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How we panelled our playroom wall

So in October last year I made the (rather controversial at the time) decision to wave goodbye to our scalloped half wall in the playroom and have a go at some panelling instead. Why? Well it had been a year since I painted the playroom and the scalloped wall trend had taken off and was popping up left, right and centre on instagram and so I began to get a bit bored of it… not that I’m fickle or anything 😉 

Here's how our playroom looked before. It was painted in Dulux Trade Pure Brilliant White and Craig & Rose Etruscan Red.

First up was to cover the (very dark!) paint we had on the walls, so I painted two coats of Dulux Trade Pure Brilliant White on all walls. The colour I chose for the panelled wall is Suntan by Valspar - it's a really lovely sandy yellow without being too earthy, but then when the sun hits the wall it glows a really deep sunshine yellow which I love. The coverage was really good, and the wall only required two coats.

Next came the design of the actual panelling. I did this simply by making a scale drawing of the wall - we had drawers and peg rails that needed to go back up on the wall after it had been panelled so I needed to make sure the design worked around those. I always knew that I wanted to have a panelled border around the edges of the wall and to involve the sunbeam pattern coming from the top corner, so once I had drawn this in the rest of the design was just about what I thought looked good. The great thing about this kind of panelling is that unlike grid panelling, it doesn't have to be symmetrical or measured and you can keep it entirely random!

Once I had finalised my design, it was time to find the wood we were going to use. We decided on wood that was 25mm deep so it would sit against the skirting boards nicely (which were also 25mm deep) and 30mm wide. We used this timber from B&Q. I don't think there is any written rule about the size of the wood you choose, it's just personal preference and what will suit the design. However, if you can, I would advise against using timber and using MDF instead. A few pieces of our timber were bowed and therefore weren't usable - you can still follow the same process as we did but with MDF.

The wood had to be primed prior to being painted, for which I used Zinsser B.I.N Multi-Surface Primer (I swear by this stuff, it will prime anything). I did two coats on each plank of wood and I made the decision to paint the wood with Suntan once it was on the wall - I have seen it done both ways, some people prefer to paint it prior to attaching to the wall but this way worked just fine for us.

Our original plan was to stick the wood to the wall using Unibond No More Nails Adhesive, however after a handful of attempts of my husband and I trying to hold the wood against the wall we had little success! The mixture of the slightly bowed wood and our wonky walls (thanks previous owners for your dodgy 80's extension) meant it just wasn't happening for us! So the drill came out and we decided to screw the wood to the walls - VERY grateful at this point that I hadn't pre-painted the planks!!

The most difficult part of getting the panelling on the wall was getting the angles of the sunbeams correct. We ended up making a cardboard stencil of the quarter circle the was to go in the corner and then measured and marked the angles out on the cardboard. We held it up against the wall and then pencilled on the wall where the wooden panels would meet the circle.

Hurrah! The panels were up! We had the extra step of having to fill the holes which were made from screwing the wood to the wall before painting but that wasn't too much of a bother. Two coats of Suntan later and we were done!


I love our panelled wall, I love that it's unique and the colour works really well with the room. Don't be afraid to incorporate things on to the wall alongside the panelling, like we did with the storage drawers and peg rails (which I've now actually switched for book shelves). One word of warning, you do loose a wall in terms of having space to hang decor/prints but it is such a striking piece of decor in itself that I don't think many more accessories are needed.

Here's our playroom nowadays all dressed and pretty:


If you have any questions, or want to chat pop a comment below, come find me on instagram (@bowinthesky) or drop me an email and I'll be happy to help!

 Dominy x

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