What colour to paint your wood panelled walls?

Deciding what colour to paint your wood panelling wall is ultimately about choosing the impact you want the wood panelling to have in your room. 

The reasons people choose to wood panel vary from person to person, and room to room. Owners of older homes often want their wood panels to stay in keeping with the period features of their home and may choose subtler colours for paint. 

Those who have chosen to wood panel in newer builds are often doing so to add character to otherwise bland walls and might choose a bolder colour to make them pop! Whether you want your panels to stand out or blend in should influence the colour you choose to paint them. We have some suggestions of paint colours below. 

Our interior design team at Roomix have handpicked a range of colours to go with different types of panel design and spaces. Samples of all our colours and wood widths are available in our shop. 

grey traditional wall panels

In an otherwise light coloured room panelling could be your chance to add a bold, richer colour to draw the eye to your panels

Feature Walls Panelling
Choosing to panel one wall or one section of a room often gives you the chance to turn your panelling into  a statement feature wall. In an otherwise light coloured room this could be your chance to add a bold, richer colour to draw the eye to your panels. Shaker style panelling is often particularly impressive with a darker shade to accentuate the bold, square edged shapes of the panels. 

We love "pressed petal" for bedroom feature walls in particular, which pairs beautifully with warmer greys or 'greige' colours and can be accented with darker greys or deep blues. Adding this colour to a shaker or traditional panelling will draw the eye to the feature, adding a touch of luxury.  

Darker colours such as “Sapphire Salute” or “Winters Sky” could be ideal for living rooms, studies or “snugs”. These classy and rich greys and blues work with lighter slates and blue-tone whites to create a standout and premium feature wall. Pair with a tall lamp, interesting plant or an iconic piece of furniture to create a space that you will be itching to show off to your guests. 

Full room or stairs panelling 
If you have chosen to panel a larger area, such as a full room or throughout the hallway or stairs you may choose a softer colour throughout.

This will tie the panelling into the room as a whole and emphasise a greater sense of space. This is ideal if you want your panels to feel in keeping with an older property or if you are using your panels to add a layer of protection to a larger wall space such as the full stairway. 

decorating wall panelling

Using light colours on shiplap panelling evokes a beach hut or wooden lodge feel

Our soft sage is not only one of the most trendy colours of the year but it is a beautiful way to uplift a space, and make it feel more light and airy. Adding green feasts the eye with natural, healthy tones and is ideal for a relaxing living space or inviting entry-way.

Many choose to go for a cream or white (such as our warm “white cotton”) for shiplap paneling styles. These panels automatically evoke bright beach huts or wooden lodges, and the white paintwork can further reinforce this uplifting look. 

traditional wall panelling stairsHalf or three-quarter panelled walls provide the perfect break for a two-tone look

Multi-coloured walls! 
If you have chosen a half or ¾ wall panelling, this gives you the exciting opportunity to go two colours on one wall. The panels provide the perfect break in the wall to go for a two-tone look. This easily-achieved wall excitement adds a flair of designed reativity and can be the ideal way to bring a traditional panel style into the 21st century. 

If you are going for the half and half effect, we recommend painting the panels with an exciting, modern colour (such as Pressed petals) and pairing it with a white upper half and ceiling. To the eye this will elongate the space and make ceilings appear taller. 

The other, slightly more complicated, way to add a double colour to a panelled wall is to paint the wood strips one colour and the back wall another colour. We would recommend keeping either the back wall white and choosing a bold colour for the wood strips. Or vice versa - with a bold wall, and a clean, white wood strip.