s tape to where you’ll mark your cutting lines to minimise chipping and damage to the timber. Using your measurements from Step #2, mark out your cutting lines in pencil.

If you’re using a circular saw, measure the distance from the saw blade to the edge of the saw’s base plate. Mark this down on your timber where you want to make the cut. Position your straight edge tool along the marked line, making sure the line you’re cutting is aligned with the cutting line. Clamp the straight edge down firmly into place. Using a fine-tooth or circular saw, cut your panels to size.

A person is using a circular saw to cut timber.

5Cut out the powerpoint

If you’re installing timber panels on a wall that has a powerpoint, you’ll need to create a cutout for the outlet. Do this by measuring the size of the powerpoint and the height and width of where your powerpoint sits on the wall. Use this to mark down the cutout on your timber panel and cut to size with a circular saw or jigsaw.
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Don’t forget to measure twice: double-check your measurements before making your cuts.
Cutting a cutout on a timber panel with Jigsaw.

6 Sand the edges

Use a fine 120-150 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the edges of each of your timber panels until smooth. Don’t forget to sand the edges of your powerpoint cutouts, too.
Sanding the edges of the timber with sandpaper.

7Secure the panels

Use a carpenter’s level or laser level to help keep things straight as you work. Starting with the base panels at the bottom, apply a high-quality construction adhesive. For even coverage, apply the adhesive in a zigzag pattern, box pattern or a series of dots. Make sure the panels are aligned and press firmly to make strong contact between the adhesive and the wall. Before you move on to the next panel, check that everything is aligned using your carpenter’s level or laser level. Repeat this step until all of the panels are installed.
Green Bunnings hammer
Tip: Use a notched trowel or putty knife to spread the adhesive evenly across your timber panel surface. This will give you full coverage and ensure a stronger bond to the wall.
Aligning and pressing panels for solid adhesive contact with the wall.

8Screw wafer head screws

For extra security, drill some wafer head screws through the felt pieces between your timber wood panelling and into the wall. This will help make sure everything stays in place.
Drilling timber panels onto the walls.

9Style the space

Add the finishing styling touches to your room. One of our favourite ways to highlight panel work is by adding rugs or cushions that complement the timber colour you’ve chosen. You can also add some artwork, rearrange the furniture or set up some feature lighting.
Room with a bed, floor lamp and timber panels on the walls.
Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.